1 The Muppet Mindset: January 2014

Jan 31, 2014

News Update: January 31, 2014

JANUARY 31, 2014

Next Friday, February 7th, The Muppets Character Encyclopedia from DK Publishing will be released in bookstores. The folks at DK have released some really awesome pages from the book spotlighting some incredibly obscure characters. This already seems like a must-buy! Check out the pictures below...




This week saw the passing of a musical legend. Folk singer Pete Seeger died at age 94. A major talent and a major influence in the musical world, Seeger was also a big part of Sesame Street's early success. Seeger was one of the first celebrity guests to appear on the show in 1969. Our friends at ToughPigs.com have a fantastic collection of Seeger's Sesame Street moments and our friends at Sesame Workshop have a lovely write-up about Seeger as well.

Last week we showed off Toyota's Vine video starring Animal. This week, they released another 8-second video starring Rowlf the Dog. It's a perfectly continuously looped video, which is always pretty cool. Watch it below!



Huge news was released last night, as it was announced that The Muppets will be appearing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on February 7th. This is major news because February 7th is Jimmy Fallon's last time hosting Late Night before taking over The Tonight Show. This is sure to be a fun, momentous, and Muppety appearance. No word yet on exactly which Muppets will be appearing... but I'm betting it's gonna be a bunch.

Miss Piggy is appearing in a new commercial for Wonderful Pistachios which has just started airing now all over TV. (I've already seen it three times.) It's funny, cute, and the puppetry is stellar. Watch it below:



Ahead of their big TV debut at the Super Bowl on Sunday, the Muppets released their "No Room For Boring" commercial earlier this week. Well, apparently that wasn't enough--and thank goodness--because Toyota has released another video, featuring an extended rendition of the song. It's essentially a music video for Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, and it's awesome. Watch it now!









The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

Jan 30, 2014

Muppets Most Wanted Soundtrack Listing Revealed

Earlier this week the track listing for the Muppets Most Wanted Original Soundtrack was released online via Amazon and iTunes. It is also available for pre-oder at both locations. We've copied the track listing below, but please be warned that there are some HUGE, MAJOR SPOILERS revealed in the titles of the songs, the singers of the songs, and some of the names of dialogue snippets. If you are avoiding MAJOR SPOILERS for the film, I would not suggest you continue reading this article. You have been warned!

All song titles are in bold, to distinguish them from dialogue tracks similar to the tracks on The Muppets Original Soundtrack. The final four tracks are demo recordings from Bret McKenzie.
Muppets Most Wanted Original Soundtrack
Available March 18, 2014
  1. “They’ve Ordered a Sequel” – Walter, Statler & Waldorf
  2. We’re Doing a Sequel – The Muppets, Lady Gaga, & Tony Bennett
  3. “My Name First ____ Your Name” – Constantine & Ricky Gervais
  4. I’m Number One – Constantine & Ricky Gervais
  5. “The Casa Grande” – Kermit, Tina Fey, Jemaine Clement, Danny Trejo & Ray Liotta
  6. The Big House – Tina Fey & Josh Groban
  7. “Stick With Me” – Constantine & Miss Piggy
  8. I’ll Get You What You Want (Cockatoo in Malibu) – Constantine
  9. The Muppet Show Theme – Los Muppets
  10. “Answer Some Questions” – Ty Burrell
  11. Interrogation Song – Ty Burrell
  12. “Oh Foo Foo, It’s Always Been a Fight” – Miss Piggy & Foo Foo
  13. Something So Right – Miss Piggy, Kermit, Celine Dion, & The Muppets
  14. “We’re Goin’ Underground” – Kermit
  15. Working in the Coal Mine – Jemaine Clement
  16. “The Gulag Finale” – Kermit
  17. Together Again – The Muppets & Josh Groban
  18. Moves Like Jagger (feat. Pepe the King Prawn) – Scooter & The Penguins
  19. Macarena (Bayside Boys Remix) – The Flamingos & Miss Piggy
  20. Muppets Most Wanted Score Suite – Christophe Beck
  21. We’re Doing a Sequel (demo) – Bret McKenzie
  22. The Big House (demo) – Bret McKenzie
  23. What You Want (outtake) – Bret McKenzie
  24. I’ll Get You What You Want (Cockatoo in Malibu) (demo) – Bret McKenzie
  25. Something So Right (demo) – Bret McKenzie
I don't know about you... but I'm already hugely excited about this soundtrack. Together Again?! Tony Bennett?! Eleven songs?! Josh Groban all over the place?! A Jemaine Clement solo?! Sold, sold, sold.






