Definitely - maybe have Steve Martin and perhaps Martin Short voicing Knox and Fox respectively in the latter segment?
If we're going to have the Reverend Horton Heat take some part in a Horton the Elephant story, albeit not the more famous one, then casting two of the greatest comedians in history in opposite roles like that is just as brilliant.

Hey! Why not make that anthology the pilot to an earlier version of this show?
I mean, if you don't want to, that's okay.
 
Hey! Why not make that anthology the pilot to an earlier version of this show?
I mean, if you don't want to, that's okay.
I can see that. it probably wouldn't be Muppet-based (as we've established - it'd probably be digitally animated) and also be similar to OTL's first season in that it's a more explicitly family-oriented anthology. I can see the Horton stories, for example, being an affectionate spoof of 1950s sitcoms, for instance (albeit with a jungle setting) - Horton attempting to raise his son Morton the Elephant-Bird alongside the other "parent" Mayzie, while dealing with his friends and neighbors like Jane the Sour Kangaroo (voiced by Carol Burnett, who voiced the Kangaroo in OTL's Horton film). Or the Grinch tales being something like family-oriented horror.

Heck, in between segments they can include fake ads as a nod to Dr. Seuss' work in advertising.
 
I can see that. it probably wouldn't be Muppet-based (as we've established - it'd probably be digitally animated) and also be similar to OTL's first season in that it's a more explicitly family-oriented anthology. I can see the Horton stories, for example, being an affectionate spoof of 1950s sitcoms, for instance (albeit with a jungle setting) - Horton attempting to raise his son Morton the Elephant-Bird alongside the other "parent" Mayzie, while dealing with his friends and neighbors like Jane the Sour Kangaroo (voiced by Carol Burnett, who voiced the Kangaroo in OTL's Horton film). Or the Grinch tales being something like family-oriented horror.

Heck, in between segments they can include fake ads as a nod to Dr. Seuss' work in advertising.
And now I'm sad because this is what we didn't get IOTL. Seriously, you should open up a PM with @Geekhis Khan and talk to him about the ideas we cooked up on this. Maybe he'll steal it.
 
I don't know about this. After all, what we know about Gollum and what we know about Kermit are two very different things.

Now, using Gonzo as a stand-in, on the other hand. That is something I can comprehend.
I was sharing it because it is related to this and funny. Nothing really to do with LOTR.
 
Well, I do find it funny. I was just looking at it from a "what if" scenario where the Kermit model was upscaled to fit the actual CGI in the film. Hence, the downside of a Kermit Cut for LOTR.
I see the more likely thing being erasing the puppeteer like in Muppet’s Most Wanted.

 
Henson Bio: A Storm Brewing
Chapter 17: Renaissance Man (Cont’d)
Excerpt from Jim Henson: Storyteller, an authorized biography by Jay O’Brian


As 1991 progressed, Jim was at the center of a whirling storm. This was hardly a new place for him. He’d always been the “calm eye at the center of a creative storm,” but this time the storm was fiscal and political in nature. By any artistic metric 1989-1990 had been a triumph. The “5 M’s” of Musicana, Maus, Mort, Misery, and Mo Better Blues has all been huge successes on the artistic front, and Mort and Misery had been major financial successes as well, though Mort had arguably underperformed compared to other Disney animated films of the era. And yet to hear the board say it, the whole thing had been a disaster. The money from The Song of Susan and Maus going to charity combined with the number of resources devoted to “artsy” productions with little commercial potential was infuriating many of them.

And then came Toys. When it was finally released for the Summer of 1991, the reviews were generally positive. The sets were considered spectacular and would win the Oscar for Best Set Design and the film would be nominated for Best Costumes. The script received mixed reactions, though the dialog was praised. But many found the production “moralistic” and “overly sentimental”. Coming on the heels of the post-Desert Sword elation, the anti-war message clashed with the patriotic zeitgeist. The negative buzz and talk of impending disaster soured the well with audiences, leading to a self-fulfilling prophesy of failure. The US box office would be a mere $24 million, though it would be a big success overseas, netting a $68 million total against its ultimate $62 million budget, a serious net loss when marketing and distribution were considered. It performed very well in the European and Japanese[1] markets in particular and saw great sales in the growing South Korean and Chinese markets. The French and Italians loved it, making it a number-one blockbuster success in those markets. Ultimately, VHS and VCD sales would be brisk and the film has gained a greater appreciation in hindsight, becoming first a cult classic and then a “forgotten gem”.

