They've been around for so long you'd swear they were real. I'm talking about the Muppets characters. Since there humble beginnings on Sesame Street back in the early 1960's to their present day existence as a multi-million dollar franchise, the Muppets characters are the heroes to millions of children and adults worldwide. The Muppets Show is seen and translated in more than 30 countries around the world. And they have proved to be a remarkable legacy to Muppets character creator Jim Henson, who took the idea of a frog, a pig and a furry bear and used them to create an empire.
They were mainstays of the children's educational program Sesame Street. Muppets characters like the Swedish Chef and Kermit the Frog helped teach kids their "ABC's", taught children right from wrong and helped them deal with such typical children's maladies as shyness and wetting their bed. From the early 1960's until the late 1970's the Muppet life was a simple one. Then all hell broke loose with the introduction of The Muppet Movie in 1979. Suddenly 'ol Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy weren't worrying about proper spelling. They were in love! A couple dealing with the problems that couples in love deal with!
Jim Henson had the Midas touch. He laughed all the way to the bank and The Muppet Movie went with him. If the Muppets characters like Kermit the frog, the Swedish Chef and Miss Piggy didn't become icons in that moment then they surely did over the next 10 years with more movies like The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Muppets from Outer Space and more. And who could forget the Muppet Show which ran for several seasons until the untimely death of Jim Henson.
With the death of Jim Henson in 1990, his puppet empire went into a temporary head spin. The German conglomerate EMTV bought the rights to the Muppet show in 2000 and in 2003 the Walt Disney Company bought the rights and likenesses to all the Muppet characters excluding those used on Sesame Street. Henson's subsidiary companies the Jim Henson Creature Shop and the Jim Henson Company retains the rights to hundreds of other Muppet Characters.
Walt Disney has done its best to pump new life into the franchise. The Muppets are mainstays Walt Disney World and a new film, The Muppets on Treasure Island debuted in 1996. Other films are planned. In connection with this event it is possible to say that characters of the show have received a new life, as the project is not limited to representation of the biography of the favorite show's participants, it is planned that in the future to shoot Muppets characters children's films on a regular basis. With the participation of heroes of show were created many computer games, special developing games for children, cartoon films and films about a life and adventures of favorite characters. There is even a special line of sportswear in the style of "Muppets". It is necessary to note, that Muppets characters for a long time have ceased to be simply a part of a TV show
The Muppets characters live on in a variety of media - everything from toys to books to video games and more. Jim Henson may be gone but his Muppets live on. And they in turn have immortalized his memory.