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Thursday, January 03, 2019

What Could the Muppets Big Surprise Be? by Michael Wermuth, Jr.

Kermit chats to KCAL9
Recently, Kermit the Frog said in an interview that the Muppets have a big surprise in store for 2019. We don’t know what it is yet, but it seems exciting. But what could it be? I’ve been thinking about what all it could be, why I think it couldn’t be certain things, and some really out there possibilities that it’s probably not. 

A New Series 
Considering The Muppets 2015-2016 series was recently canceled, I’d be really surprised if it was a new television series. However, I feel like, if it was a series, it’d have to be a television series to be a real surprise. I’ve seen talk of a potential Muppet series coming to the new Disney streaming site, but I’m honestly not sure if that’s been officially announced, hinted at by those who would know, or just rumored. I don’t think a new web series would be that big a deal, either (unless it’s the remaining unreleased Pigs in Space shorts). 

A New Movie 
This would be a real surprise at the moment. After Muppets Most Wanted underperformed at the box office, it seemed we’d be waiting a while for a new Muppet film (though I’ve seen interviews from people at Disney who refered to the movie’s box office as “fair”, not an exact flop), but I think enough time has passed. 

And to think, if it is a new movie, then Matt Vogel’s career as Kermit would parallel Steve Whitmire’s, since Whitmire’s first movie as Kermit came two years after getting the role, and Vogel’s first film as Kermit could be close to that. 

More Theme Park Presence 
Maybe the Muppets will have a bigger presence at Walt Disney World or Disneyland (or one of the international parks). Maybe Muppet Courtyard will be expanded. Maybe there’ll be a new attraction. Maybe there’ll be a new 3D film. 

A New Live Stage Show
If this “big announcement” came in 2016 or 2017, then a new live stage show would be a big surprise. But we’ve had two major live stage shows with the Muppets in the last two years (and a few similar live performances), so it won’t be that big a deal. 

It wouldn’t be that big a deal, that is, unless it was a live tour, bringing the Muppets to several parts of the United States to do the live show, with maybe some differences here and there. 

The Long-Awaited Release of The Muppet Show: Season Four on DVD (or other formats) 
Fans have been waiting since 2008 for season four to come to DVD, it was announced in 2009 for a 2010 release and it continues to be unavailable. While the hardcore fans (those reading websites like ToughPigs, The Muppet Mindset, Muppet Central, and this blog, those who edit Muppet Wiki, those who are tired of “Rainbow Connection”) would likely see an official video release of any pre-2004 (and maybe some post-2004) productions that Disney hasn’t put out on DVD, season four of The Muppet Show (and maybe the 2015 series) is perhaps the one thing that would feel like really big news to the casual fans out there, something that would warrant having Kermit the Frog announce. 

Convention Appearances by Muppet Performers
In the past year, both Steve Whitmire and Caroll Spinney have been making public appearances at conventions (in fact I got to meet Whitmire recently at Louisville Supercon), but wouldn’t it be an awesome surprise if Disney had some of its current core Muppet performers appearing at conventions to meet fans? 

And there’s a number of great things I have thought about that I really seriously doubt it will be, but then again, since I honestly don’t expect any of these, that would make it a BIG surprise: 

Frank Oz returning to perform in an upcoming Muppet production

Steve Whitmire coming back to perform the Muppets 

The long-awaited second Muppetfest  

Disney buying Sesame Street and/or The Jim Henson Company (but I would expect that kind of news to be public by now) 

But whatever the big news is, it’ll surely be great news. Then again, if the news isn’t all that great, then it will be a big surprise.

Michael Wermuth, Jr.

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