Friday, July 29, 2005

Muppet DVD Update has uncovered that the upcoming Special Editions of "The Muppet Movie", "The Great Muppet Caper", "The Muppet Christmas Carol", and "Muppet Treasure Island" are planned for release in November. The DVDs are planned to be beatiful rereleases of the classic films with a great collection of bonus features and more! I'll get you more details on these DVDs as they surface.

I was also told the "Jim Henson Retrospective" originally created and planned for release on "The Muppet Show Season 1" DVD was taken off the season 1 box set due to budget and space limitations (similar to what happened with the "Valentine Show" pilot). However I was informed that it is being held onto for one of the other upcoming Muppet DVDs (I don't know if it will be another season set of TMS or possibly "The Muppet Movie" DVD due out in November – but it should be released sometime soon).

And rememeber to pick up your copy of "The Muppet Show Season 1" and "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz" on DVD on August 9th.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Four Special Edition DVDs Coming From Disney

A sneak peek on a Disney insider catalog reveals some other quite exciting news. Disney plans to rerelease four of the Muppets' most popular films in Special Edition DVDs over the coming year. "The Muppet Movie", "The Great Muppet Caper", "The Muppet Christmas Carol", and "Muppet Treasure Island" are all planed for all new releases in the coming calendar year. The insider promo provides neither release dates nor information on bonus features, but ensures the films will be "completely restored and remastered." One also could assume from the widescreen shots shown that the films will be presented in their original theatrical aspect ratios (unlike when Disney released "Christmas Carol" and "Treasure Island" to DVD in 2002). Unfortunately the rights to the other two theatrical films, "The Muppets Take Manhattan" and "Muppets From Space", are tied up with Sony at this time and Disney does not have full rights to release those films at this time. Disney also has stated that they plan to continue releasing more of the season box sets of the Muppet Show on DVD in the coming year. Disney also hopes to explore and release other pieces of the Muppet film/special/television library on DVD in the near future as well. I'll have more details for you as soon as they surface.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Henson Fantasy World Mangas in the Works

The Jim Henson Company has partnered with TOKYOPOP Inc., the #1 publisher of manga (Japanese style comics) in the United States. The deal will produce an all-new original graphic novel series for the immensely popular properties "The Dark Crystal", "Labyrinth", and the upcoming "MirrorMask".

TOKYOPOP plans on releasing a sequel manga to "Labyrinth". The story will follow 13-year-old Toby as he journeys back to the Labyrinth to assume his role as the heir to the Goblin Kingdom. The next manga project will be a prequel to "The Dark Crystal”. This manga will follow the events that took place before the film. The Jim Henson Company recently announced that they are in preproduction on a "Dark Crystal" theatrical film sequel and an animated television series too.

Henson and TOKYOPOP plan on releasing a "MirrorMask" prequel manga as well. The “MirrorMask” film is planned for release on September 30, 2005. In the manga prequel readers will learn the story of the princess' escape from the Dark Palace and how she came to acquire the MirrorMask.

All three manga series are planned to hit stores in late 2006. I'll keep you posted as I hear more on these graphic novels, and as I learn of other Henson fantasy world projects.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

More Dark Crystal

Remember back in May when The Jim Henson Company announced that they will be producing a sequel to The Dark Crystal? (click here to refresh your memory). Well, at their 50th anniversary panel at Comic-Con, the Company announced that a prequel is in the works as well! The Jim Henson Company announced that they are planning a 2-D anime-style series that will be a prequel to "The Dark Crystal". The series will show life before the crystal cracked, what happened when it did crak, how the Gelfling race was eliminated, and a lot more of the Dark Crystal. The show will premiere on Cartoon Network's "Toonami" programming block, although a date hasn't been specified yet. I will keep you posted as more information surfaced about the animated show (and the upcoming film too).

Thursday, July 14, 2005

What's next for the Muppets?

Chris Curtin, the head of the Muppets Holding Company at Disney, gave a presentation at the National Fantasy Fan Club convention about the future of the Muppets. Chris shared a lot of great information on what’s next for the Muppets. Here are just some upcoming events fans can look forward to.

  • "The Muppet Show: Season One" DVD box set will hit stores in August, and other four seasons are planned to follow.
  • "The Muppets Wizard of Oz" will be released on DVD and VHS in August.
  • The Muppets are working on a six-episode "reality" series titled "America's Next Muppet".
  • A brand new Muppet holiday special is planned to air on TV in December.
  • Disney has plans to release an all new Muppet Christmas album later this year.
  • Next year there will be a TV special in honor of Kermit's 50th anniversary in show business, with Miss Piggy hosting a celebrity roast for the frog.
  • The Muppets will make occasional celebrity appearances on Disney Cruise ships.
  • The Muppets will be involved in the Super Bowl promotion in January.
  • The Muppets are in talks with officials in Orlando to bring the Muppets into the Disney theme parks with an all new live show.
  • New feature films, TV-specials, TV shows, DVD and CD releases (and re-releases) are also in consideration by Disney.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas Collector's Edition DVD

The classic Jim Henson film "Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas" will be released in a special edition DVD just in time for Christmas. This very special DVD release will hit stores on October 4, 2005.

The new DVD will be loaded with never-before-seen footage that Emmet fans will enjoy, including bloopers, deleted scenes, and a behind-the-scenes documentary.

The DVD will include a lost song from the film. This song has never been released before and comes complete with an introduction from Paul Williams (song writter). The DVD will also hold in-depth interviews with Paul Williams, Jerry Nelson, Cheryl Henson, Marilyn Sokol, Rollin Krewson, Caroly Wilcox and Michael K. Frith.

HIT Entertainment is working to create a great DVD for the fans of the touching special. However, as I reported earlier, due to Disney's ownership of Kermit the Frog, HIT has decided to release the special with the short Kermit scenes at the beginning and end of the special edited out. It may not be completly uncut, but the great collection of new content for fans should make up for it. With a suggested retail price of $11.99 (or less), it is a great DVD to pick up, enjoy and share all holiday season. So be sure to mark your calendars to pick up "Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas: Collector's Edition DVD" when it hits stores in October.

Special thanks to Phillip Chapman of Muppet Central for his research and reporting on this product.

Friday, July 01, 2005

Muppet Menus

Some screen captures of the menus for the upcoming "Muppet Show - Season 1" DVD box set have surfaced. The set's menus feature a retro colored block theme featuing classic still images of Muppets mixed with all new live action Muppets who will pop-up and entertain viewers. Posted below are three great shots of some of the menus found on the huge 4-disc DVD set.

Statler and Waldorf pop-up on the main menu of disc 1 to make remaks about the show and the DVD.

Here is a shot of the main menu of disc 2.

One of the many sub-menus, this one is one of a "Muppet Morsel" set-up screen.