Burbank, CA, April 17, 2009 — Burbank, CA based Soapbox Films announced today that its “Ode to Joy” web video, starring Beaker from the Muppets, has been nominated in the Music category for Online Film & Video in the 13th Annual Webby Awards.
Hailed as the “Internet’s highest honor” by the New York Times, The Webby Awards is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet.
“Ode to Joy” is the result of a creative collaboration between Soapbox Films and Disney’s The Muppets Studio to produce original content exclusively for online video sharing sites. Strategically positioned as user-generated content created and uploaded by the Muppet characters themselves, the videos entertain worldwide on sites such as YouTube, MySpace and Vimeo, with a total view count of over 9.5 million to date.
Lovable lab assistant Beaker’s take on Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is the breakout favorite. “Ode to Joy” raced to more than 2 million views in its first two weeks of release and currently boasts over 5 million views. The five-star rated clip ranks as YouTube’s #33 Top Favorited Entertainment video of all time.
“Ode to Joy” and other videos from the campaign have been featured in such influential new media outlets as The Huffington Post, Gawker, /Film, Videogum and Wonkette, as well as traditional media heavyweights like Entertainment Weekly and The New York Times.
“Nominees like ‘Ode to Joy’ are setting the standard for innovation and creativity on the Internet,” says David-Michel Davies, executive director of the Webby Awards. “It is an incredible achievement to be selected among the best from the nearly 10,000 entries we received this year.”
“Working with the Muppets has been a lifelong-dream come true for us,” says Soapbox Films president Christopher Alender, “and it was an honor to help catapult this ever-groundbreaking franchise into the 21st Century.”
“The digital age is perfect for the Muppets,” adds Soapbox Films creative director Andrew Williams, “YouTube is essentially the world’s largest variety show, and there’s no way Beaker, Fozzie, Gonzo, and the rest of the gang would miss out on it.”
As a nominee, “Ode to Joy” is also eligible to win a Webby People’s Voice Award, which is chosen online by the global web community. From now until April 30th, fans of “Ode to Joy” can cast their votes in The Webby People’s Voice Awards at http://pv.webbyawards.com.
Winners will be announced on May 5th, 2009 and honored at a ceremony in New York City on June 8th hosted by comedian Seth Meyers. If selected, monosyllabic Beaker may get his chance to deliver one of the Webby’s famous five-word speeches. Past Webby Award winners – and their speeches – include Al Gore (“Please don’t recount this vote.”), Beastie Boys (“Can anyone fix my computer?”), and Stephen Colbert (“Me. Me. Me. Me. Me.”).
The Webby Awards is presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a 650 person judging academy whose members include Internet co-inventor Vinton Cerf, R/GA’s Chief Bob Greenberg, “Simpsons” creator Matt Groening, Arianna Huffington, and Harvey Weinstein.