Still, in America in the early 1990s it was “Henson’s Folly”, a spectacular bomb that scuffed the shine off of the Jim Henson name at a time when his reputation with the Disney shareholders was already strained. It also deeply undermined his confidence and left him personally hurt, with his family flocking to protect him from the pain of the infamous flop. His continuing standing with the Board of Directors might just come down to how Aladdin performed, and Jim knew that they were taking serious risks on that film, another passion project, this time for Howard Ashman. It was going to be the first fully digitally inked and painted animation, made entirely using the DATA digital ink and paint system and DIS computers in addition to the fully computer rendered parts, like the flying carpet ride. It was also shaping up to be a lot more self-aware than the typical Disney animated feature, full of pop cultural references thanks to Williams’s manic improvisational ad libs.

And it was a second “Middle Eastern” animated movie after 1987’s The Thief and the Cobbler, which despite its breathtaking animation, had performed poorly at the box office. Of course, as Jim saw it being set in the same place shouldn’t matter. Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty were all set vaguely in “Medieval Europe”, after all. And Roy figured that since there’d be 5 years between the films’ release dates that this wouldn’t matter. However, others at the studio were concerned that the American people would connect this film to the underperforming Richard Williams animation. Then there was the unfortunate fact that Americans had recently fought a war in the Middle East and might connect the film’s Arab protagonists to their recent enemies in Iraq, though moves to change the name of the city of Baghdad to “something vaguely Middle-Eastern” were rejected. Following Toys, some at the studios were worried that Aladdin too would be another Henson “smart bomb” and, Jim admitted, they could very well be right.

The flop of Toys, paired with the “mistake” of The Song of Susan and the resources “wasted” on “vanity projects” like Musicana and Sand, was putting Henson in deep water. Had they forgotten the smash success of Spider-Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the Back to the Future sequels? More importantly, had they forgotten their own humanity?

Universal Studios Florida was also haunting him. He’d chosen to keep supporting the Entertainment Pavilion at EPCOT rather than support Frank’s idea for an MGM Studios third gate at WDW. With so many resources going into Valencia and Port Disney it seemed a bridge too far at the time. Now Disney was playing catchup. And while Jim was hardly alone in making the decision, he was becoming a convenient scapegoat for the board, the “hippie dreamer” who didn’t care about profit.

While there was some ring of truth to that accusation, Jim’s time on the board had indeed begun to affect him in ways only apparent in hindsight. His earlier “unprofessional demeanor” on the board, leaning way back in his chair and not really putting much effort into following Robert’s Rules of Order, which had grated on some of the more conservative members, had tapered off into a more genteel and “business casual” synthesis that let him be effective on the board while also maintaining the easy-going nonconfrontational nature that kept egos in check and business moving smoothly. Jim still had Ron, Frank, Roy, and even Dick in his corner, but the outside board members like Al Checchi, Charles Cobb, and Peter Dailey were losing patience with the underperforming and often volatile stock prices, as were some associate directors like Apple’s John Sculley, though the “creative” associate directors Steve Spielberg and George Lucas stood by him. Most alarmingly, Dianne Disney Miller, who represented the Walt Disney family interests, was increasingly on the fence. And some of the external shareholders were openly angling for a “firmer hand on the tiller”.

