Muppets The Hobbit

Bre

Active Member
Woke up this morning with an overwhelming urge to record a podcast about adapting The Hobbit into a Muppet moves (circa Christmas Carol and Treasure Island).

I have walked through this life continuously wondering why Disney keeps trying to make a Muppet TV series happen, when they could just be making Muppet movies based on classical literature instead.

I think they key to picking a good book to adapt into a Muppet movie are:
1) it needs to be a classic either in the public domain or approaching (The Hobbit is about 10 years away from being free for all)
2) there is an ensemble cast
3) there is a least one role that is obviously more suitable for a big-name big-talent human actor
4) it easily lends itself to being a musical
5) the ending tonally supports one final big musical number (the love is found!)
6) it can be told in under two under (though ideally 1.5)
7) Gonzo and Rizo can comfortably narrate/commentate on the story, with Gonzo playing the part of the author (Tolkien himself in this case)

So with this criteria in mind, The Hobbit ends up being the best fit of Tolkien's work to be Muppeted.

Anyways, it feels like a discussion that would make for a very fun SilmFilm style podcast episode, if anyone was interested in recording such a thing.
 

Ange1e4e5

Well-Known Member
A few years ago when I was on the One Ring Forums site, I made a fan cast of Beren and Luthien. Somebody made one of the Muppets, with Kermit as Beren and Miss Piggy as Luthien, as a joke.
 
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MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
As a caution, anything younger than Mickey Mouse will never enter the public domain if the Walt Disney corporation has anything to say about it. US copyright law is dictated by the need for Mickey Mouse to remain under copyright. Now, the laws can get convoluted, so sometimes something younger that had an author who died before Walt Disney might qualify, but in general...it's a moving goalpost.

I do think it's a great idea, though! And would definitely make for a fun podcast discussion :)
 

amysrevenge

Well-Known Member
In broad strokes, I think you'd have to go with pigs for the Dwarves - you've got Link and the Doctor to actually deliver lines as Thorin and Balin, and an opportunity for Bombur jokes that are slightly less uncomfortable because it's already pigs. Great opportunity for Miss Piggy as Dain. Kermit as Bard, Sam the Eagle as Master, the remaining motley muppet crew as the people of Laketown. Obviously Fozzie for Beorn. Animal as Gollum ("*pant pant pant* Baaaggins *pant pant pant* Shiiire". Not sure what to do about Elves - rats? You'd need a good Elrond and a good Elven King. This part needs more thought.

Get human actors for Bilbo and Gandalf. Unless maybe we need a muppet-human dynamic for that critical pairing? 100% you need a human Gandalf.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
As a caution, anything younger than Mickey Mouse will never enter the public domain if the Walt Disney corporation has anything to say about it. US copyright law is dictated by the need for Mickey Mouse to remain under copyright. Now, the laws can get convoluted, so sometimes something younger that had an author who died before Walt Disney might qualify, but in general...it's a moving goalpost.

I do think it's a great idea, though! And would definitely make for a fun podcast discussion :)
There is a critical difference here, spawned from Disney's lobbying. Mickey is legally the creation of Disney the corporation rather than the man. As such, the laws about public domain are different from those governing works by a single creator. The rights to Tolkien's published works pass into public domain (in the US) in 2043, 70 years after his death (the Silmarillion, whose authorship belonged to Christopher, passes over in 2090).

Mickey, being a corporate creation, will pass into public domain 95 years after his creation, in 2024. It is the matter of corporate copyright ownership that is likely to be revisited rather than that of private ownership.
 

Bre

Active Member
As a caution, anything younger than Mickey Mouse will never enter the public domain if the Walt Disney corporation has anything to say about it. US copyright law is dictated by the need for Mickey Mouse to remain under copyright. Now, the laws can get convoluted, so sometimes something younger that had an author who died before Walt Disney might qualify, but in general...it's a moving goalpost.

I do think it's a great idea, though! And would definitely make for a fun podcast discussion :)
yeah it's going to be a legal show for sure in ten years. But I say public domain more as indicator of time, and that time being long enough for a book to be established as a true classic among stories after others have been weeded out.

But yeah, seems like a good challenge to try and simplify the Hobbit down into a very short film, vs the usual attempts doing two films, or just one long single film
 

Bre

Active Member
In broad strokes, I think you'd have to go with pigs for the Dwarves - you've got Link and the Doctor to actually deliver lines as Thorin and Balin, and an opportunity for Bombur jokes that are slightly less uncomfortable because it's already pigs. Great opportunity for Miss Piggy as Dain. Kermit as Bard, Sam the Eagle as Master, the remaining motley muppet crew as the people of Laketown. Obviously Fozzie for Beorn. Animal as Gollum ("*pant pant pant* Baaaggins *pant pant pant* Shiiire". Not sure what to do about Elves - rats? You'd need a good Elrond and a good Elven King. This part needs more thought.

Get human actors for Bilbo and Gandalf. Unless maybe we need a muppet-human dynamic for that critical pairing? 100% you need a human Gandalf.
these muppet fan castings are giving me life. I need to sit down and really think about the casting. Gandalf is the human for sure, but I was thinking that Bilbo should probably be a Kermit or Walter type... actually now I'm thinking about the hobbits just all being the many frogs and filling the shire with all the other barnyard muppets
 
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Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
these muppet fan castings are giving me life. I need to sit down and really think about the casting. Gandalf is the human for sure, but I was thinking that Bilbo should probably be a Kermit or Walter type... actually now I'm thinking about the hobbits just all being the many frogs and filling the shire with all the other barnyard muppets
Sweet'ums as Beorn.
 

Bre

Active Member
We got a Fozzie and and Sweet'ums Beorn suggestion. Does this mean Fozzie turns into a Sweet'ums sometimes at night, lol? Though we are also forgetting about Bobo the Bear

I do like the animal as Golumn suggestion vs as Bolg. I was thinking about the orcs in general this morning, and they might be best off as original muppets characters actually designed to look like orcs, and not have any of them as standout characters. Smaug would also have to be an original puppet, and a crazy masterful one at that
 

Bre

Active Member
Casting is just once aspect of this, but since the discussion is currently focused on that, have some visual aides:

muppets01.jpgmuppets02.jpg

Hobbit Casting Requirements:
- Gandalf
- Bilbo Baggins
- Various Hobbits
- Thorin Oakenshield
- Balin
- Dwalin
- Gloin
- Oin
- Bifur
- Bofur
- Bombur
- Nori
- Dori
- Ori
- Fili
- Kili
- Trolls: Tom, Bert, William
- Elrond
- Rivendell elves
- Goblin King
- Goblins
- Golumn
- Gwaihir
- The Eagles
- Beorn
- Spiders
- Thranduil
- Mirkwood Elves
- Bard the Bowman
- Bain
- The Master
- People of Laketown
- Smaug
- Dain
- Ironhill Dwarves
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
Honestly, I am good with Kermit as Bilbo and maybe Miss Piggy as Bard :p

Oh, and maybe Swedish Chef, Prof. Bunsen and Beaker as the trolls!
 
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Bre

Active Member
I am very serious about recording a podcast special for this if any of the usual suspects are interested
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I am very serious about recording a podcast special for this if any of the usual suspects are interested
Would I not accrue serious spousal aggro for adding additional broadcasts to those in which I currently participate, I would happily do so. :)
 

Bre

Active Member
Totally understandable. I will note for everyone else that I do mean this to literally be one episode, one recording session, not a series
 
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