During an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, legendary puppeteer Frank Oz has criticised Disney for its handling of The Muppets, stating that he believes the Mouse House should have sought advice from himself and other veteran Muppet performers.
“As much as Disney loves The Muppets and wants the best for The Muppets — and they truly believe they can do it — they don’t get it,” said Oz, who was involved with The Muppets from 1963 until Disney purchased the property in 2004. “They don’t get the true rebellion and true affection underneath those characters. By the way, I don’t mean to knock Disney, they really want to do a good job. They’ve never asked me, and they have not asked the performers how to do it. If they just did that — the performers are so brilliant — instead of an outside person, let the performers lead. Then it would be a whole different deal. The audience would appreciate the purity of that.”
Despite Oz’s comments, Disney has enjoyed some success with The Muppets following the purchase from The Jim Henson Company. In 2011, the studio produced a crtically-acclaimed feature film reboot, which was followed in 2014 by the sequel Muppets Most Wanted. A prime-time TV reboot The Muppets was less well received, and was cancelled after just a single season that ran from 2015 to 2016.