When my husband and I made a quick trip to WDW in August, I realized I had no idea if there was any Muppet love in front of the awesome Grauman’s Chinese Theater replica (home to one of my favorites: Great Movie Ride! Except for that Jersey joke, of course) at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
I was happy to see there was:
Now what about that date – August 28, 1989? I never gave it much thought before. But when I looked at this picture again I deduced the date was was probably around the time they filmed MuppetVision 3D or the Muppets in Walt Disney World special.
In actuality, it was the day that Disney announced it would be acquiring Henson Associates, Inc. as well as their film and TV library. (The agreement did not include property of the Sesame Street characters.) Fans of both Disney and the Muppets could look forward to many more projects between the two including movies and even some new attractions in the theme parks. Jim would also continue to be a consultant on projects.
At that point in time, they were in the early stages of working on MuppetVision 3D.
Less than a year later, Jim Henson died. And a few months after that the deal fell through. The Henson family and Disney lawyers couldn’t find common ground.
In 2004, fourteen years after the initial “deal”, Disney and the Jim Henson company announced they would once again be joining forces, gaining ownership of the Muppets and the Bear in the Big Blue House characters.
“In the months before his death in 1990, my father Jim Henson pursued extensive discussions with The Walt Disney Company based on his strong belief that Disney would be a perfect home for the Muppets. As such, the deal we announced today is the realization of my father’s dream, and ensures that the Muppet characters will live, flourish and continue to delight audiences everywhere, forever. My brothers and sisters — Brian, Cheryl, John, Heather — and I are so proud to have the Muppets living under the same roof as Walt Disney’s own timeless characters. We could not possibly be more pleased.” – Lisa Henson
Who knew a piece of concrete could hold such a history, huh?