Frank Oz Says Disney Doesn't Want Him to Perform The Muppets Anymore

It is difficult to put into words how amazing Frank Oz's career. He is a highly successful film director, with films like The Dark Crystal, Little Shop of Horrors and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. That would be enough for some. He also acts. Oz, like many successful film directors, is also a puppeteer. He has worked with George Lucas and Jim Henson on The Muppets, and Sesame Street since their infancy. Oz is a man of extraordinary talent and experience. However, not everyone wants the opportunity to work with Oz.

Oz, in a fascinating interview with Guardian, admits that he didn't choose to work with The Muppets after 2007. Oz stated that he would love to return to the Muppets, but Disney won't allow him and Sesame Street haven't asked him for 10 years. They don't want me because they wont let me follow their orders and I won't do the Muppets that they believe in.

Oz was close to Jim Henson and died in 1990. He believes that negotiations to sell the Muppets were a key factor in his death. Jim was probably killed by the Disney deal. Oz stated that it made him sick. Michael Eisner, then Disney CEO, was trying to get Sesame Street too. Jim refused. Jim was not a dealer; he was an artist and it was ruining him.

Although the deal did not happen, Disney ended up buying the Muppets several years later than Hensons. Oz quickly noticed a shift in Henson's content to more family-friendly, subversive content than Disney. Oz stated that there was a line drawn between the Jim Henson Muppets (and the Disney Muppets). Corporate America is unable to see the value of what they have bought. They didn't understand that it wasn't just about the puppets. It was about the performers, who have been working together for many years.

Over the years, Oz has collaborated with Disney: he brought back Yoda in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, acted as a voice for Pixars inside Out, and directed Hulu's special Derek DelGaudios Within & of Itself. Oz cannot watch Sesame Street and The Muppets anymore. They are missing the souls. The soul is what makes things flourish and make them funny. He said that he loved them and misses them.

You can read more about Oz in his Guardian profile.

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