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Modern Mouse Radio #109: What’s Next for the Muppets?

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Josh is joined by Jordan Duncan, a coordinator at the Museum of Puppetry Arts and a long time Muppets fan. They discuss the recent cancellation of The Muppets on television and ask, “What’s Next for the Muppets?” As Disney grows, it seems like every division continues to be a homerun. Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars, and so on, have all found their stride and are major successes for Disney, but The Muppets franchise continues to feel lost without knowing where to really go with it. Is it a nostalgia act? Can it be modern? Is it for adults? Is it for children? We try to answer all of these questions and more!

Be sure to follow Jordan on Twitter (@JordanGhastly) or on Instagram to chat more about Muppets, Jim Henson, or the Puppetry Arts in general.

 

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Modern Mouse News: TV Shows and Mass Shutdowns

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Stories Discussed This Week
Mass Disneyland Attraction Shutdowns
Season of the Force comes in November
Disney Springs Name Change
Upgraded Pirates in the Caribbean
Good Dinosaur Previews in the Park
Shop Walt Disney World from Your Phone
The Controversial Muppet Show
Once is Back
Viola Davis wins Emmy for Getting Away with Murder
Disney Museum Gala Event

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Josh Taylor
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Angie Taylor
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Feature: Controversy and Muppets

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After last week’s debut of The Muppets on ABC, it seems like moms everywhere took to social media to pronounce The Muppets as “distasteful and unsafe for children”. The outcry against the Muppets seems somewhat justified as The Muppet show of yester and the Muppet films have been generally kid friendly. I totally get where these critics are coming from but as I watched the Muppets play out on my television, I saw jokes aimed for family audiences and a few adult jokes that would clearly fly over children’s heads.

We also live in an age where animation is used for both children and adults. Looking at a show title for Family Guy vs. Gravity Falls, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference and you may let your children watch both. We also live in an age where hardly anything is G rated. Most television shows fall into that PG to PG-14 rating. It’s what sells and television is still in the business of making money.

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The Muppets had to change and that’s just a fact. Putting the same Kermit and friends on television that we’ve seen for almost 50 years now wouldn’t do the Henson creatures any favors. I like that Kermit and Piggy have broken up. I like that we are seeing another side to these characters. All of us aren’t pure, do-gooders of the world. We all make mistakes, cave in to vices, have jealousy, or make poor decisions, but we all want to be the best people we can be. To me, that’s what the show is trying to showcase. A group of people (or frogs, pigs, and whatevers) trying to live life the best they can. This isn’t the stage show variety hour we all grew up watching. This was meant to be that behind the scenes showcase where we don’t necessarily get characters that put on smiles and fake it for the camera.

JOSH GROBAN, MISS PIGGY

The Muppets continue to do what they do best and that’s make people happy. I can’t help but feel all warm and fuzzy seeing these pieces of felt and fur on tv again and you can tell that the guest celebrities they’ve brought to the show are delighted to be a part of it. Sure we went from G to PG and some of our characters aren’t in the roles we’ve come to know over the decades, but this fresh take is still purely Jim Henson and still feels like The Muppets. I believe that Jim would enjoy this show and would want to push his characters in bold new directions making sure everyone could come along for the ride and laugh the whole way there.

What do you think of the new Muppet show? Do you love it or hate it? What would you change if you could? Keep the conversation rolling in the comments below!

Josh Taylor
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Erika’s D23 Expo 2015 Vlog (Day 3)

It’s the last day of the Expo for Erika! That can only mean one thing….interviewing puppets. That’s right, Erika found some very cute puppets and decided to interview them. Yeah, this convention was awesome!

Erika Jenko
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Modern Mouse News: Free Cupcakes and DisneyTown

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***From August 1st-31st we will be doing a t-shirt sale and 20% of our earnings will be going to Together We Rise – a charity to help foster kids get a leg up and we will be specifically donating to them to help kids go on a fun vacation to Disneyland and help them make new friends! Buy a shirt to help support Modern Mouse Radio and Together We Rise***

Stories Discussed This Week
Disney’s Finest Hour Trailer
The Good Dinosaur Trailer
Sanjay’s Super Team Brings Hindu to Animation
Animated Guardians of the Galaxy
Disney Channel Original Film “Descendants” 
Disneyland Celebrates 60 Years with Cupcakes
Disney World’s Family Culinary Adventure
Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival 2015
Shanghai Disney Details!
D23 and ABC bring ONCE and Muppets

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Tweets From Tuesday: Favorite Muppet?

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The Muppets have been a recognizable entity for decades despite their on-again off-again presence. Like Mickey Mouse, the cast of the Muppets have seen their good times and bad as far as stardom. Mickey was at an all time high during the 1930s but as Walt made way for other ventures, Mickey was put on the shelf and was merely setup to the emblem of the company, but not really seen in theaters or television anymore, until the 1980s when Mickey’s Christmas Carol became a hit with families. The same can be said with The Muppets. Despite sporadic appearances, the new millennium had not been a good one for the furry creatures. It wasn’t until Jason Segel took on the part of bringing The Muppets to theaters in 2011 that the classic characters were reborn. Now with a new television show on primetime television coming this fall, I wanted to post a question to my friends on Twitter. The Muppets are loved by so many generations so I wanted to know everyone’s favorite Muppet? This is what everyone said.

