The Muppets at Walt Disney World
|The Muppets at Walt Disney World|
|Written by||Jerry Juhl|
|Directed by||Peter Harris|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Executive producer(s)||Jim Henson|
|Producer(s)||Martin G. Baker
|Location(s)||Walt Disney World (Lake Buena Vista, Florida)|
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Jim Henson Productions
Walt Disney Television
|Distributor||Buena Vista Television|
|Original release||May 6, 1990|
The Muppets at Walt Disney World is a television special starring Jim Henson's Muppets at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The special aired on NBC as part of The Magical World of Disney on May 6, 1990, and turned out to be the last Muppets special that Henson would work on (he would die 10 days following its airing, on May 16).
At the start of The Magical World of Disney, former Disney CEO Michael Eisner talks about this special while in the presence of Fozzie Bear and his mother Emily.
|This section requires expansion. (November 2012)|
In the television special, the Muppets are visiting Kermit's family for their annual reunion where they meet up with Kermit's aunts and uncles consisting of Harry, Mary, Larry, Terri, Gary, Perry, and Lou. When the others learn that the swamp is right next to Walt Disney World, they sneak in, and are pursued by a security guard named Quentin Fitzwaller (played by Charles Grodin). Attractions and areas featured include Big Thunder Mountain, the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!, Star Tours, the Mad Tea Party, World Showcase, the Walt Disney World Monorail System and the utilidors. The special is notable for making the three parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Disney-MGM Studios) seem like one connected area, despite the parks actually being apart from each other.
The story ends with the Muppets having a friendly meeting at Mickey Mouse's office where the signature characters of Walt Disney and Jim Henson compare their company's theme songs, "When You Wish Upon a Star" and "Rainbow Connection" (sung by a young Raven-Symoné to cheer up Kermit) respectively and the ideals behind them. After that, the Muppets return to swamp, but find out about Miss Piggy remaining stuck in front of the Great Movie Ride with her feet in the cement. They return to Walt Disney World for her afterwards as Kermit tells Emmy Lou to get the pickaxes. The credits roll as Miss Piggy stuck in cement shouts for help.
- Charles Grodin as Quentin Fitzwaller
- Raven-Symoné as Little Girl
- Wayne Allwine as Mickey Mouse (voice)
- Michael Eisner as Himself
- Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Rowlf the Dog, Dr. Teeth, Link Hogthrob, the Swedish Chef, Waldorf
- Frank Oz as Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal
- Jerry Nelson as Robin the Frog, Camilla the Chicken, Floyd Pepper, Emily Bear, Frog
- Richard Hunt as Scooter, Janice, Beaker, Statler, Frog
- Dave Goelz as Gonzo, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beauregard, Zoot, Frog
- Steve Whitmire as Rizzo the Rat, Bean Bunny, Lips, Frog
- Kevin Clash as Clifford, Alligator, Frog
- Camille Bonora as Frog
- David Rudman as Frog
Additional Muppets performed by Rickey Boyd and Rick Lyon.
- Executive Producer: Jim Henson
- Producers: Diana Birkenfield and Martin G. Baker
- Director: Peter Harris
- Writer: Jerry Juhl
- Music Producer: Phil Ramone
- Production Designer: Victor DiNapoli
- Muppet Workshop: Joann Green, Mark Zeszotek, Henri Ewaskio, Larry Jameson
- Costume Design: Polly Smith, Stephen Rotondaro
Other characters' appearances
During the song "Rockin' All Around the World" (in melody of Status Quo's Rockin' All Over the World), Muppets inspired by the Audio-Animatronic children characters from the "It's a Small World" attraction appear.
- To promote this special, Jim Henson appeared on The Arsenio Hall Show with Kermit the Frog. Jim was joined by Kevin Clash, performing Clifford. The ending was referenced by Clifford where it was mentioned by him that Miss Piggy was mad at being stuck in cement even after the other Muppets got her out. It would be Henson's last live television appearance, and the last known time he performed Kermit the Frog.
- This was the last Muppet special Jim Henson worked on, as well as the last time he performed Rowlf the Dog, Dr. Teeth, Link Hogthrob, The Swedish Chef, and Waldorf. The special aired ten days prior to his death on May 16.
- While Miss Piggy fights the bad guys in the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!, Kermit shouts out: "Miss Piggy! How are you going to explain this to Big Bird?"