Disney Bidding again on Muppets

Discussion in 'Disney Rumors and News' started by Sarangel, Mar 12, 2003.

  1. Sarangel

    Sarangel <font color=red><font color=navy>Rumor has it ...<

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2000
    Messages:
    3,075
    EM.TV has had both Dean Valentine & Haim Sabean back out of deals to buy the Muppets in the last five months. This means that Disney is back in action, looking for a bargin. The full article follows:
     
  2. Avatar

    Google AdSense Guest Advertisement


    to hide this advert.
  3. lisajl

    lisajl <Font color=green>This is our dog Chloe!<br><font

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Messages:
    5,320
    No offense to Mr. Saban, but I would rather see someone else buy The Muppets. I know people have problems with Disney, but I think they will stay true to Jim Henson's original ideas.
     
  4. Bstanley

    Bstanley DisNoid

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2001
    Messages:
    1,231
    I wonder if the program library includes 'Fraggle Rock' episodes?
     
  5. YoHo

    YoHo If you have any poo to fling, now is the time.

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 1999
    Messages:
    3,447
    70 Mil sounds like a pretty good dealy. Money well spent for once.
    TO bad EM.TV messed things up.
     
  6. DisLUV

    DisLUV DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2001
    Messages:
    840
    Yes a buyout would include all of Henson's library minus the Seasame Street characters since they were sold off.
     
  7. ToddS

    ToddS Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 1999
    Messages:
    107
    Just curious -- since Kermit is a Sesame Street character who also appears as a "Muppet" proper, where does he fall in this whole thing? Is the eventual buyer of Henson limited in its use of Kermit? Or is the new Sesame Street owner limited? Anyone know?
     
  8. d-r

    d-r <font color=red>l|ll|||ll||ll||<font color=purple>

    Joined:
    May 31, 2000
    Messages:
    3,272
    Kermit is a muppet now.

    If you watch seseme street lately, no kermit.

    Big Bird, Elmo, Ernie, Bert, the Count, Grover, Cookie Monster, Snuffleuffagus, assorted other monsters are seseme street.

    Kermit, Piggie, Gonzo, Animal Dr. Teeth & the Band, etc. - everybody from the muppet show - are muppets.
     
  9. Safari Steve

    Safari Steve D23 Expo Here I Come!!!

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2000
    Messages:
    1,909
    If you remember back to the very early 90s, Jim Henson himself was on track to merge his company with Disney. A few weeks before his untimely death, he was part of a celebrity motorcade and press conference at the Disney/MGM Studios. It wasn't until after his death that his son Brian (who did only slightly better than EMTV on the management end) cancelled the merger over what he considered a mis-used promotional photo. I would consider this purchase the long-delayed realization of the late Mr. Henson's wishes.
     
  10. Another Voice

    Another Voice Charter Member of The Element

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2000
    Messages:
    3,191
    It is my "understanding" of the history that Jim Henson had accepted an offer from Disney to buy his company. He was tired of the management duties he had to fulfill and wanted to focus on producing and creating. He had just visited Burbank to check out his office space when he passed away.

    His childern had never really been really excited by the idea of selling the company (although Jim's daughter was already working for Disney at that point). And far from it being a misused promotional photo that finally set things off, it was Disney's lawyers. A few days after the funeral for Jim Henson they approached his widow and his childern with demands to renegoiate the deal. Disney viewed Jim Henson as the primary asset, without him they wanted to cut the prices a rumored 1/3 to 1/2.

    Needless to say, the family took great offense at Disney playing hard ball business less than a week after they buried their father. The childern, led by Brian, immediately worked to reverse the deal. Given the history of everything that followed (including all the plans Jim had which Disney then cancelled), to call a buy out now the "fullfillment" of wishes is, perhaps, stretching things.
     
  11. Safari Steve

    Safari Steve D23 Expo Here I Come!!!

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2000
    Messages:
    1,909
    The photos were listed as a big deal in newspaper articles at the time.

    However coarse the timing, I would have to agree that Jim Henson himself was a major creative asset. The quality level in recent years should attest to that fact (just like the relative creative floundering TWDC did in the years following the deaths of Walt and Roy). The existing characters and film assets have a high value, and the Creature Shop/ Muppet Workshop facilities have a high value. So did the prospect of more wonderful ideas from Jim Henson. That was an immeasurable loss for the entire world. Certainly the financial offer now is considerably less than either of the first two proposals.
     
  12. raidermatt

    raidermatt Beware of the dark side. Anger...fear...aggression

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2000
    Messages:
    6,464
    Don't know what really happened, but the timing of trying to renegotiate a few days after the funeral does seem to be questionable in the approiateness category.

    Regardless, while I have little faith in how successfully Disney would utilize the Muppets, its still a good content acquisition.

    Hopefully they pull the trigger.
     
  13. DizneyXtreme

    DizneyXtreme Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2003
    Messages:
    21
    Saban dropped out. He is no longer interested.
     
  14. Another Voice

    Another Voice Charter Member of The Element

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2000
    Messages:
    3,191
    Without having the chance to go back and look at the history, I think what happened was that after Jim Henson's death Disney tried to infer to Wall Street (and any other potential buyers) that the deal between Disney and Henson was locked in. Naturally, the Henson family disagreed and all kinds of threats and counterclaims flew back and forth. The photos and other promotional matters were used as evidence that Disney was implying false things about the state of the deal – specifically they were publicly saying everything was locked and finalized, but in private they were trying to renegotiate from square one.

    The deal for Henson's company was separate from his personal services deal. That was very clear well before he passed away. Henson's company had significant value and was being sold to Disney. Jim Henson then, as a private individual, was signing an employment contract with Disney. How one accounts for the loss of Jim Henson is an interesting question since, in principle anyway, he was "out" of the company the moment Disney took ownership anyway.

    Creatively, the biggest problem was that The Muppets have been over for a long time. It's rumored that even Jim thought that and was one of the compelling reasons for him to sell. He wanted to do new things; a job with Disney would give him that chance while others tried to spark new life back into long in the tooth characters. Creatively the company still can do good work – the Creature Shop is still tops in town and 'Farscape' (may the Sci Fi channel burn in hell for all time) showed they can still produce interesting stuff. Their recent problems have been due to the collapse of their German parent company and the lack of capital to get new projects underway.
     

Share This Page