This does not bode well. There’s news that Disney is purchasing the Muppets. Like most people my age, I grew up on The Muppet Show and always thought it was better and funnier than The Wonderful World of Disney. Disney cartoons always seemed to come from a different place from the one I knew. I liked the movies and all but the Mickey Mouse cartoons just came off as dated. Kermit and his gang were more immediately accessible to my generation. The jokes were funnier and the points of reference were (at the time) current. Of course there were, and still are, movies to made and toys to sell but the merchandising never overtook the characters themselves.
Disney, on the other hand, has grown from its once happy little Shire to the cursed land of Mordor with Pixar finally breaking free while at the same time fighting off a hostile takeover from Comcast. Mind you, since Henson died the Muppets have been kind of leaderless as well as voiceless with a one time sale to a German entertainment company that lasted a few years. This sale almost seems inevitable. And given the way they’ve treated the stories they’ve bought (I’m looking at you Pocahontas), I dread to think of what they’re going to do with these characters once they’ve been marked with the White Hand of Eisner.