Frank Oz, the legendary puppeteer whose credits include big acts like The Muppets and Sesame Street, reveals it’s not likely he’ll be doing anything with Disney or its streaming service anytime soon since he and the production giant are no longer on good terms. Oz shares in his latest interview with The Guardian, that while he’d be open to doing another Muppets show, but “Disney doesn’t want me.” “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 shared. “They don’t want me because I won’t follow orders and I won’t do the kind of Muppets they believe in.”
It seems the two were forced to part ways due to some creative differences. Oz continued, saying that he has trouble watching newer episodes of either show since it’s become very different from what he started. Oz voiced the characters of Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Sam Eagle, Animal, and Marvin Suggs for multiple Muppets movies and TV shows. He also voiced Bert, Grover, and Cookie Monster on Sesame Street. “The soul’s not there,” he said. “The soul is what makes things grow and be funny. But I miss them and love them.”
Still, years after Disney’s acquisition of The Muppets, Oz continues to believe that the company’s changes to the structure of the show were not for the better and created a lasting rift between the cast and the other entity. “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. However, Oz did reunite 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.
When asked of all his roles, if Muppets gives him the most pride, Oz responded: “Pride gets into hubris and I’ve learned to avoid that. Maybe satisfied is a better word. I’m satisfied with some of the movies I’ve done, but I can’t say I ‘did’ the Muppets, because it was always a combination of the writers, the other performers, Jim and me,”