1 The Muppet Mindset: February 2014

Feb 28, 2014

WATCH: "We're Doing a Sequel" Song Preview from Muppets Most Wanted

Yesterday Disney released a new Muppets Most Wanted preview video that introduced the world to "We're Doing a Sequel," the film's opening number. Obviously, the clip is packed with spoilers and contains a hefty preview of the song--although it's not the entire song. But if you don't mind being spoiled, the song is absolutely incredible. The fourth wall is completely broken down and it's the most Muppety thing I've seen in forever. Kudos to Bret McKenzie for bringing his A-game yet again.

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

Feb 27, 2014

News Update: February 27, 2014

FEBRUARY 27, 2014

The Muppets have yet another extraordinary advertising partner in their promotions for Muppets Most Wanted. Lipton Tea has partnered with the Muppets as part of their new "Be More Tea" promotion. A brand new commercial has been released starring Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and an entire metropolitan area full of Animal. Watch the truly incredible new commercial below, and be on the lookout for it to air on Sunday during the Academy Awards on ABC as well.

Plus, you can now watch a behind the scenes video about the making of the commercial! (Thanks ToughPigs!)

Speaking of the Oscars, Statler and Waldorf contributed their typically curmudgeonly reviews for the nominees for Best Picture to PAPERMAG. Read all about their choices, and try not to act surprised when they favor Nebraska, the film about an old man trying to collect a million dollars.

The internet collectively lost their minds this week over the Muppets' Instagram account, which has been active for months now. Everywhere from CNN, to Buzzfeed, to The A.V. Club went crazy for the Muppet selfies present on the account. Check out a few of the selfies below, and follow The Muppets on Instagram for more!
The other day a beautifully random video from Toyota came out of nowhere. The video features Rowlf the Dog and Rizzo the Rat in the Toyota Highlander getting ice cream. The video was directed by Muppet master Kirk Thatcher and was apparently filmed completely in "reality" style, so the human participants had no idea what was coming. Their reactions are WAY too tame. Anyway... watch the awesome, awesome video below.

The Muppets are getting a cover feature in the UK-based Starburst Magazine. The official details on what's inside are: It's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights, it's time to meet the Muppets... in the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational issue of STARBURST yet! That’s right, in honour of the iconic characters’ continued cinematic comeback with this month’s MUPPETS MOST WANTED, we turn the spotlight on Kermit and co. to explore their 40+ year career on screen. We also speak to key talent that contribute to the magic, including director JAMES BOBIN and The Jim Henson Company chairman, BRIAN HENSON. You can order the issue from the Starburst site, and it it is available at some Barnes & Noble stores in the U.S.

Walt Disney Records will be re-releasing The Muppet Movie Original Soundtrack on vinyl record this year for Record Store Day (April 19, 2014). The release features all-new liner notes from legendary songwriter Paul Williams, which is sure to be great. To search for stores in your area participating in Record Store Day, check out their official website.

The Disney Channel staple, The Movie Surfers, visited the set of of Muppets Most Wanted and chatted with Walter, wrangled some penguins, and unleashed Animal. The video is actually pretty entertaining. Watch it below...

Big Tour - Movie Surfers - Muppets Most Wanted BTS on Disney Video

Finally, in "Set your DVR" news, Gonzo will be appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC on Monday, March 3rd at 11:35pm ET. This is sure to be a crazy experience (based only on the fact that Gonzo is there), and you can't deny it's really really cool that Gonzo is getting to appear solo on a late night show.

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

Feb 26, 2014

Weekly Muppet Wednesdays: Vicki

Written by Abigail Maughan.


Performed by...
Fran Brill

First appearance...
The Jim Henson Hour Episode 101: Outer Space (1989)

Most recent appearance...
The Jim Henson Hour Episode 112: Food (1990)

Best known role...
Stage manager at Muppet Central

Vicki is a resourceful young film school student who works as the director’s assistant at Muppet Central on the 1989 TV series The Jim Henson Hour. She gives Kermit the Frog much-needed help in running the show, as well as engaging in a number of backstage shenanigans.