His current saving grace had been the successes. Spider-Man had been a breakout hit, even if Tom and Bernie were receiving the lion’s share of the credit. Hooked! was a #1 hit, though Spielberg was basking in that limelight. And Jim, even long before the flop of Toys, had realized that with all of the passion projects in production in 1989 and 1990 something unabashedly commercial was called for, and had thus launched the Roger Rabbit sequel, which had been languishing in production hell. Using some cutting-edge digital puppetry techniques along with “digital rotoscoping” using the DATA digital ink and paint technology, Roger Rabbit II: The Toon Platoon would debut in the summer 1991 after a marathon production. The hybrid animation project would feature Roger searching for his birth mother and even serving in World War II. While the war angle wasn’t Jim’s favorite, the overall story of meeting Jessica and how the events defined the character without glorifying the conflict met his peacenik sniff test. RRII, as it was often styled, was the first new Roger Rabbit release save for a couple of Shorts. Terry Gilliam declined to return as director, so Robert Zemeckis, who was briefly considered for director of the first film, was hired at the suggestion of Steven Spielberg. Despite some worries that the franchise was stale, the film performed well, ultimately pulling in $180 million against its $55 million budget even though reviews and audience opinions were somewhat mixed, many feeling it lacked the “charm” of the original. That success, along with the massive blockbuster successes of Hooked! and Spider-Man, helped “hold the wolves at bay” for the moment.

And yet where a few years back all of this unrest and conflict would have upset Jim, he was increasingly undisturbed by the rebukes. His near-death experience had given him a “Zen like” sense of acceptance. What was the worst that they could do to him, launch a proxy war and remove him from the board? Why, he’d be forced to “retire” to Sunset Puppetry and the other charitable efforts that brought him joy! Perhaps he’d buy up that breathtaking hillside in New Mexico that he and John had seen from the road, perhaps turn it into a puppetry retreat. There he could find that proverbial “rocking chair” he joked about occupying when he was “110”. It was a place that brought him peace just to think about.

Muppet_christmas_carol.jpg


Instead, there were projects aplenty to keep him busy, projects like the Muppets Christmas Carol, which he happily handed off to others, taking time to help Steve Whitmer get the nuance and personality of Kermit just right. “I really appreciate the sweet sentimentality that you give him, Steve, but don’t forget to let Kermit be just a little bit of a sarcastic, passive aggressive jerk on occasion. He’s the boss and he knows it.” When fans or commentators asked Jim why he had handed off the reigns of Kermit after four decades[2], he said, simply, “Walt Disney himself eventually handed Mickey to a new voice actor, and in doing so he ensured that Mickey lived on and brought happiness to millions, even long after Walt himself passed. Walt came to realize, as have I, that the character has a life of his own worth living.”

dinosaurs-abc-full-group.jpg

I’m sure there will be a happy ending (Image source “decider.com”)

They also launched a new television show in partnership with Michael Jacobs and CBS called, simply, Dinosaurs after exhausting all sorts of more complex (and often pun-filled) names. It had evolved, as it were, out of the old “Natural History Project” that had also spawned The Land Before Time. Produced using worn animatronics and puppetry techniques, Dinosaurs followed the Sinclair family of, well, anthropomorphic dinosaurs and generally adhered to the standard Domestic Sitcom formula, but with a lot of added ironic humor and a willingness to address some controversial socio-political issues like puberty and masturbation, homosexuality, commercialism, and the environment. Dinosaurs debuted in the spring of 1991 to high critical and public acclaim and good ratings, though production costs were high. But it was Kevin Clash’s Baby Sinclair who, like Elmo before him, became the breakout hit, with Baby’s “not the mama!” and “gotta’ love me!” becoming merchandisable catch phrases that made Bo Boyd very happy indeed.

TV animation was also going well. While Ghostbusters was reaching the end of its life, a new TRON TV animated show was already proving to be a breakout hit, featuring rather groundbreaking for the time computer animation for certain backgrounds and objects. By 1993 it would transition into all-CG, the first such series. Tim Burton also executively produced an animated “Boo-Block” of Beetlejuice and Little Shop of Horrors to replace Ghostbusters, both somewhat sanitized down to a G rating. And Duck Duck Goof and Mickey in the City were still chugging along, though Muppet High had failed to live up to Muppet Babies. A Duck Duck Goof spinoff starring Barnstormer McQuacken was under consideration, as was an animated spinoff from Digit’s World focusing on the popular “Hackers” Zondra, Chip, and Ubu.

