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- for The Muppets Studio talk page history, see here 
I hadn't realized until Nate created Dumbo today, but earlier this month, Brad had given the page a major make-over, primarily affecting the references section, which was dropped (as copied from Sandbox:The Walt Disney Company, which can probably be deleted). I can't find any indication of discussion of the matter, and several references were just lost entirely. Nate's been finding and trying to put some back in other pages, but when it's to Disney as a whole, multiple characters, or to something too passing to really note elsewhere (or specific like the Disney Robin Hood fox, which is buried in Robin Hood but I think it's worth including the visual here), I think a short list here is still appropriate, so I'm trying to work something out right now. Brad's clean-up helps in some ways (and for pages with connections especially, like The Little Mermaid, another casualty until Nate noticed it, a solo page is better), but the "properties" list was inaccurate (I took out Boom! Studios since Disney doesn't own them, they're just doing the comics for both Disney and the now Disney-owned Muppets). Right now, I'm trying to limit the list to references specifically to Disney versions of stories, so Pocahontas, Alice in Wonderland, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame don't count, but Cinderella does (since Piggy met up with the Disney Cindy in that one special). In cases like Snow White, in fact, the connection is obvious, but on other pages (Sleeping Beauty), it's really buried (and since it relies on a visual similarity in a Muppet Kids book, might even bear verifying first). I think it works better to link when there's an actual connection (since otherwise, Disney did versions of Treasure Island, A Christmas Carol, Paul Bunyan, and so on, none of which had anything to do with the Muppet references to those), but if someone wants to go that route, it should be a separate list (I wouldn't recommend it though). Merchandise doesn't seem worth bothering about unless it contains a reference, but not noting every article we have for Disney-produced merchandise, if that makes sense.
I'm really unsure about Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, who are currently Disney owned but weren't when Sesame Street parodied it. I stuck it in under TV anyway. It's a longer list this way but I think subdividing helps. I'm not entirely happy with the specific *way* of subdividing, though, which is pretty darn messy (possibly theme parks/publications can be just "Other," for any other obvious things outside of TV/movies) so any suggestions are appreciated, as well as if anyone has different opinions on how to handle the Disney references/connections (which is a potentially tricky area by now if we go by ownership). Any thoughts? -- Andrew Leal (talk) 23:35, December 26, 2009 (UTC)
- I'm on the fence with the "properties" list. I understand the reasoning of only listing those references DIRECTLY related to Disney versions, but I just wonder about the casual reader who will see the list and wonder, "well I thought Sesame Street did a Swiss Family Robinson spoof, but why isn't it listed here. But then that is a slippery slope because there is so much that Disney has adapted that you wouldn't want to list them all. I really have no answer, just throwing out a scenario that came to mind while I mull it over and try to come up with a suggestion that might help. -- Nate (talk) 17:54, December 30, 2009 (UTC)
- Yeah, if we were to do that, it should be a separate list, but I'd just as soon leave it alone since it would be very long and have nothing to do with the Muppets (Disney even co-produced the film version of Popeye, after all). It makes more sense this way, with the headings specifically labeling the *Disney* movie versions as being referenced and so on. It still leaves out hings like 101 Dalmatians which could easily be another list, but I still prefer this to Brad's initial change, which as you spotted Nate, basically just dumped a lot of good info. I was initially tempted to re-merge some of those, but with connections lists or other versions, like on The Little Mermaid, they work better, so only Dumbo would really fit, and there's that cute image of the Dumbo ride, so it seems worth keeping, but this way there's a better home if Pepe ever makes a random wisecrack about The Aristocats or something. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 01:16, December 31, 2009 (UTC)
The Chicken King
Another Sesame Street sketch features a "Walt Dizzy Film" entitled "The Chicken King". In a parody of The Lion King, a kingdom of animals look for the chosen one who will turn corn into an egg. A lion who wants to be king tries and fails when Elmo (in a chicken outfit) tries by eating the corn, which gives him energy to lay an egg. (The fact that he is a male is not addressed.)