Throughout the course of The Jim Henson Hour, Vicki figured out how to fix the defective Digit, made Kermit feel old, monitored the show’s ratings, sang a few lines of “La Bamba,” got annoyed by Bean Bunny, found the missing Dog City film reel, threw a book at Link Hogthrob, sang and danced with guest star Smokey Robinson, and attempted to do Kermit’s job when he went on vacation, among other things.

Sadly, Vicki disappeared forever after the show and is no longer used in current productions, along with the majority of her Jim Henson Hour costars. However, the puppet for Vicki was recycled in two "Muppet Time" segments in 1994, as a character named Scary Mary.

It’s always exciting when new female Muppet characters emerge, and Vicki had the potential to really shine, had the show been more successful. She fills an important Scooter-esque role without being a female carbon copy of Scooter. The two would actually make a very efficient team. Vicki is reliable, intelligent, pleasant, and most importantly, funny. Given all those factors, Vicki could very well fit in with the Muppets today.

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

Feb 25, 2014

The Great Muppet Survey - Casey Daron

Answers from Casey Daron

1.   Who are your three favorite characters from The Muppet Show, Muppets Tonight, The Jim Henson Hour, the Muppet movies, etc. and why? 
Kermit, because he’s the glue that holds all the Muppets together, and just plain awesome! Gonzo, because his craziness relates to me. He is always doing something outside of the norm, and I feel like I do the same. Lastly, Sweetums, because he is this big ferocious looking monster, but on the inside he is just a big loveable lump of fur. And not to mention all of his great moments with Robin. (We need more of those, Disney!)

2.   Who are your three favorite characters from Sesame Street and why?
Ernie, because he is a load of fun, always trying to get Bert to have fun. "Rubber Duckie" is one of my favorite Sesame Street songs, and it shows how Jim had a great singing voice. Grover, because he seems like he would be fun to spend an afternoon with. He’s always doing something crazy, and he would make any day great! Finally, Big Bird because he is wise beyond his years. I mean, he’s only six, and deals with problems adults struggle with!

3.   Who are your three favorite characters from Fraggle Rock and why?
Wembley, because he is funny and reminds me of myself, always indecisive. Cantus, because I feel he is one of Jim’s better characters. Cantus is almost like the Fraggle form of Jim, always wise and knowing what to do. I also love Boober, a great Dave Goelz character. Boober balanced the happiness levels of the show. He is such a worry-wart, being scared of the silliest things!

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?
Although I REALLY love The Muppet Show, I’m going to have to go with Dinosaurs on this one. I love how it is a metaphor for the current society and all of their wrong doings. It tackled some pretty edgy subjects for being a family show. And also, who doesn’t love Baby?

5.   What is your favorite Muppet movie and why?
My favorite has to be The Muppet Movie. It’s how the Muppets came to be. I also see it as a time when The Muppets were becoming true superstars, and Jim’s hard work had paid off. It really set the stage for future Muppet productions. The soundtrack is brilliant from start to finish. Some of my favorite Muppet songs are featured in the movie.

6.   What is your favorite Muppet/Sesame/Fraggle song and why? 
Like pretty much everyone on here, my favorite is “The Rainbow Connection.” It is a lovely tribute to Jim, and Kermit’s theme song. It is such a great ballad, and can make any glum day bright.

7.   If you could have dinner with any living Muppet performer who would you choose and why?
Hmmm… this is tough. I think I’d have to choose Bill Barretta. I’d really like to talk to him about his work on Dinosaurs. He has some truly memorable characters like Pepe, and took on the role of many of Jim’s characters. I would want to know how it feels to play such great characters, and how it felt to be in Jim’s shoes.

8.   If you could tell Jim Henson one thing, what would it be?
I’d want to let him know how appreciative I am of his work, and how he inspired millions of people worldwide with his work. I’d like to tell him how he inspired me to be a puppeteer, and to strive for your dreams, no matter how crazy they seem.