Aladdin was likewise going very well, he felt. He loved working with Robin Williams, who was voicing the Genies of the Lamp and Ring, and loved seeing his manic energy first hand, though he had to put a slight curb on the adult jokes on occasion. The staff tried their best to keep from ruining the recordings with their laughter whenever Williams was recording. This was particularly the case when Williams played the smaller Genie of the Ring, which he voiced after inhaling helium. The scenes where the normal-voiced Genie of the Lamp interacted with the helium-voiced Genie of the Ring became so insanely funny as Williams argued with himself (“like he was an old married couple” according to John Musker) that Henson was himself forced to leave lest he ruin the recordings with his guffaws.

WhatsApp-Image-2020-07-20-at-16.19.35-768x543.jpeg

Williams voicing the Genies (Image source “faroutmagazine.co.uk”)

Aladdin was going to be the very first all-digitally-inked-and-painted animated feature using the very techniques that Lasseter and Keane had developed for the original Where the Wild Things Are Short[3]. Though it had been too cost-prohibitive to use digital ink & paint at the time, massive render farms of networked MINIBOG compilers paired with Mk. III DIS stations were on the verge of the “singularity” moment that all hand animators feared, where digital animation would cost the same as, and then progressively less than, hand drawn. It was somewhat sad that, other than the initial pencil sketches and concept art, there was little physical art from Aladdin to add to the Archives, but still, the very computer revolution that he, Kinsey, and Lasseter had predicted a decade earlier was coming true right before his eyes.

And the digital animation would allow for something that handmade and hybrid largely did not: editing in post! No longer did the original storyboards lock the animators into a predetermined plot structure. Now they could develop scores of low-res scenes of the Genies of the Lamp and Ring and pick and choose, allowing them to capture hours of insane William adlibbing and pick and choose what they wanted, knowing that they could change their minds later, even in the final weeks of post! They even experimented with some motion capture based digital rotoscope techniques and digital puppetry techniques in an effort to directly capture Williams’ manic facial expressions and body language into vector wireframes, though the limited processing speeds of the time made these less effective than hoped.

Speaking of Robin Williams, the manic comedian was also voicing the character Batty in the Hoyts co-production FernGully: The Last Rainforest. The small Australian production and animation team led by Wayne and Diana Young of Crocodile Dundee fame had been introduced to him in the late 1980s by writer Jim Cox[4]. Loving the environmental message, Jim had agreed to help fund and distribute the project, set for release in the spring of 1992. Some Disney animators were even provided on-loan. Some on the board had protested the effort – “why are we helping out the competition?” – though Jim maintained that they were hardly meaningful competition and floated the idea that there could be ongoing mutually beneficial partnerships ala Amblin and As You Wish or even a potential acquisition in the future.

He also celebrated a special deal with Studio Ghibli, their transpacific partners. In addition to releasing Kiki’s Delivery Service, a feature that Henson could really relate to given the themes of creative burnout and “losing the magic” when doing professional art, there would be a double-partnership and exchange program. Disney animators would travel to Japan to assist in production on Porco Rosso and Only Yesterday, and Ghibli artists would be coming to Burbank to work on Disney’s new animated Princess movie The Bamboo Princess, based on the Japanese legend of Kaguyahime and produced in partnership with Ghibli’s Isao Takahata. Jim had built a very close bond with both Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki, the latter of whom was a big fan of Henson’s work. While the way they talked down to their employees seemed disturbing to Jim, he chalked it up to different cultural values. The three of them, along with Roy Disney and Ron Miller, would occasionally storm the high-end clubs and Karaoke bars of Tokyo or the trendy underground clubs of LA and the Sunset Strip.

Jim even blew the Ghibli executives’ minds with a Sunset Puppetry sketch lip-synching to “Turning Japanese” by The Vapors where an “anything puppet” was slowly transformed from a nerdy midcentury businessman into a samurai. The five executives began a long-running tradition of gifting each other with ludicrously expensive high-end liquor, ultimately seeing a bottle of Hanyu “8 of Spades” responded to with a bottle of Remy Martin Louis XIII cognac. Jim laughed that he couldn’t really tell any difference between these and “any halfway decent bourbon”, but he appreciated the social bonding experience none the less.

