Frank Oz is a defining performer when it comes to bringing the Muppets to life, with the characters remaining near and dear to his heart decades after their debut. Various characters he has had a hand in creating remain as popular as ever, though multiple attempts at rebooting different properties have seen mixed results. Oz, for example, confirmed that recent Muppets reboots have made him nearly physically ill.
"The pure quality I'm talking about is the purity of character. I had to turn The Muppet thing off, the ABC series, after 15 minutes," Oz recently shared during a panel at South by Southwest [H/T SYFYWIRE]. "Fozzie had a girlfriend and he drank some wine, I don't know. It totally destroyed Fozzie. Destroyed. The reason you guys love them is because we were true to their character. That's why you love them, they touch your heart."
One of the biggest lulls in the Muppets' history of movies came after the release of Muppets from Space, with a new film not hitting theaters for 12 years. Many considered 2011's The Muppets to more authentically revive the dormant franchise, yet Oz admitted he only liked scattered elements of it.
"In general, I start to vomit when things get too smarmy. When it gets overly sentimental and sweet, I just start to vomit. It's all because Disney doesn't understand purity," Oz shared, while noting the film "had some wonderful things in it."
During his discussion, the performer pointed out that one of the key differences between what the original creators accomplished and the new attempts to revive the characters boils down to authenticity and the audiences they intended to appeal to.
"I'm not a children's performer," Oz confessed. "We've never once thought about children when we did Sesame Street or The Muppets or anything else. I was a child, I didn't know what I wanted. How can an adult tell what a child wants?"
The performer also noted that he knew his comments might not go over well with those in charge of the characters currently, as he admitted, "And I'm gonna get in so much trouble now."
This isn't the only time Oz has opened up about the authenticity of the characters, with a lengthy thread on Twitter last year saw Oz making similar confessions.
"I've never understood why some people love imagining that, between takes, we screw around with the characters by having them swear or having them use sexual innuendos or putting cigarettes in their mouths and laughing. We don't," Oz shared with one user on Twitter. "It would be a betrayal of the character's purity."
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