It’s rare that a character receives an imprint on the historic and legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame—Mickey Mouse was the first when he paved the way for other characters by receiving the honor on his 50th birthday in 1978—and even rarer for a group of characters to receive a star. But on March 20, 2012—a sunny and cool Southern California day—the Muppets joined the Simpsons, Nickelodeon’s Rugrats, and the Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz in receiving a well-deserved group star on Tinseltown’s concrete galaxy of stars.
It’s Hollywood tradition for the Chamber of Commerce to recognize the honoree, or in this case, honorees, at the celebration. Hollywood Chamber President and CEO Leron Gubler, with special guest speakers Rich Ross, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios, and Lisa Henson, CEO, The Jim Henson Company, unveiled the 2,466th star in front of the historic El Capitan Theatre. As Sweetums revealed the star, feathers and furry pom pom balls—in addition to the customary tissue paper confetti—spilled out onto the walk of fame and into the crowd of Muppets fans. Beloved characters Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Animal, Pepe, Sweetums, and Walter, the newest Muppet, who made his debut in the 2011 film, received the award on behalf of the Muppets in celebration of the release of Disney’s The Muppets on Blu‐ray Combo Pack and DVD.
After the ceremony, D23 caught up with puppeteer, director, and producer Brian Henson, Jim Henson’s son, to get his thoughts on the latest Muppets film and this historic event. “Kermit and Miss Piggy already received their stars, but it’s really nice to see one star that is for the Muppets,” Brian told D23. “The film has been terrific for the Muppets, and the Disney Company has just done a wonderful job promoting the film and getting it out there. It’s good to see the whole world getting back behind the Muppets.”
Brian paused to reflect on what the Muppets mean to people and talk a bit about where they came from. “It’s certainly not surprising,” Brian said about the Muppets’ continuing influence long after his father’s passing. “What my dad was doing was never trendy—Muppets were never hip or trendy. They always traveled around the world and always worked for every culture and every age. It makes sense that it keeps working for a new generation. The Muppets are not really dateable because they are a unique type of comedy.”
By D23′s Billy Stanek