@PixieDustDaily: Sam Eagle: He embodies our great American pride and at the same time pokes fun at our over-exuberance. As an adult I’ve grown to really like the Sam Eagle character as I see the humor in his overly patriotic ideals. When I was a kid I definitely thought the character was too weird and uninteresting. I was a stupid kid.

@HatboxMouse: My favorite Muppet is Fozzie Bear. He just has the best jokes! “Wacka, Wacka!” His jokes from anyone else aren’t funny but through the voice and stylings of Fozzie, they are funny. Maybe it’s that he is funny in his lack of good jokes. I’m not sure, but I’m glad to see him playing a good part in the upcoming Muppets tv show.

@NORMNB8S: This is like picking your favorite child. I wrote about Fozzie as my inner muppet for @thatsostelle once. I relate to him. He just wants to make people laugh. I’m similar in that I feel at ease when I know I can make someone laugh. It’s a feeling of relief, especially when you have a good joke, that someone really thinks its good.

@1MinDisneyDream: Thats Tough. Fozzie because he is often misunderstood and just wants people to enjoy his comedy. See my comment on the above post. I think Fozzie just wants to be a bigger part of the show but his role as stand up comedian falls short. However, he tends to be funny when he doesn’t try. My suggestion to anyone doing comedy is not to try so hard and you’ll get there.

@DizWire: I’ll throw in a token vote for Pepe the King Prawn. Pepe has been a constant favorite for me. His pride and his short fuse tend to be at odds with each other. He is always scheming and I love that about him. I’m not a fan of his recent clothing choices with gold chains and black turtle neck shirts but if he feels comfortable in that as a king prawn/shrimp, then more power to him.

@TheMouseSlap: Ratso Rizzo, he keeps it NYC real. F’getta bout it. Rizzo has been scheming long before Pepe and even though he isn’t an original Muppet, mice have always been a staple of the group. The great part for Rizzo is playing pal with Gonzo (Muppet Christmas Carol) or with Pepe (Muppetes From Space). That seems to be where he shines the most.

@TTAtraveler: I’ve always loved Beaker, always getting walked all over and just seems ready to snap. And that face. How could I forget this Muppet. Before Kenny died in every South Park episode, Beaker was getting blown up, stretched, flattened, and otherwise beat up in nearly any part he has ever had. He always looks like he knows he is 5 seconds from being killed yet he always goes along with what ever Dr. Honeydew does. Love it. Always great for a laugh.

@NORMNB8S: I answered earlier but I wanted to give an honorable mention to Sweetums. I guess you can answer twice. I’ve never said anything against it. Sweetums has been a supporting character to everyone on the main cast but he does have his following. People seem to love Sweetums. Maybe it’s because he is so big but at the same time so…well…sweet!

@ZamboniNerd: Statler and Waldorf because they always make me laugh with their sarcastic comments. The perfect opposition to Fozzy Bear and the rest of the Muppets from time to time are the worst hecklers in the world. Stand up comedians have always had hecklers and whomever came up with this duo is genius. It’s amazing how long they’ve stayed as a major part of the show considering that they aren’t technically part of the Muppets crew.

@Beccaberry73: Gotta be Statler & Waldorf 🙂 LOVE their jokes! I’m surprised by how many people love these guys! Just goes to show that they are a big part of who the Muppets are!

Thanks to everyone who talked Muppets with me all day! It was a great time and it’s only building excitement for the upcoming Muppets show on ABC this Fall! If you are excited or you didn’t get to share on Twitter who your favorite Muppet is, be sure to leave a comment below! If you are interested in participating in Tweets From Tuesday, be sure to follow me by clicking the link below my name. See ya next week!

Josh Taylor
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Monday Memes: Muppet Traffic

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Modern Mouse News: The Muppets and Star Wars Land

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Stories Discussed This Week
Hatbox Ghost Reappears in Disneyland
Disney buys Carousel Inn Near Disneyland
Peter Pan Not Opening Until July at Disneyland
Indiana Jones Bar Coming to Disney Springs
Star Wars Themed Lounge at Hollywood Studios
New Flex Space Theater Coming to Hollywood Studios
Animal Kingdom’s Camel Parade?
Tokyo Disney bringing Frozen to Parks
Avengers has 2nd Best Box Office Opening Ever!
The Muppets Return to TV this Fall
Disney Infinity 3.0 Announced
D23 Expo to have Disneyland Exhibit and Big Arena Shows

 

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Modern Mouse Radio #75: Top 10 Disney Couples

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In honor of Valentine’s Day, Josh and Keith got together to discuss the best Disney couples. They talk about why these couples work and bring their traits into real world situations. Pixar, Disney, ABC, Muppets. Nothing is off limits here. Enjoy this V-Day special!

Check out the contest running through Feb. 16th at http://www.LivingTheDreamHappilyEverAfter.com

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Modern Mouse Radio #72: Disney Year in Review 2014

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Keith and Josh take a look back at the year. They discuss the top Disney films at the box office and critically. They also discuss the announcements and openings of things at Disney Parks. Then they talk ABC, video games, and more. Enjoy this look back on 2014 as we start the new year!

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