Thursday, August 11, 2005

"The Muppet Show - Season One" Edits

As many of you may know all ready, there were some unfortunate cuts in "The Muppet Show - Season One" DVD. Due to legal reasons some content was unable to be included on the DVDs. All the music cuts were made due to legal issues. Disney tried as hard as they could to secure all the rights needed (and they are continuing too work to get the rights for the other seasons), but they were unable to get a few - either they were not for sale, or where just too much for the producers to justify. It is a shame that a few episodes are not completely intact as they were presented almost 30 years ago - but this still is the best release of these episodes we've ever seen.

We all hope that the future seasons sets are uncut (Disney included), but if the next four season sets are as good as this one I'll still be happy (its better than any release available before; and is probably the best release of the Season 1 episodes we'll get). Disney did their best to get us the best collection possible. Don't get hung up on the 10 minuets that Disney can't sell you - instead try to enjoy the 610+ minuets that they have restored and remastered on a great DVD set. The set is sure to be one of your prized Muppet purchases. At least, until the Season 2 set arrives.

Joel Grey
- "Stormy Weather" sung by Wayne and Wanda
- 2 Muppet Newsflash bits

Jim Nabors
- "Gone With The Wind" sung by Jim Nabors
- "The Danceros" sung by The Danceros

Paul Williams
- "All Of Me" sung by Two Monsters

Charles Aznavour
- "Old Fashioned Way" sung by Charles Aznavour with Mildred

Vincent Price
- "You’ve Got A Friend" sung by Vincent Price and Uncle Deadly

Pitch Reel
- Kermit's closing line, "What the hell was that?"


Anonymous said...

They still could have left the Danceros backstage bit in and it would have worked without seeing the act.

I don't believe the CBS logo bit...i strongly suspect that's a convenient spin-based coverup... not only is CBS mentioned prominently but the CBS logo is NOT the real one...its a parody with Kermit's pupil in the middle...because his would have been under the providence of parody, there would have been no legal issues. Anyone saying that this was the reason is just trying to do damage control, pure and simple.

As powerful as Disney lawyers are reputed to be, they dropped the ball in regards to the cuts...not only can the arguement be made that the rights were already given and implied for their use in the original episodes, but a PRECIDENT already exists for being able to release them without the cuts: to wit ... the Time Life release of Vincent Price episode. Bad Disney lawyers, no veal dinner.

Make no mistake...i love the dvds and i don't encourage boycotting them as others have suggested (though i STRONGLY endorse fans voicing their displeasure to Disney ... politely, but firmly...en masse!) but all in all the Disney spin machine is working overtime to compensate for the weaknesses.
Any word on why the world premiere interstitials were dropped? I can't imagine they would have taken up much space?


Dale C. said...

A few things on the whole issue.

I don't know the real reason behind the Kermit cut in the pitch reel. If it is the CBS logo, it is a shame that they didn't use a little money to just wash out the logo behind him. I don't know the laws on parody (and until recently did not know it was even a parody logo), but just because they say "CBS" does not mean they can use the logo, they are diffrent. If it is Disney censorship, I'm a little upset and I hope they don't end up censoring other classic Muppet moments in the future.

Also I would like to point out that Time Life got legal clearances over 4-years ago for their DVD collections. Since then ownership could have changed hands or the owners could have just been harsher this time around. Each time they go to release the episodes they need to get the clearances, and each time the owners could ask for more (or even say no). Maybe if the budget for this project was bigger we would be able to get all the musical numbers, but we got what we got.

I love these DVDs a lot. I can't wait for season 2 (I hope as much care goes into it).

PS - I already wrote a letter about the cuts and I hope Disney listens to the fans and learns from this.

Anonymous said...

I heard somewhere that "the world premiere interstitials" was "insider lingo" for the all-new Statler and Waldorf bumpers recorded for the menus. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I heard that floating around the web in a few places. If not, what in the world were they supposed to be?

Lis Riba said...

I'm confused.
I'm certain Vincent Price's "You've Got A Friend" was on the TimeLife videos of the episodes, and I think I remember "All of me" from those as well.

BTW, has anybody else noticed any sound distortion on some of the eps? Just some segments where there seems to be a dissonant sound (like somebody blowing across a jug) in the credits and ballroom dance numbers.
I haven't yet fully tested whether the problem's with my speakers or TV or DVD player, but I figure this is as good a place as any to check whether anybody else has noticed something similar...

Scott said...

It looks like the CBS logo to me.


Chad Kerychuk said...

Extremely disappointed. Any cuts are unjustifiable. Had Universal done that with the Season One 'Miami Vice' DVDs they would have been drawn and quarted. Production quality aside, they at least got that right.

Not having the Vincent Price bit along is enough to sadden me.

Agreed with the Time-Life bits. If they could do, certainly the Disney Juggernaut could have done as well.

I suspect, (but don't endorse of course) that there will be 'Phantom Edits' of the Muppet Shows on DVD. Combining all of the missing elements into a comprehensive package.

Anonymous said...

The cuts themselves don't bother me as much as how we found out about them. Disney did not try as hard as it could to secure the rights to those segments (we're talking about a company that regularly has copyright law rewritten to suit its own needs here), and should never have used the phrase "complete restored" if they couldn't get every last frame of the first season.

I feel deceived and expect Disney to correct this regardless of the cost.

The Author said...

People...this is a company...not god. Give them a little break, geez.

DrummerDave said...

On the Charles Aznevour ep, the first time you see him, he's saying he gets so hungry during a show. Since his first number is cut out, it makes you say "You haven't DONE anything yet, ya yutz!"

Fortunately, I have the episode on tape...

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