The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

Jan 29, 2014

Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: The Mutations

Written by Ed Castle.

THE MUTATIONS

Performed by...
Various

First appearance...
The Muppet Show Episode 102: Connie Stevens (1976)

Most recent appearance...
Muppets Most Wanted (2014)

Best known role...
Monsters seen in The Muppet Show opening arches; backup singers for Connie Stevens



WHO ARE THE MUTATIONS?
The Mutations are a trio of purple full-bodied Muppet monsters whose name is a parody of the singing group, The Temptations.  They first appeared on Episode 102 of The Muppet Show as Connie Stevens' back-up singers in "A Teenager in Love." In most of their subsequent appearances, the three would mostly be depicted as dancers rather than singers.  Except for their heights, which vary depending on who is performing them, the Mutations are otherwise indistinguishable from each other.

Although they were introduced as a group, they would also be featured individually in later appearances. Two Mutations, for example, appeared in "The Muppet Show Theme" (alongside Sweetums, Thog, and Timmy Monster) starting in the second season. Other times, only one Mutation would appear in musical numbers, such as in Episode 307 during Alice Cooper's song "School's Out" with other Muppet monsters.

The Mutations have been seen in promotional photos for Muppets Most Wanted during the big wedding scene at the Tower of London.

WHY DO THE MUPPETS NEED THE MUTATIONS?
When filling background roles, Mutations are a good option for the Muppets. If they have a female guest star who needs a dance partner like Madeline Khan in the song "Feet"; full-bodied Muppets are called for for roles in a production number like Tony or Rico in "Copacabana"; or just hanging back to guide guests to their seats as potential ushers at the London wedding, a Mutation's always at hand.






The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

Jan 28, 2014

Watch Now: Muppets "No Room For Boring" Big Game Ad

Have you been worried about having to watch the entire Super Bowl just to see a one minute ad featuring the Muppets? Well worry no more, because Toyota has released their new Highlander ad, starring the Muppets and Terry Crews, "No Room For Boring," on YouTube already! Watch the truly awesome ad below:



Wow, right? We won't blame you for going back and watching it again... and again and again.






The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

Jan 27, 2014

The Great Muppet Survey: Lucas Ervin

Answers from Lucas Ervin

1.   Who are your three favorite characters from The Muppet Show, Muppets Tonight, The Jim Henson Hour, the Muppet movies, etc. and why?
It’s obvious that Kermit is the greatest on The Muppet Show, but I’d have to say Fozzie, Floyd and Rowlf. Fozzie was incredibly sweet, Floyd had a fantastic singing voice and I loved watching Rowlf play the piano... but what all three of them had in common was that they were really good at being incredibly funny without trying too hard.

2.   Who are your three favorite characters from Sesame Street and why?
Ernie, since he’s just so sweet and lovable; Cookie Monster, because he’s hilariously impulsive; and Kermit the Frog, who was the perfect teacher.

3.   Who are your three favorite characters from Fraggle Rock and why? 
Wembley, I feel like I’m the most like him... Mokey, because she was bubbly, poetic, motherly, funny and just a tad bit air-headed without seeming unintelligent... Convincing John and Cantus are tied here, because they’re both very unique to the show; I loved how Convincing John was just wild and all over the place, like a combination of a used car salesman and Krusty the Clown. Cantus was fantastic for being quite silly in displaying wisdom.

4.   What is your favorite television program starring any of Jim Henson's creations (e.g. The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, Dinosaurs, etc.) and why?
While The Muppet Show means the world to me, Fraggle Rock teaches you everything you’ll ever need to be a decent, honest person in life. I think every kid should be made to watch that program at some point.

