Muppet Ownership: The tl;dr Summary

Posted by jwsadmin on August 25, 2015

Based on Muppetology 101, from Muppet Mindset, here's the itemized summary which I think is easier to follow than reading through all those paragraphs...

Disney:

  • the Muppet trademark itself (via the holding company The Muppets Studio, LLC)
  • The Muppet Show and its core characters
  • The Muppet Movie
  • The Great Muppet Caper
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol
  • Muppet Treasure Island
  • Muppet Wizard of Oz
  • Muppet Babies
  • Muppets Tonight
  • The 60s-70s specials Hey Cinderella!, The Frog Prince, The Muppet Musicians of Bremen, Tale of the Bunny Picnic, and Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree
  • Muppet-based performances on Jim Henson Hour (but not anything with the Creature Shop)
  • the series Little Muppet Monsters
  • Bear in the Big Blue House and spin-offs
  • The Muppets at Walt Disney World
  • The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson
  • The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years and A Muppet Family Christmas - however, they need permission to release/broadcast because of the rights of Sesame Street and Fraggles
  • The lost pilot for America’s Next Muppet
  • All music rights to the above
  • The new Muppets show
  • The Muppets and Muppets Most Wanted

Sony:

  • The Muppets Take Manhattan
  • Muppets from Space
  • Kermit’s Swamp Years

NBC Universal:

  • It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie
  • All Muppet material from the first SNL season
  • Sam and Friends

John Denver Estate:

  • both John Denver specials (Christmas and Rocky Mountain), and their respective soundtrack albums

Sesame Workshop:

  • All muppet scenes and references in Sesame Street except Kermit and the one Rowlf scene (in a counting song at one point)
    • Sesame Workshop retains a permanent license to continue to broadcast and/or distribute these in visual and audio form
    • Sesame Street must continue to credit the Muppet trademark
  • Most Sesame Street specials, except
    • Out to Lunch: ABC
    • Special Sesame Street Christmas (that other special from 1978): Bob Banner Productions
    • Follow that Bird: Warner Bros
    • Elmo in Grouchland: Sony
    • Sesame Street 20 and Still Counting: Jim Henson Company
  • The Jim Henson Company constructs new Muppets on request, but those new characters are owned by SSW

Jim Henson Company:

  • Fraggle Rock
    • The recent Doozers spin-off
  • Dark Crystal
  • Labyrinth (Distribution: Sony)
  • The Witches (Distribution: Warner)
  • Farscape
  • Storyteller
  • The Animal Show (not the same Animal)
  • Emmet Otter (with a license needed for Kermit from Disney, hence why he's often cropped out of some DVD releases)
  • Sid the Science Kid
  • Dinosaur Train
  • Jim’s live-action work of the 60s-70s incl Time Piece
  • Creature shop features in Jim Henson Hour (incl Dog City as an odd split because of Rowlf)
  • Dog City (Distribution: Nelvana, with royalties due Disney over Rowlf)
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