Disney bought The Muppets from the Jim Henson Company back in 2004, realising that with their long-lasting popularity, they might be a good addition to the Disney universe. However since then the House Of Mouse hasn’t seemed entirely sure what to do with them. While they’ve tried several things over the years, the problem seems to have been Disney trying to shoehorn the characters into the way they deal with their other properties, rather than letting them be themselves.
It’s one of the reason The Muppets works so well, as it realises that Kermit & co. live in a netherworld between children’s and adult’s entertainment, where nostalgia is as important as silly jokes for kids. Likewise it acknowledges that part of the reason for the characters’ success is the fine line they walk between absurdity and realism, which works due to an absolute commitment to the idea Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear are real, while everything around them has a self-referential wink. [Read more…]