What's Coming to Disney+ in October 2021 – Lifehacker

I fear the children of today do not value the Muppets like they should, and I find that very sad.
My daughter is 9, and though she didn’t really grow up watching Sesame Street, I have raised her and her younger brother to properly respect these flocked entertainment icons of yore; in this house we celebrate every Muppet film, from The Muppet Movie to The Muppets Most Wanted. Yet her friends seem indifferent to—if not shockingly unaware of—the storied history of this now 65-year-old franchise. When given a chance to watch 2011's The Muppets during a sleepover, one child proclaimed the Muppets to be “boring.” Another shockingly referred to Kermit (whose name she did not know) as “the frog with the spikes on his neck and the demon eyes.”

Such blasphemy—and yet, can I blame her? Though Disney spent more than a decade trying to wrest control of the Muppets from the company founded by their creator, Jim Henson (tense negotiations that Frank Oz, veteran Muppeteer and voice of Ms. Piggy, believes contributed to the creative genius’s untimely death), once it finally succeeded in 2004, the Mouse hasn’t seemed to know what to do with them.

The aforementioned 2011 effort to revive the film franchise proved promising, even if The Muppets seemed a little confused about that fact that a Muppet film should focus on the Muppets, and not the relationship woes of a human played by co-writer Jason Segel. Certainly the songs (from the folks behind the brilliant musical comedy series Flight of the Conchords) were brilliant. But audiences appeared largely unmoved, and the (much better, more Muppet-y) 2014 followup Muppets Most Wanted vastly underperformed.

A 2015 attempt to meld the Muppets with the cringe comedy sensibility of The Office resulted in a woefully misjudged NBC sitcom that lasted just one season. The launch of Disney+ brought with it an announcement of a new Muppet TV series that was abruptly canceled before a single episode was made. A token effort has been made to introduce little ones to the beloved characters with the Disney Jr. version of Muppet Babies, but it’s nowhere near as weird, charming, or uniquely Muppet-y as the ‘80s original, which Disney seems totally uninterested in licensing. At least they finally put the classic ‘70s The Muppet Show on the streaming service—though I find it baffling that they haven’t attempted to launch a modern-day followup (perhaps having been burned by the reception to The Muppets Tonight, the criminally short-lived mid-’90s attempt at a reboot).

This is all a very long way of saying that I am at least mildly heartened by the fact that the one thing Disney+ has going for it in October—it’s only significant Disney+ Original of note all month—is a new Muppet movie, even if it is being used to sell a Disney theme park attraction. The Muppets Haunted Mansion (Oct. 8), direct by Kirk Thatcher, co-writer of Muppet Treasure Island and director of The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz, sends daredevil Gonzo into the titular edifice for a night of scares. Don’t get me wrong: This spooky treat looks like it’s in the spirit of both the Muppets and the season. No, it probably won’t reach the heights of the Muppets’ heyday. But at least Disney remembered to make an effort to keep these characters alive, you know?
Demon-eyed frog indeed.

Here’s everything else coming to Disney+ in October. Prepare to be underwhelmed: This is the first time in a while that there won’t be a new Marvel or Star Wars show on offer—though, as a commenter kindly reminded me, if you didn’t pay the $30 extra for Black Widow, you’ll be able to see it for free on Oct. 6.

No star wars or marvel content?   There’s What If, a lego star wars movie, and Black Widow.   


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