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Frank Oz, the iconic puppeteer and director, is persona non grata with Disney, he revealed in a recent interview with The Guardian.
Known for his work on Muppets projects alongside the late, legendary Jim Henson, as well as for helming such classic films as Little Shop of Horrors and What About Bob?, Oz said in an interview published Monday that he would love to work on another Muppets project, but Disney, which purchased the IP in 2004, won’t work with him.
“I’d love to do the Muppets again but Disney doesn’t want me, and Sesame Street hasn’t asked me for 10 years,” he said. “They don’t want me because I won’t follow orders and I won’t do the kind of Muppets they believe in.”
Oz voiced Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Sam Eagle, Animal and Marvin Suggs for several Muppets film and TV projects. On Sesame Street, he voiced Bert, Grover and Cookie Monster.
Oz said he does not watch current Muppets or Sesame Street projects. And he doesn’t pull punches as to why. “The soul’s not there,” he said. “The soul is what makes things grow and be funny. But I miss them and love them.”
Oz is steadfast when he talks about how, in his opinion, the Disney acquisition forever changed The Muppets.
“There’s an inability for corporate America to understand the value of something they bought. They never understood, with us, it’s not just about the puppets, it’s about the performers who love each other and have worked together for many years,” he said.
Oz did work with Disney when he returned to voice Yoda in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
A Disney rep could not be immediately reached for comment.
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