- This is indeed mentioned in Street Gang. One of the executives thought the piece was racist, as only a chicken should play the part of a chicken. Not surprisingly, the writers thought this was ridiculous, as the whole point of acting is to pretend to be someone you are not. As Jon Stone is quoted, "Norman Stiles suggested with a straight face that we air the piece as written and see how much mail we get from outraged chickens." Mobo85 23:52, November 30, 2009 (UTC)
- The book states that the sketch was part of an episode where Elmo and telly audition for the role of a chicken. It says they aired it anyway, there was just a little trouble with the message of it. - Oscarfan 23:52, November 30, 2009 (UTC)
Jim Hill's piece on the history
I added a link to an extremely informative if long-winded series Jim Hill wrote on the history of the Jim Henson and Walt Disney companies. It's far from neutral - some of the later pieces in particular, giving vivid details of what might have been and making no secret that he wishes they had come to pass - but a great read for anyone interested enough in the subject to be here. Jedi42 04:26, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Walt Disney Home Video
I was thinking about redirecting Walt Disney Home Video to this page, but decided to ask for opiinions about this first before redirecting. The only Henson-related videos I know of that were released by Walt Disney Home Video are the Dinosaurs videos (though that page claims they were released by Buena Vista Home Video... My copies of a few of them have the Walt Disney Home Video label), and there wouldn't be much to say on such a page. --Minor muppetz 15:19, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
- Walt Disney Home Video is already a redirect, as is Buena Vista Home Video. All of Disney's video output was distributed through the Buena Vista label anyway (sometimes noted only in very small print, "distributed by"), *but* the latter name specifically appeared primarily on properties which Disney did not fully own (thus, most of the Henson stuff, the Bullwinkle videos, etc.) -- Andrew Leal (talk) 16:34, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
- That's odd. I searched for Walt Disney Home Video earlier to see if it was a redirect, and saw a redlink. I guess I must have mispelled something without catching it. --Minor muppetz 23:37, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
We've got references to Dumbo, and Disney's versions of Peter Pan and The Little Mermaid (amongst others) listed here. Do we plan on keeping them here, or should those eventually branched out to their own articles? Similarly, Nate just created pages for Minnie Mouse and Goofy based on Piggy and Fozzie's appearances as the characters on a pin. Given the same pin, another article could also be created for Tinkerbell. They'r epretty minor and repeat the same information. Should they be merged here? —Scott (talk) 19:19, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
- I just mentioned the same thing to Nate. My own view is it depends on the reference. Dumbo should stay here, it's only a verbal reference, and there's no benefit to a separate page. The Little Mermaid was longer and visual, and we have cast connections, so it *could* be its own page, but I think it works fine here. For fairytale/storybook characters who have their own pages, like Peter Pan and Snow White, I think any Disney-specific references could go on both pages, or just the fairytale. Goofy and Minnie Mouse should be merged, I think, given how brief it is, and the fact that unlike the other references, the pin is basically a cross-promotional effort. On the other hand, I've dug up at least three distinct references to Donald Duck, so I've been debating whether to create a new page or add them here (unlike Goofy or Minnie, Donald has more potential to grow parallel to Mickey Mouse). For that matter, there's Bambi. It could be merged, but there's three references, and a fourth I need to add. So I think that might be a good general minimum, at least three or more specific references to a Disney character or film are necessary to justify an individual page. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 19:25, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
- Nobody else has weighed in, and Nate seemed fine with merging, so I'm doing just that. I've found a few more single Disney references, so I'll reiterate my own suggested guideline (as always, with exceptions when needed). Individual pages should be reserved for cases like Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, and Bambi when there are three or more references specifically to the Disney character/film or an appearance. References which are *specifically* to the Disney versions of fairytales (not counting items like costume similarities) should be added here at some point, as well as the fairytale page, possibly in a sub-section. I'll look into that area later. How's that sound? -- Andrew Leal (talk) 22:44, 30 January 2008 (UTC)