5.   What is your favorite Muppet movie and why?
The Muppet Movie. The first film encapsulates everything the Muppets stand for.

6.   What is your favorite Muppet/Sesame/Fraggle song and why?
"We’re Not Gonna Stop" from The Muppets at Walt Disney World, "Do The Rubber Duck" by Ernie on Sesame Street, and "The Rock Goes On" from Fraggle Rock.

7.   If you could have dinner with any living Muppet performer who would you choose and why?
Frank Oz. Even if he’s somewhat quiet and distant, I still would be sitting there in awe of everything this guy has accomplished.

8.   If you could tell Jim Henson one thing, what would it be?
Can I give Kermit a hug?

9.   If the President called you and asked to discuss Muppet projects, what would you tell him was the "Greatest Muppet Moment of All Time"? 
Seeing all the Muppet characters holding hands as they’re about to go on stage and sing Rainbow Connection with Kermit and Piggy in The Muppets. There is no greater underdog story out there than these wild but loving characters doing their best to put on a show.

10.   What's the name of that song?
Just an Old Fashioned Love Song

11.   If a judge ruled that Grover had to be your personal assistant for a month, what jobs would you have him do?
Grover is just a puppet. Next.

12.   In your opinion, what is the worst Muppet production ever made?
I’d have to say Muppets Tonight… it’s the worst in that it’s the most detrimental of all projects. Here is where we see the decline in central characters and disrespect towards the franchise that Jim worked so hard to build, and because of this loss of focus, the projects that came after were more and more difficult to watch, all the way up until 2009’s Bohemian Rhapsody video.

13.   Who is one celebrity you would love to see cameo in the next Muppet movie?
I’d love to see Steve Carell. He has this amazing discipline about himself when he’s being funny.

14.   If you could take a picture with any Muppet, who would you choose and how would you pose? 
With Lew Zealand, and with both of us freeze-framed at throwing boomerang fish.

15.   What is your favorite piece of Muppet merchandise that you own? (Feel free to include a picture!)
I’ve got plenty of neat Muppet stuff but my Palisades collection shelf is still my favorite thing.






The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

Jan 26, 2014

News Update: January 26, 2014

JANUARY 26, 2014

A lot of this week's News Update will focus on the Muppets' upcoming Super Bowl commercial for Toyota. The Muppets are co-starring in the spot with actor Terry Crews. To promote the ad, Access Hollywood visited Terry and the Muppets on their first day of shooting. The video is below, and it features lots of Zoot and Floyd!

Another making-of video was posted on YouTube by Toyota themselves. This one features an extended listen to the brand new song in the commercial, performed by Dr. Teeth, Floyd Pepper, Janice, and Animal. Could this be our first brand new Electric Mayhem song since 1990? The video also stars Terry Crews' pecs, which seemingly have minds of their own.   Animal stars in the Vine video for Toyota, getting excited about the trunk space of the new Toyota Highlander. Miss Piggy, ever the renaissance woman, has now expanded into the world of newspaper contribution. In February's Wall Street Journal Magazine, Miss Piggy has written a short column on love. And she even got her own, beautiful Wall Street Journal illustrated portrait. Read the column here and admire the portrait below!
As we've reported in the past, the Syfy Network is developing a brand new reality competition show themed around Jim Henson's Creature Shop. Contestants in the show will design and create their own incredible creatures to be judged by the all-star panel, which includes Brian Henson. Syfy has released a teaser for the show, which you can watch right here! Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge premieres on Syfy on March 25th at 10:00pm/9:00pm central time.
Finally, our friend Tim Shields has alerted us to yet another Disney Store exclusive piece of Muppets Most Wanted merchandise. A brand new, much improved Miss Piggy plush is now available at certain Disney Stores, soon to be available at all Disney Stores. Check out the photo below. Thanks Tim!






