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Muppets

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Fourteen years after initial negotiations began, Disney acquired the Muppets intellectual property from Henson for $75 million on February 17, 2004. The acquisition consisted of most of the Muppets film and television library, as well as the Bear in the Big Blue House television series. Exceptions included the Sesame Street characters, which were previously sold to Sesame Workshop; the Fraggle Rock characters, which were retained by Henson; and the distribution rights to four films: The Muppets Take Manhattan, Muppets from Space, and Kermit's Swamp Years, which were retained by Sony Pictures Entertainment; and It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, retained by NBCUniversal Television Distribution. Following the acquisition, Disney formed The Muppets Studio (originally The Muppets Holding Company), a wholly owned subsidiary responsible for managing the characters and franchise. As a result, the term "Muppet" became a legal trademark of Disney; under license from Disney, Sesame Workshop continues to use the term for their characters, as well archival footage of Kermit the Frog.

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