Jim’s free time, such as it was, was increasingly spent at Sunset Studios with John and Cheryl. They were soon joined by youngest daughter Heather, who had graduated from High School and had returned to LA, pursuing a multidisciplinary degree from CalArts. Heather was enjoying being back in bustling LA after her quiet years in the exurban Northeast, though the subtle sexism at CalArts was starting to grate on her. She shared an apartment with fellow student Leslie Iwerks, who was the granddaughter of Ub, the animator behind Mickey Mouse. She’d occasionally bring Leslie and her other friends from CalArts, in particular animators Genndy Tartakovsky, Craig McCracken, and Rob Renzetti, to hang out at Sunset Studios, all five of them appreciating the relaxed, egalitarian vibe after the subtle elitism of CalArts. The five of them helped out on occasion with staging Sunset Puppetry shows, where Iwerks showed a talent towards direction and was glad to take some cues from Jim.

The era was a strange one. The US was now living in a postwar high after the overwhelming victory over Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army in Kuwait. The economy remained stalled in recession. Racial tensions were simmering in LA. In spring of 1991 a Black man was filmed getting brutally beaten by the LAPD and protests for racial justice were building[5]. There was the “feel like the eerie calm before the storm”, as John Henson recalled. Drugs remained a major problem. Bob Forrest and several other musicians such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers were still heavy into cocaine and heroin. Young actor River Phoenix was, despite his strict vegan diet and health consciousness, getting increasingly pulled into the hedonistic lifestyle. As best as Jim and John could tell he was sticking with marijuana, which in Jim’s second-hand experience in the 60s and 70s wasn’t much of a danger in its own right, but he feared that Phoenix could be pulled into the harder stuff, which objectively was dangerous. Jim and John tried to quietly guide these creative but troubled young men away from the deadly chemicals that had taken so many away from him already, notably Hilel Slovak and Corey Haim, and Corey Feldman indirectly. The fact that Anthony Kiedis was using again greatly upset Jim, who was also particularly concerned about Forrest, who refused to even consider quitting and seemed to have a death wish.

800px-AlekasPixRivSkysYellowGuitar1.jpg

River Phoenix playing with Aleka’s Attic in 1991

Forrest seemed increasingly to be a lost cause, but Phoenix still appeared to have “hope”. Phoenix and his band Aleka’s Attic had turned down Jim’s offers for a deal with Hyperion Music since they didn’t want to “pollute” the music by going commercial, much as Phoenix refused to “pollute” his body with meat and processed foods. So his willingness to “pollute” his body with intoxicating chemicals perplexed Jim and John alike. Phoenix and John seemed in particular to find a deep personal connection thanks in part to their shared values and temperaments. John, following his time with Buddhists in Tibet, was already vegetarian and introduced Phoenix and his sister Rain to various South and East Asian options that were far more palatable than the “tofu and bean sprouts” popular in Southern California at the time and a far cry better than “tofu burgers” and other “atrocities against taste”, as John saw them. John later spoke of the “constant battle” that Phoenix was fighting between the pressures of his fame and social pressures of his peers with his “quest for purity”. John noted that he could lead River through meditations and exercises in the day only to see him head off with Flea and Forrest in the evenings, certain to indulge in literal intoxication with them.

Jim instead consulted with another young person: Drew Barrymore. The young woman was clearly still troubled from the shocking experiences of her childhood and recent loss of her friends Corey Haim and Corey Feldman and burying the shock with revelry and abandon. And yet while she still used alcohol, though not to the point of losing control, she had managed to stop using cocaine and appeared utterly uninterested in ever touching the stuff again. Jim asked Drew how she did it, and she hardly knew how to answer, but she agreed to “keep an eye on the guys” for Jim. She even dated Bob Forrest for a while, and for a short time had him cut back on the heroin use.

Perhaps there was hope after all.