Anonymous users have been targeting this page lately, adding a lot of titles. Some were released on Disney video to begin with, and should probably be listed seperately, but others, I'm unsure of. I already removed Sam and Friends, since the notes state that the company owns the characters but not the series, but can anyone check on some of the other early items? Tales of the Tinkerdee and The Muppets on Puppets, for example. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 04:52, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
- I know that after Disney bought the Muppets that some people had e-mailed Disney about the subject and managed to get a list of what Disney owns. I think that henson.com also has a page listing what Muppet productions are owned by Disney. I think some of it might just be common sense, judging from the fact that they starred the Muppets and were related to The Muppet Show. --Minor muppetz 13:47, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
- I put in the note on Sam and Friends, because I'm not sure who owns the rights to the show. It could be Disney or WRC-TV or whoever paid to have it produced. I am personally not sure. But Karen Falk said that all the characters not specifically retained by Henson are owned by Disney now, including all the old timers. It would make sense, then, that Tales of the Tinkerdee would be owned by Disney, as it was never aired and ownership of it prior to the sale would have be Henson's. The only programs in question are those that Henson never owned outright and, therefore, could not sell. -- Peter (talk) 13:58, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
- That's the point, though. Any items where we merely *think* or guess that so and so owns them, I'm iffy about including. Plus, Peter, your note, I take it: "While all Muppet characters from the early television series (i.e. Sam and Friends), commercials (i.e. Wilkins and Wontkins), and variety show appearances (i.e. Thig) are owned by the Walt Disney Company, the productions themselves are often owned by other companies." I'm not sure the precise source for that, but that implies that it's far from guaranteed that Tinkerdee the program is Disney owned, while implying that, say, King Goshposh is definitely Disney owned. In general, that whole section needs actual stated sources. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 15:11, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
- Yeah, I've already removed those. But are the films themselves "Owned" by Disney, or the characters? Again, this note, and I don't know who added it: "The Muppets Take Manhattan and Muppets From Space are owned in part by other companies, but the characters are entirely owned by the Walt Disney Company." The implication is that, since Columbia/Sony actually produced and released those, not simply licensing or distributing to video. But it begs the question, is that note accurate? By the way, I found that "list" Michael mentioned which specified Muppet Productions, and notes that Disney owns the franchise, but it's unclear whether the list is meant to specifically imply that all those listed are owned by Disney, and the only ones (Manhattan and Space are there, Tales of the Tinkerdee is not, and so on). This should probably be marked as Attention, but frankly, I sort of feel that category is increasingly becoming more of a graveyard than a way to actively work on these problem areas. -- Andrew Leal (talk) 15:41, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
- Shortly after the sale, the main page at Tough Pigs included a short news article on what Disney got, I believe it was quoting an e-mail from somebody at The Walt Disney Company, and it mentioned some things that weren't mentioned at all in that official Henson page, such as the Muppet segments of The Jim Henson Hour and Little Muppet Monsters (it seems like the official Henson website wants to ignore that series). It was also mentioned that Disney owns Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree, which wasn't mentioned (I don't know why Disney owns it, as Kermit probably had just as much screen time in that as he did in Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas). It was also stated that Disney owns the Muppet Meeting Films, the Muppetisms and Muppet Time insertials, and the various Muppet Show-related specials (I don't know if this also applies to home video productions, or if those are owned the the companies that released the videos, but if it does then Disney must own the sing-alongs), in addition to Hey Cinderella!, The Frog Prince, The Muppet Musicians of Bremen, The Tale of the Bunny Picnic, and Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree. I remember this well. When I first read the news I reread it several times and then kept fantasizing about what I wanted to have on DVD and see on the Disney Channel soon. --Minor muppetz 16:02, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
- Here is a Muppet Central thread where Gelfing Waldo, creator of The Muppet Newsflash website, compiled lists of who owns what. I'm not too clear if he actually did all the proper research or if most of it was speculation, but I'll post the link here, in case it's a good enough source:  --Minor muppetz 02:39, 12 April 2007 (UTC)
Sam and Friends?
