We waited a long time for ‘Muppets Haunted Mansion,’ but not THAT long!

Did you stream Muppets Haunted Mansion yesterday?

The all-new spooky special starring the zany Muppets and some of their celebrity pals became available to stream yesterday on Disney+, and we’re glad because we’ve been waiting a long time for the movie to be released on the platform; it’s been 5 months since it was first announced by Disney!

But the writer and director of Muppets Haunted Mansion has waited a little longer than 5 months for the Muppets’ Halloween-themed special to come to fruition–and not just because of all the filming and editing and production that had to take place. He’s waited more than 30 years!

Kirk Thatcher started his career in the 1980s with Industrial Light and Magic, but then his attention and efforts turned to Jim Henson’s lovable (and quirky) cast of Muppets. Over the course of his career, he has wanted to do a Halloween-themed Muppets movie.

In fact, Muppets Haunted Mansion is–if he had to estimate–Thatcher’s fifth version of the horror-comedy flick with staff writer Jim Lewis. Before this version, his ideas for the movie included spoofs (of course) on classic monster films and even a film that had a Ghostbusters feel to it.

“Everyone has their approach to the Muppets,” Thatcher says. “I love seeing them in different venues; they’re like Monty Python–they do genre pictures!”

Like A Muppets Christmas Carol, the Muppets play roles in Muppets Haunted Mansion. That means that Thatcher and his crew had to cast the Muppets for certain roles.

His favorite Muppets for which to write are Gonzo and Pepe the King Prawn, but he says that’s not why they are the stars of the show. Instead, he says they project opposite responses to scary situations, which really adds to the movie.

“Gonzo is not scared,” Thatcher explains. “He thinks it’s great, and Pepe is terrified so you get that classic Hope and Crosby, Abbott and Costello–two completely different takes on what it’s like to be in a scary place.”

He had the perfect role in mind for one of the Muppets’ most famous and glamorous.

“We immediately knew Piggy had to be [Madame] Leota,” he says. “We call her Madame Pig-ota. Just the idea of Piggy being in a special being stuck in that, as she says stuck in a fishbowl was just so much comedy to be mined from.”

Muppets Haunted Mansion features all the Muppets gang, as well as cameos and roles starring John Stamos, the late Ed Asner, Taraji P. Henson, Yvette Nicole Brown, Pat Sajak, Will Arnett, and more!

You can stream the Muppets’ first-ever Halloween special now on Disney+!




About Becky Burkett

I'm an enthusiastic writer who finds joy in random things like cold weather, snow, "I Love Lucy," "The Andy Griffith Show," journals full of blank paper, countdowns to Christmas, the month of December, "Toy Story," "Sleeping Beauty," my 4 kids, my 4 shih tsus, Disney Parks history, Imagineering and visiting the parks. I think Walt Disney is the standard against which genius should be measured. I love to write about Disney Parks, Disney history, all things Imagineering and PIXAR. I adore the colors, story and art direction of Disney's "Sleeping Beauty" (Team Make it Blue!), and "Toy Story" is life (minus "Toy Story 4"). I believe Walt Disney was so much more than an entertainment and theme park tycoon; I believe he was a savant with a vision for life and how it could be if happiness and kindness are strived for. I love Biergarten at EPCOT and 1900 Park Fare at Disney's Grand Floridian. You can find me croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room, chillin' on the PeopleMover or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. I'm always looking for Imagineers in the parks, and I'd rather meet Joe Rohde and Tony Baxter than anyone in Hollywood! Hey, if you dream it, you really can do it!