In Business This Week
GOSH! THE MUPPETS VS. MICKEY!
So much for cute and cuddly. On Apr. 17, Henson Associates filed suit against Walt Disney, accusing the entertainment giant of "extreme arrogance." The suit seeks to prevent Disney from continuing to use Muppet characters in its theme parks without a license.
Disney had offered in 1989 to buy Henson Associates, creator of the Muppets, Fraggles, and other characters, but talks collapsed in late 1990, seven months after the death of company founder Jim Henson. Disney had used Muppets in its theme parks throughout the talks but allegedly refused to work out a viable licensing deal after the acquisition fell through. Henson, which is owned by Jim Henson's five children, seeks to prevent Disney from showing its 3-D movie, Kermitthe Frog Presents: MuppetVision 3-D, scheduled to premier at Disney World in May. Disney called the suit "outrageous," and an "enormous distortion of the facts."EDITED BY HARRIS COLLINGWOOD