The Morning Watch - How The Incredibles Should Have Ended

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, find out how Pixar’s The Incredibles should have ended. Plus, take a tour of the new Jim Henson exhibition on display at the Museum of the Moving Image and watch a video essay looking closely at how David Fincher uses music in his films. Read More »

Morning Watch - Groundhog Day

(The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.)

In this edition, learn about the one bad thing that came from the making of Groundhog Day. Plus, watch as Jim Carrey gets a little existential during a New York Fashion Week red carpet interview gone astray and see The Muppets perform “Rainbow Connection” live at The Hollywood Bowl. Read More »

new kermit voice

(Welcome to The Disney Discourse, a recurring feature where Josh Spiegel discusses the latest in Disney news. He goes deep on everything from the animated classics to the theme parks to live-action franchises. In this edition: why does Disney not know what to do with the Muppets?)

Earlier this week, a much-ballyhooed change to one of the most enduring characters in modern popular culture was unveiled, but you’d be forgiven for not noticing.

In their newest entry of the weekly series entitled “Muppet Thought of the Week,” the Muppets’ YouTube channel displayed a brand new Kermit the Frog. Kermit, of course, still looks the same, but if you watch the video and think he sounds a bit different – you’re right! The character, created and performed by Muppet honcho Jim Henson until his untimely passing in 1990, had been voiced and performed by Steve Whitmire for over 25 years. As of now, another longtime Muppet performer, Matt Vogel, portrays Kermit.

Earlier in the summer, this unexpected and abrupt passing of the torch was detailed at length online because of the mysterious nature of why Whitmire had been fired from the Jim Henson Company after performing as Kermit in multiple films, TV shows, and specials. (/Film wrote about some of these details last month, if you want further context.) It’s unfortunate, at best, to see the seeming in-fighting between Whitmire and the Jim Henson Company become so public. However, the unveiling of the new Kermit raises another, larger frustration. It would be easy to criticize Vogel’s performance as Kermit in that new video — he predictably doesn’t sound like the Kermit portrayed by either Henson or Whitmire, so it will at least take some getting used to — but it’s kind of hard to muster up a lot of commentary about a video that is literally less than 30 seconds long. This, in effect, speaks to the real problem: the Walt Disney Company has owned the Muppets for nearly 15 years, and this is how they decide to introduce a new Kermit the Frog? This is how they handle the Muppets?

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Listen to the New Voice of Kermit the Frog

new voice of kermit the frog

A month after longtime Kermit performer Steve Whitmire was fired by Disney, the new voice of Kermit the Frog has debuted in an online clip.

Matt Vogel just made his first public debut as the voice of Kermit, a role that has long been held by Whitmire since Jim Henson passed away in 1990, in a brief YouTube clip for the “Muppet Thought of the Week.”

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Jim Henson and Kermit

Jim Henson fans in New York City, take note. Your next journey should be to the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens.

/Film was able to catch a sneak preview of The Jim Henson Exhibition, a new permanent exhibition devoted to the life and work of the most famous puppeteer that has ever lived. While the museum has featured muppets and art from Henson before, this time it’s going to stay there forever, a fitting tribute to a man who continues to touch people’s lives.

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kermit the frog actor

Steve Whitmire has played Kermit the Frog for 27 years, taking over from beloved puppeteer and creator Jim Henson after his death in 1990. But after nearly three decades of playing the beloved Muppet, Whitmire was suddenly dismissed by Disney, and the job of being green would go to pupeteer Matt Vogel.

Now, Whitmire is speaking up about his unceremonious firing, which he says was because he spoke up about changes to the character that he felt were against Henson’s wishes. Disney and the Muppets Studio have different reasons, however.

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Steve Whitmire

Earlier this week, we told you that Steve Whitmire, the performer who has been playing Kermit The Frog since Jim Henson’s death in 1990, was leaving The Muppets and that Muppeteer Matt Vogel would be taking on the iconic role. Since the report, we’ve heard a lot of rumors, most of them suggesting that Whitmire was let go by Muppet Studio months ago in quick order. Now for the first time in the nine months since being let go from the prestigious gig, Whitmire is finally ready to talk about the decision. Read Steve’s heartbreaking personal blog about the departure.

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Steve Whitmire

Steve Whitmire, the performer who has been playing Kermit The Frog since 1990, is leaving The Muppets. Whitmore started with the Henson Company in 1978 on The Muppet Show. After the death of Jim Henson, he inherited the roles of Kermit the Frog and Ernie. For the last 27 years, Whitmore has been the performer and voice behind the iconic character, but he is leaving The Muppets. Find out more, after the jump.

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Jim Henson Museum Exhibition

The Muppets have been a beloved part of pop culture since Jim Henson created the characters back in 1955. Since then, they’ve spanned every kind of media you can think of, from movies to TV to video games and more. However, some of Jim Henson’s creations need a permanent home where fans can see these characters from decades past in all their glory, and the Museum of the Moving Image in New York is hoping to provide that. But they need your help.

The Museum of the Moving Image in New York has launched a Kickstarter for fans to help them complete a permanent exhibition dedicated to the work of puppeteer and filmmaker Jim Henson. The exhibition will include Muppet favorites such as Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Elmo, Cookie Monster, the Fraggles and much more. Find out more about the Jim Henson museum exhibition and where you can contribute below. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

the muppets

ABC’s The Muppets television show revival was short-lived. While the series got favorable reviews, there was a sizable backlash from parents who didn’t think the adult-skewing humor was suitable for family viewing. After six episodes the network replaced showrunner Bob Kushell with Kristen Newman as part of their plans to creatively overhaul the series, but it was too little too late, and the ratings lead to the show being canceled at the conclusion of its debut season.

Frank Oz, who helped create and perform the Muppet characters of Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Sam Eagle and more, has now chimed in to explain why he believed The Muppets failed. Hit the jump to read his comments.
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