The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

Jan 23, 2014

Underwhelming International Poster for Muppets Most Wanted

Yesterday UK entertainment site SFX revealed a new poster for Muppets Most Wanted that will be used to promote the film in non-US territories. Yes, it's almost the same poster as the previous UK poster, and not nearly as good looking, but it's new, therefore newsworthy!  
But why are Statler and Waldorf there? I haven't seen them at all in the advertising for the movie yet. Fozzie is WAY too small and not at all to scale. The Bunsen and Beaker and Statler and Waldorf poser photos are from long before Disney owned the Muppets. Why not take new pictures of the puppets? It really makes no sense to me. And the plain white background is an odd choice... But hey, it's still better than the US poster.






The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

Jan 22, 2014

Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Bug

Written by Michael Wermuth.

BUG

Performed by...
Joey Mazzarino

Most notable appearance...
The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (1999)

Best known role...
Huxley's right-hand man--err... bug.

WHO IS BUG?
Bug is one of the most prominent characters in The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland. He works (somewhat reluctantly) for the villainous Huxley. Bug is Huxley's most prominent minion in Grouchland. His duties include flying Huxley's helicopter, playing games with Huxley by himself (and Huxley still wins, despite not playing), making Huxley's breakfast, telling Huxley what the newspaper says about him (since Huxley can't read), and assisting with Huxley's musical number (and marveling at his singing voice). Though often mistreated by his boss, Bug often talks in a rather pleasant tone.

At first, Bug has no problem assisting Huxley with stealing items from the residents of Grouchland. But then when Elmo goes in search of his blanket, Bug and the Pesties are sent to pose as construction workers so they can lead Elmo into a different direction. Bug tells Elmo the alternate route, but then after Elmo thanks Bug and gives him a hug, Bug starts to have a change in heart. When Elmo finally arrives at Huxley's castle and Huxley decides to destroy the blanket, it gets sucked into a vacuum and into the hands of Bug, who then decides to give the blanket back to Elmo. Huxley pleads to Bug, promising to give back everything he had stolen, but Bug just remarks "less talking, more giving!", and then Huxley starts berating Bug, telling him that he's fired (not that Bug cares now).

WHY DOES SESAME STREET NEED BUG?

The bad guy always needs a sidekick, especially a comical sidekick. And besides, if it weren't for Bug, Elmo wouldn't have gotten his blanket back (which we haven't seen since the movie). Bug is one of the bright spots and a great character in an otherwise lackluster movie.






The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

Jan 21, 2014

The Muppets Go to the Super Bowl!

The folks at USA Today posted a teaser trailer for a commercial today. Why do we care about such a ridiculous thing, you ask? Because the teaser trailer for the commercial in question stars the Muppets! Yup, the Muppets will star in a Super Bowl commercial for the Toyota Highlander with actor Terry Crews! Watch the teaser below:
Rowlf? Electric Mayhem bus?! Terry Crews?! I'm sold. This looks to be a fantastic commercial with a lot of potential. How awesome is it that Disney is promoting Muppets Most Wanted in such huge venues? First the Golden Globes, now the Super Bowl, the most watched television program of any year. I would bet my hat that an Oscar ad is soon to follow.

As if all that weren't enough, Disney today released an official press release and eight hi-res images from the making-of the commercial. They're awesome and you can see them all right here:

Disney’s Muppets will hit the road with Terry Crews, star of the Golden Globe®-winning FOX series ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine,’ in Toyota’s new commercial for the all-new 2014 Toyota Highlander. The 60-second spot, entitled ‘Joyride,’ will make its broadcast debut during Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday, February 2.

‘Our game-day spot shows how Toyota Highlander puts the “fun” in function,’ said Jack Hollis, vice president of Toyota Division Marketing at Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. ‘Toyota vehicles are built to last and can even endure the most boisterous Muppets, a former NFL player as well as a center console full of chickens.’

With their over-the-top personalities, the Muppets teach Crews’ character a thing or two about ‘unborifying’ his lifestyle as they ‘borrow’ his sweet ride, the Toyota Highlander. The spot features humorous hijinks, dancing and surprises — and no Muppet caper would be complete without an original song. Viewers will see that with seating for up to eight human passengers or more than a dozen Muppets, the all-new Toyota Highlander has plenty of room for everything–everything except boring.