How is it known that Disney owns the rights to the Sam and Friends characters? I thought that Henson still owned the rights to those characters, with the exception of Kermit the Frog. What company owns the rights to the series? --Minor muppetz 22:04, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
- Can Danny or Scott back me up on this one? I could've sworn this comes straight from Karen Falk. -- Peter (talk) 13:37, 11 July 2006 (UTC)
So here is what I found:
The deal includes a four-year consulting arrangement with the Jim Henson Co. to provide strategic advice on the use of the characters and a three-year production deal to develop movies and television shows.
Courtesy of The Walt Disney Company February 17, 2004
The Walt Disney Company and The Jim Henson Company today announced that they have entered into an agreement under which Disney will acquire the beloved Muppets and Bear in the Big Blue House properties from Henson.
The transaction includes all Muppet assets, including the Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo and Animal characters, the Muppet film and television library, and all associated copyrights and trademarks, as well as all the Bear in the Big Blue House characters, television library, copyrights and trademarks. The parties have signed a binding purchase agreement and expect the transaction to close within two months, subject to receiving the necessary regulatory clearances. The transaction does not include the Sesame Street characters, such as Big Bird and Elmo, which are separately owned by Sesame Workshop. The deal also includes non-exclusive production and consulting agreements under which Henson will develop potential new programming featuring the Muppets and Bear in the Big Blue House for Disney.
Brian Henson, who with his sister Lisa is co-chair and co-chief executive officer of The Jim Henson Company, said, "This new and very important relationship will enable our two companies to combine our respective talents and resources in ways that will fully realize the tremendous potential of the Muppet and Bear franchises. Michael Eisner's long-standing passion and respect for the Muppets gives me and my family even more confidence in Disney as a partner."
Lisa Henson said, "In the months before his death in 1990, my father Jim Henson pursued extensive discussions with The Walt Disney Company based on his strong belief that Disney would be a perfect home for the Muppets. As such, the deal we announced today is the realization of my father's dream, and ensures that the Muppet characters will live, flourish and continue to delight audiences everywhere, forever. My brothers and sisters -- Brian, Cheryl, John, Heather -- and I are so proud to have the Muppets living under the same roof as Walt Disney's own timeless characters. We could not possibly be more pleased."
"Since the time I worked with Jim Henson on the first Muppets TV special in the 1960s, it was obvious to me that his characters would make a deep imprint on the hearts of families worldwide, and this announcement is the culmination of a long-time desire to welcome them into The Walt Disney Company," said Michael Eisner, Disney chairman and chief executive officer.
"Kermit and Miss Piggy are well-known and beloved around the world and will have an opportunity to be seen and loved by millions more well into the future through Disney's distribution channels at home and abroad, including home video, family television programming and consumer products, in addition to the existing theme park presence at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort. We are honored that the Henson family has agreed to pass on to us the stewardship of these cherished assets. We are also pleased that this transaction puts us in a position to work with the Henson company on future projects," Mr. Eisner said.
Disney, which owns broadcast and cable networks reaching over 120 million households worldwide, operates or licenses theme parks on three continents, and offers home video and consumer products worldwide, is planning to re-launch the Muppets with new TV specials and series. Disney also expects to expand and enhance the global licensing and home video initiatives based on this new production for the Classic Muppets, the infant/preschool property Muppet Babies, and Bear in the Big Blue House.
The Jim Henson Company, which was purchased by the Henson family in July 2003 from the German media company EM.TV, will retain all other assets of the company including Jim Henson's Creature Shop and ownership and rights to all other characters and entertainment properties in The Jim Henson Company's extensive film and television library, including Fraggle Rock, Farscape, Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Storyteller, The Hoobs, and various other properties. The Jim Henson Company will also actively pursue partnerships and other strategic arrangements to exploit these and other existing and new properties and to build their value over the long term.
- Sounds to me like they own all licensing rights to all Henson work product**Kermit d frog 06:32, 30 June 2006 (UTC)