Frank Oz Does Not Approve of the New Muppets Movie

With the release of The Muppets now less than a month away, it feels like Disney and Jason Segel have done a very good job of relaunching the property and staying true to the characters while also updating them for a new audience. If all goes according to plan, it will be a pretty big hit over the holiday season and a successful reboot of a franchise that has been around for over 40 years. Unfortunately, not everyone is quite so optimistic about the film. Word is starting to trickle out that many of the veteran performers who worked on the movie are not very happy with the final product, and one of the most well-known puppeteers of them all, Frank Oz has broken his silence on why he was not involved in the flick. Hear what he had to say about it after the jump.

In a recent interview with Metro, Oz reminisced about his time working with Jim Henson before addressing the reboot:

“I turned it down… I wasn’t happy with the script. I don’t think they respected the characters. But I don’t want to go on about it like a sourpuss and hurt the movie.”

Oz is known for voicing such characters as Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal and Sam the Eagle, but in the new movie those characters are performed by Eric Jacobson. It makes you wonder if there was something specific in the new movie that he had a problem with. Could it have been… Fozzie’s fart shoes? The Hollywood Reporter has a similar story about complaints from the older Muppets crew members, and they seem to really take issue with the fart jokes.

One anonymous commenter said, “We wouldn’t do that; it’s too cheap… It may not seem like much in this world of [Judd] Apatow humor, but the characters don’t go to that place.” Another worries that “They’re looking at the script on a joke-by-joke basis, rather than as a construction of character and story,” and that the script “creates a false history that the characters were forced to act out for the sake of this movie.” Sounds a little bit like sour grapes to me. After all, if it weren’t for Jason Segel, The Muppets wouldn’t even be getting a comeback. What do you think? Is it possible that this movie is not respecting what came before or do you think a few changes were necessary in order to revitalize the franchise?

Around the Web:

  • I’d hardly call this new movie a revitalization of the Muppets we grew up with. Is that what we all now agree is needed to reach the broadest audience possible? More fart jokes? And I’m a man who loves his toilet humor, I’m actually using my junk to bang out this email and still I think this new movie lessens the likelihood that I’ll revisit the old material out of a misplaced sense of sorrow at what became of it.

  • If you ask me, it’s barely even a fart joke. Fozzie has shoes that make farting noises, it’s not like he actually farted himself. Fozzie has always been about corny jokes… works for me.

  • Goon

    Kermit living in a mansion was also cited… but like, Kermit has always been a little bit distant and dickish, honestly.

  • Gee, didn’t realize Frank Oz wasn’t involved in this new flick… doesn’t bode well for its integrity.

  • Anonymous

    To Mark II and Webomatica, drop the pessimism this instant!

  • Mike

    im probably skipping this movie, and it has nothing to do with the “integrity of the characters”, just doesnt seem that great to me.

  • Bas

    @Webomatica: reading the background story at The Hollywood Reporter (on how Frank Oz had his own script in the works, that he was going to get to direct himself, before Disney kicked out the guy who hired Oz and instead moved forward with Segel’s script), I can’t help but think Oz can’t help but feel a little pissed off.

    And whoopie-cushions tied to his feet is CLASSIC Fozzie Bear.

  • Gay


  • I’m sure the movie will be fun in parts but overall, you can’t recreate your childhood 15-25 years later. As with most things, what you remember is usually far better than the reality (watch the Muppet show on DVD for proof).

    Ultimately The Muppets was always meant for kids, with a little bit of an edge and not for adults wanting to relive their childhoods. If the characters can stay alive through a new generation, then job done.

  • Damon TItus

    After seeing them movie, Frank OZ is, in fact, on crack.