‘We’re always game for a wild ride,’  said Kermit the Frog, who makes a special appearance in the campaign, ‘as long as Animal’s not driving. He doesn’t quite get the whole concept of brakes.’

In addition to the commercial, the Muppets gang will provide real-time updates as they travel to the big game in their Toyota Highlander on February 2. Fans and customers are invited to chat live with the Muppets on game day by tweeting @Toyota or using #NoRoomForBoring.

Super Bowl XLVIII is on Sunday, February 2nd on FOX







The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

Jan 20, 2014

The Great Muppet Survey: Reese Scott

Answers from Reese Scott

1.)   Who are your three favorite characters from The Muppet Show, Muppets Tonight, The Jim Henson Hour, the Muppet movies, etc. and why?
My favorite Muppets... that is tough, but I would say Gonzo, Animal, and Rowlf. It was so hard but Gonzo for being so weird, Animal for being so crazy, and Rowlf for being so nice and kind and all of them are funny! They describe my personality.

2.)   Who are your three favorite characters from Sesame Street and why?
My favorite Sesame Street characters... hmm, well Grover for being so cute, Cookie Monster for being so funny, and Roosevelt Franklin for being too awesome!

3.)   Who are your three favorite characters from Fraggle Rock and why?
Wembly for being funny, Gobo for being brave, and Red for being plain awesome!

4.)   What is your favorite television program starring any of Jim Henson's creations (e.g. The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, Dinosaurs, etc.) and why?
The Muppet Show, hands down!

5.)   What is your favorite Muppet movie and why?
The Muppet Movie! I love the songs and the jokes.

6.)   What is your favorite Muppet/Sesame/Fraggle song and why?
"Can You Picture That?" because it's so groovy.

7.)   If you could have dinner with any living Muppet performer who would you choose and why?
I think Frank Oz. He performed so many of my favorite characters.

8.)   If you could tell Jim Henson one thing, what would it be?
Your creations are an amazing piece of my life!

9.)   If the President called you and asked to discuss Muppet projects, what would you tell him was the "Greatest Muppet Moment of All Time"?
The Rainbow Connection!

10.)   What's the name of that song?
Ramalamadingdong

11.)   If a judge ruled that Grover had to be your personal assistant for a month, what jobs would you have him do?
Just sit with me and discuss the street.

12.)   In your opinion, what is the worst Muppet production ever made?
Well The Muppets' Wizard of Oz was pretty bad, but I love anything with Muppets.

13.)   Who is one celebrity you would love to see cameo in the next Muppet movie?
Cameron Boyce!

14.)   If you could take a picture with any Muppet, who would you choose and how would you pose?
I would be with Gonzo and lighting his canon.

15.)   What is your favorite piece of Muppet merchandise that you own? (Feel free to include a picture!)
My Rowlf puppet from Fisher Price.






The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com

Jan 18, 2014

Muppets Most Wanted Merchandise Round Up

The merchandise for Muppets Most Wanted is about to start arriving in droves, and we've got the scoop on some of the exciting products coming soon to stores. Let's take a look!

New T-Shirts (available now at the Disney Store)
Kid's Muppets World Tour shirt
Adult Muppets World Tour Shirt
Adult Animal shirt
Constantine Plush (available now at the Disney Store)
Rowlf the Dog Plush (available now at the Disney Store)
Muppets Most Wanted Figure Set with Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Animal, Walter, and Constantine (available now at the Disney Store)
Sam the Eagle POP! Vinyl Figure (coming in February)
Swedish Chef POP! Vinyl Figure (coming in February)
Muppets Most Wanted: Kermit's Double Trouble Book (available Feb. 11)
Muppets Most Wanted Read-Along Storybook and CD (available Feb. 11)
Muppets Character Encyclopedia (available Feb. 7)
Muppets Most Wanted: The Junior Novel (available Feb. 11)
Muppets Most Wanted Themed OPI Nail Polish (available March 1)


That's all we can find. If anyone has news or information about any other merchandise for Muppets Most Wanted, let us know!







The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com