Jim returned every Monday to the newly refurbished offices at Disney and a mountain of work. He increasingly saw no real difference between his time at the office and his time with Sunset Studios. Both were opportunities for creativity. Both were opportunities to help out others. Both were opportunities to practice his mindful patience as he dealt with the stresses and worries of the two disparate circumstances. Both were places where time was a resource to be tasted, savored, and enjoyed, each sip far more precious and irreplaceable than those ludicrously expensive whiskies, particularly since one never really knew when the “bottle” would finally run dry.



[1] Will spawn a Manga and Anime series in the 1990s.

[2] He’ll still perform Kermit and other Muppets on occasion, particularly for public events and interviews, but the day-to-day Kermit performance is Steve Witmer for the foreseeable future.

[3] In our timeline the first all-digitally inked and painted animated feature would be 1990’s The Rescuers Down Under, which was subcontracted to Pixar. It used the “CAPS” technology that Kinsey had been pushing (“DATA” in this timeline), but went instead to Lucasfilm with Lasseter, leading ultimately to Pixar. RDU and several other animations from the 1990s, such as The Road to El Dorado or The Prince of Egypt, are frequently and somewhat incorrectly referred to (particularly by YouTube personalities) as “hand drawn” because they are 2D. The initial pencil sketches are hand-drawn, but they are digitally inked and painted, so there are no “cels” if I recall correctly. Ironically, the earlier adoption of digital techniques by Disney in this timeline (and the retention of “DATA” and purchase of what became Pixar in our timeline) led to the adoption of cost effective “hybrid” techniques that prevailed for years, so there was less drive to push for all-digital in this timeline.

[4] Disney Animation under Katzenberg tried to crush the production using some amazingly harsh and underhanded moves in our timeline. More on this later.

[5] The specific circumstances that led to Rodney King’s infamous encounter with the LAPD have been butterflied, but it’s unfortunately probably safe to say that it was only a matter of time before such an encounter was recorded.
 
Last edited:
Whilst I'd have loved to see what another actor would have done with the Genie, the image of two bickering Genies both played by Robin Williams is just too funny. Although, I could ask what would Friend Like Me be called since, presumably, it's a duet between the two Genies?

If Aladdin gets a live-action remake ITTL, could the Genies be played by Eric Andre and Hannibal Buress?
 
Jim Henson is feeling some heat then. Hardly seems fair considering the creative success, but I guess some folk are only looking at the numbers.

Toys is also a good example of how some folk need to look outside America for measures of success.

So this Timeline got the Roger Rabbit sequel? Roger Rabbit II: The Toon Platoon sounds interesting. Robert Zemeckis I imagine would produce a decent movie. The box office seems to agree ITTL.

Jim handed off Kermit? I appreciate his words there- I guess it was the right time.

I really hope Dinosaurs gets a happier ending than OTL!

Tron is fully CGI? Well that makes sense really. Hope Ghostbusters gets a good strong ending.

Those Aladdin recording sessions sound amazing, I really hope all the recordings survive as the 'Special Edition' VCD will be a must buy!

Really hope the hardware and software to run the digital animation files for Aladdin, Where the Wild Things Are etc remains supported in the Archive since formats and machines change so much.

I really want Robin Williams and Tim Curry to work together at some point! The manic energy could power LA.

Glad FernGully: The Last Rainforest is going ahead and Jim helps out with it as it was a fun movie. Looking forward to more information here.

Disney and Ghibli doing cross over artists? Awesome.

The Bamboo Princess sounds interesting. Given the people involved it seems like it will be more culturally sensitive than some other Disney productions.

Sunset Studios seems like it is just going to be bigger and bigger.

I am so glad Jim and John are trying to help River Phoenix, and the other creative types deal with their addictions. Hopefully Robin Williams is helped as well.

So it's not Rodney King here but some other poor sod with the same riotous results? Guess it was going to happen.

Great update there @Geekhis Khan - seems Jim is doing OK and not too overworked here.

More please!
 
Last edited:
Hopefully Jim can get the rest back in their favour.

I'm just glad the Japanese like Toys enough for it to be a success there.

