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Frank Oz says "the soul's not there" in Disney's version of The Muppets

Mark Hamill in The Muppet Show
(Image credit: ITC Entertainment/Disney)

Frank Oz has spoken out about Disney's treatment of The Muppets, saying the House of Mouse doesn't want him involved with the franchise.

Oz voiced the characters Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Sam Eagle, Animal, and Marvin Suggs, as well as being a puppeteer. He was involved with The Muppet Show from 1976 to 1981, as well as the Muppets' big-screen adventures like 1984's The Muppets Take Manhattan. Disney bought the rights to the franchise in 2004. 

"I’d love to do the Muppets again but Disney doesn’t want me, and Sesame Street hasn’t asked me for 10 years," Oz said in a recent interview with The Guardian. "They don’t want me because I won’t follow orders and I won’t do the kind of Muppets they believe in."

Oz was also a regular on Sesame Street from 1969 to 2001, voicing characters including Bert, Grover, and Cookie Monster. However, the actor revealed he no longer watches either franchise.

"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 added: "The soul’s not there. The soul is what makes things grow and be funny. But I miss them and love them."

As well as The Muppets and Sesame Street, Oz has also voiced Yoda in the Star Wars movies and had voice roles in Inside Out and Monsters Inc. 

If you've already seen the original Muppet Show, check out our list of the best TV shows of all time.

I’m an Entertainment Writer at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections – I help bring you all the latest news and the occasional feature, too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.