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"?
Probably when Walter passes out when he meets Kermit for the first time. I think that pretty much sums up how every Muppet fan would be in that circumstance.

10.   What's the name of that song?
Tom Sawyer? The Trooper? Ohh… that song! Yeah, I dunno.

11.   If a judge ruled that Grover had to be your personal assistant for a month, what jobs would you have him do?
I ask him to be in a band with me, see what happens. Hopefully he wouldn’t get into too much trouble… guitars are expensive!

12.   In your opinion, what is the worst Muppet production ever made?
I like all of the Muppet productions. None of them are BAD per say, but the one I watch least is probably The Muppet Christmas Carol. I’m not sure, I just think it has to do with the fact that it doesn’t feature enough Muppets in it. I think J.P. Grosse should have played a good Scrooge. It truly is a beautiful story though.

13.   Who is one celebrity you would love to see cameo in the next Muppet movie?
Probably Jimmy Fallon. I mean, look at him! He’s a HUGE Muppet fan! I’m surprised he hasn’t been in anything yet!

14.   If you could take a picture with any Muppet, who would you choose and how would you pose?
I think I’d like to have my picture taken with Walter. We would both be having fan-attacks and be freaking out.

15.   What is your favorite piece of Muppet merchandise that you own? (Feel free to include a picture!)
I’m going to have to give my THREE favorite Muppet items. One, my Master Replicas Kermit, Two, my Master Replicas Gonzo, and Three, my Of Muppets And Men book. That thing is SUPER rare!

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

Feb 24, 2014

The Great Muppet Sketch-a-Thon, Part 2

Kevin Arsenault returns with ten more extraordinarily Muppetational drawings as part of his "Great Muppet Sketch-a-Thon"! Check out the first ten from last week and then check out Kevin's Tumblr page for more of his incredible work.
 Day 11 - Marvin Suggs and His Muppaphone
 Day 12 - Dr. Julius Strangepork
 Day 13 - Java
 Day 14 - Johnny Fiama and Sal Minella
 Day 15 - Beauregard
 Day 16 - Pepe the King Prawn
 Day 17 - Lips
 Day 18 - Koozebanians
 Day 19 - Wayne and Wanda
Day 20 - Skeeter

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

Feb 23, 2014

Muppets Most Wanted TV Spots Breakdown, Part 2

Ryan Dosier - We're back with coverage of the two remaining Muppets Most Wanted TV Spots that our breakdown yesterday didn't get to. Here we go!

Shots from "Two Women" TV Spot
Poor Kermit has rarely looked this sad. I would be too if I was getting arrested again!
And Tina Fey has never looked so crazy.
If you look closely, you can see Annie Sue again in the back by Scooter and Sweetums.
You can almost hear Constantine saying, "What is up girl? You are the only one for mean."
This is amazing and so funny. I love, love that Nadya is in love with and obsessed with Kermit. Makes me very happy.
Hey! How did Nadya get into my room?!

Shots from "Right Now" TV Spot
Can I just acknowledge how insane this movie is going to be? It's so beautifully weird.
Honestly if you told me this shot was from 1979, I wouldn't bat an eyelash.
 Turns out Dominic is an accomplished ice skater!
Gratuitous Muppet Show arches shot. Hi, Wanda!
Again... how is this not just a deleted scene from The Muppet Show?
When I saw this I literally yelped.
Oh, look, Beaker learned to translate his thoughts to subtitles!
My thoughts exactly, seemingly random Twitter user.
I like to pretend that the words from the Twitter people at the bottom are what Ty Burrell is saying.
I'm wondering if this is real too, Twitter friend. In this shot alone we see Link Hogthrob, Wanda, and Beauregard. In 2014. How can it be real?!
Yes, Fozzie, you'll always be real to me.

Shots from "Winter Games" TV Spot
This is crazy. This is the amount of extras and production value the culled together for the Tower of London scenes. Incredible!!
"Thanks for not shooting me!"
"No problem, Keer-mit!" Oh my gosh, I love Stanley Tucci.

And there ya go! Hope this tides you over until the next time we have six new TV spots...

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