I'm actually surprised Dinosaurs was still made. TBH, the ending fits in with its themes of mocking the hubris of a species that only cares for its wants, so i'm fine with it. Airing on CBS would probably bring its own butterflies, taking up another show's slot.

I would pay good money for Williams and Curry to be in the same film and so would you.

On one hand I'm glad Rodney escaped his fate, but I'm quite sad the current society still hasn't changed.

Also, I've got an idea that's been in my head: y'know how George Lucas based Star Wars off 40's and 50's raygun gothic serials and films like Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon, or Indiana Jones off adventure films from the same era and the 30's, Red Tails 40's and 50's war flicks, or a good chunk of his other works? How about in the 90's, he turns his attention to making a work based on creature feature horror movies of the same era.
 
Whilst I'd have loved to see what another actor would have done with the Genie, the image of two bickering Genies both played by Robin Williams is just too funny.
I would have loved to seen Robin Williams working with Jim Carrey on this.
Although, I could ask what would Friend Like Me be called since, presumably, it's a duet between the two Genies?
I assume it depends on if he found the ring and lamp at the same time or not.
I really want Robin Williams and Tim Curry to work together at some point!
Do you mean Jim Carrey?
 
Jim Henson is feeling some heat then. Hardly seems fair considering the creative success, but I guess some folk are only looking at the numbers.

Toys is also a good example of how some folk need to look outside America for measures of success.
Creative success is ephemeral and deeply personal, I'm sure we've all seen 'critically acclaimed' films and been unimpressed with them (and doubtless those films are different for each of us, which is the point!). Of course everyone want a film beloved by audiences and critics alike, but if have to chose one then surely it is box office success over critical. If nothing else the money you earn from the big film will pay for a couple of passion projects. ;)

The way I see it is that Jim has used up his 'credit' from his earlier successes, it's not that everyone has forgotten those successes but that he has spent all that goodwill on loss-making projects and now needs a few big hits to earn some more credit. If he produces a few hits then all will be well and the board will go back to tolerating his less commercial efforts as a fair price to pay. But if not, well then the board do have a duty to the shareholders to point out that Disney is a business and passion projects are supposed to be the price you pay to get big names to do commercial big hits, not the main object of the exercise.
 
I just realized something.

Right at the current present of this timeline. there is an anime series airing in Japan that could solve many of Henson's problems:

Legendary Bra.ve Da-Garn!

It features a kid hero, and it basically out Captain Planets Captain Planet, but does so in an understated, light-handed way. The environmental message is delivered in subtle ways in Da-Garn's and the rest of Earth Spirit Force's reactions to human activity, good and bad (by there standards, anyway), and there are helpful tips on things like recycling in the after-episode shorts alongside the next episode bumpers. It's basically Henson's vision for what Transformers Generation 1 could be/could have been. Disney can either dub (or rescript) the original Sunrise production, or else completely reanimate the series for an American (or at least Western Hemisphere) initial setting.

The trick is how to get all the ducks in a row, so to speak.

Oh, and I think that, barring a rampage by Islamic fundamentalists through Disney corporate offices, theme parks and animation studios ordered by extremist clerics with the (in)appropriate connections, Aladdin will be enough of a major financial winner to quiet down investors and CNBC, at least in the short term.
 
Last edited:
I just realized something.

Right at the current present of this timeline. there is an anime series airing in Japan that could solve many of Henson's problems:

Legendary Bra.ve Da-Garn!

It features a kid hero, and it basically out Captain Planets Captain Planet, but does so in an understated, light-handed way. The environmental message is delivered in subtle ways in Da-Garn's and the rest of Earth Spirit Force's reactions to human activity, good and bad (by there standards, anyway), and there are helpful tips on things like recycling in the after-episode shorts alongside the next episode bumpers. It's basically Henson's vision for what Transformers Generation 1 could be/could have been. Disney can either dub (or rescript) the original Sunrise production, or else completely reanimate the series for an American (or at least Western Hemisphere) initial setting.

The trick is how to all the ducks in a row, so to speak.
Something tells me that Disney Channel would have another contender for a late night mainstay in the coming years with this program in mind.
 
Top