Mitchell Stein- As we finally enter the beginning of a brand new year, and we finish taking a look back at the year that was, there’s only one way left to look: forward. Luckily, there’s actually quite a few exciting Muppet-related projects in the pipeline this year, and hopefully, a few more that are bound to surprise us throughout the year. For that reason, we’re taking a moment to look at all the exciting Muppet projects coming this year, and everything fans should get excited about in the upcoming year.
Muppet Babies Will Debut on Disney Junior (Spring)
While Muppet Babies is certainly quite different than the main Muppet brand, it is pleasing to see that Disney is trying many new things with the franchise, including this reboot of the 80’s series on Disney Junior this year. We don’t think this should negatively impact the main brand, and it would be great to have the Muppet brand present at different stages of Disney corporate synergy. Hopefully, this show will be able to usher in a new generation of young Muppet fans, and keep the Muppets present at different stages of the family-friendly brand Disney is known for. We don’t have a confirmed date for this release, but according to the original release by Disney, this should be arriving sometime in early 2018.
The Dark Crystal Heads to Theaters and to 4K Blu-Ray (March 6th, 2018)
If there’s anything that makes The Dark Crystal a legendary achievement for Jim Henson aside from a great cast of characters and visionary storytelling, it is for its stunning artistry and beauty. This March, fans can experience that visual eye-candy in a stunning 4K Blu-Ray release now available for pre-order, or see it on the big-screen when it returns to select theaters for two days in February courtesy of Fathom Events.
Muppet Guys Talking is Released (March 16th 2018)
Last year, Frank Oz announced that he, along with Dave Goelz, Bill Barretta, Fran Brill and the late Jerry Nelson had been working on a new Muppet documentary titled Muppet Guys Talking. The release date for Frank Oz’s new documentary about the original cast of The Muppet Show doesn’t have a definite release date yet, other than one mentioned by Frank on Twitter. Considering it came from the man headlining the film, we’ll take that as a confirmed date! We can’t wait to finally see insight from these living legends and learn some behind-the-scenes info during the process.
Street Gang Documentary (Release Date Unknown)
Two Muppet-related documentaries in one year? Us Muppet fans are a greedy bunch. To our benefit, the next documentary is Street Gang, adapted from the Sesame Street based on the book of the same name by Michael Davis. The Street Gang book is meticulously detailed and expertly crafted, and if the book is any indication of what this documentary may entail, Muppet fans are in for an insightful treat. We don’t currently have a release date for this film, but as of now, we know that it will be released sometime in 2018.
Happytime Murders is Released (August 17th, 2018)
This project is not related to The Muppets or any Muppet-related project, but it deserves a shout-out on this list because it is so great to see The Jim Henson Company working on these new ambitious projects. This film noir puppet-murder mystery is set to hit theaters on August 17th, and we hope it will lead to exciting things for our pals at the Henson Company.
The Second Book in The Muppets Meet the Classics Series is Released (Estimated for Fall 2018)
Last year, Muppet fans were treated The Muppets Meet the Classics: The Phantom of the Opera, the first installment in a new series of books, featuring the Muppets in roles of classic literature. This year, the second book in The Muppets Meet the Classics series will debut, although, at the time of this publishing, we don’t know the title or the release date. However, we know that our pal of the site and Phantom author Erik Forrest Jackson will return to write the second book, and promises an exciting follow-up. (In the meantime, be sure to read our interview with Jackson to learn more about the future of this series!)
More Live Muppet Shows? Following the success of this year’s The Muppets at the Hollywood Bowl, we can only hope this will lead the way to even more live Muppet shows and appearances. There have been some murmurings that the Hollywood Bowl was the testing waters for potential future shows, and we can only hope that more are on their way.
Potential New Muppet show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios: In the newly opened Grand Avenue area of Disney’s Hollywood Studios, adjacent to Muppet-Vision 3D, rumors are spreading the windows of the apartments in the area could be home to a new live Muppet show, similar to The Muppets Present…Great Moments in American History, seen at the Magic Kingdom.