It’s not too often you meet someone that has truly changed your life. Having grown up on Sesame Street, Star Wars and The Muppets, getting to meet and speak with Frank Oz at the Saturn Awards last night was the highlight of my evening. If you’re not aware of Oz’s influence on our planet, he created Yoda, Miss Piggy, Animal, Grover, Fozzie Bear, Cookie Monster and Bert on Sesame Street, among many others. His influence on generations of kids around the world is immeasurable.
During our interview, I asked him about working with Jim Henson, creating the voices for his iconic characters, if he kept any props from his past projects, if he saw director James Bobin‘s The Muppets and what he thought about the film, and whether he would ever be involved with The Muppets again. Hit the jump for more.
“I saw it. I have not talked about it because—I gotta be careful here because I don’t wanna hurt anybody—the Disney process bothered me. I felt the movie was really sweet and fun, a little too safe, a little retro; I prefer more cutting edge with The Muppets. But the main thing is everybody got back to appreciating The Muppets, and what I wish they’d appreciate is the performance underneath The Muppets; those are the key people. So I thought the movie was…the main thing is it brought people back to The Muppets. Although they never really left, it’s always been a kind of subculture, it’s always been there in our popular culture a little bit. So I’m happy that people are happy.”
“I don’t know, I mean I know I’d probably be asked to direct something. Now Disney owns them, and that’s entirely up to Disney.”
Here’s my full interview with Frank Oz from last night. It’s time indexed so you can watch the parts that interest you.
Frank Oz Time Index:
- :21 What does he remember most about working with Jim Henson? Talks about the fun they had doing Bert and Ernie.
- :56 Talks about creating the voices for his iconic characters like Yoda, Bert, Fozzie, etc.
- 2:07 How many people have asked him to do answering machine messages?
- 2:33 Did he keep any props from his past projects?
- 3:14 Did he see The Muppets?
- 4:15 Would he ever be involved with The Muppets again?