Kermit the Frog and all of his Muppet buddies are getting the gang back together for the all-new Disney Plus series Muppets Now but many longtime fans seem to be having very mixed thoughts on Kermit's new voice. Originally, Kermit was voiced by the legendary Jim Henson from the puppet's inception in 1955 until Henson's death in 1990. The voice role then went to Steve Whitmire, who would stick around as the new Kermit for the next 26 years. While his Kermit voice wasn't identical to Henson's, it was certainly passable enough to work, and Muppets fans have since gotten used to Whitmire's voice.
For better or for worse, Whitmire had a falling out with the Muppets team in 2016, leading to his dismissal as the official voice of Kermit the Frog. In later interviews, Whitmire would claim that he was fired due to creative disagreements over Kermit's characterization and issues with his labor union negotiations. In any case, he was ultimately replaced by Matt Vogel, who signed on as the new voice of Kermit starting in 2017. As Vogel's performances as Kermit have been mostly limited to live appearances at this point, many Muppets fans are still not familiar with how the newest iteration of our favorite green puppet actually sounds today.
On Wednesday, that began to change with the release of a teaser trailer promoting Muppets Now on Disney Plus. In the video clip, Kermit is joined by his Muppet buddies as he addresses the viewers to hype the new program. As Kermit's voice has always been incredibly unique, the vast difference in the way he sounds now in comparison is leaving many fans on social media raising their eyebrows. Big fans of the franchise have tweeted about their intent to still watch the show, noting that it will take some difficulty getting used to the new voice. However, others are so put off by the different voice that they are using much more colorful language to express their negative opinions on the matter.
"No seriously, what's happened to Kermit's voice?" one perplexed fan asks. "I feel bad for saying this... but the new voice actor for Kermit ain't cutting it for me," another states, even adding the hashtag #NotMyKermit. Other fans of The Muppets make it clear that it's not personal by crediting Vogel's other work as a voice actor, but suggesting that he isn't right for the role of Kermit the frog. "I think Matt Vogel has done a great job with Muppet voices like Uncle Deadly and Constantine but I'm not sure if I can get used to that Kermit voice," a fan writes online.
Muppets Now will premiere on Disney Plus starting Friday, July 31. This newest version of The Muppets will be presented as an improv situation comedy featuring all of our favorite Muppet characters along with several celebrity guest stars. Kirk Thatcher directs, and guests confirmed for the series so far include Seth Rogen, Linda Cardellini, Aubrey Plaza, and RuPaul. The first season will consist of six episodes with each new episode to come every Friday. From Twitter, you can take a look at some of the responses to Kermit's Muppets Now voice below.