As seen in the 2002 film De Kermit`s Swamp Years, he was the first of his siblings to leave the swamp and one of the first frogs to talk to humans. It is screened in the film that meets for the first time Jim Henson, 12 years , played by Christian Kriebel. Jim Henson`s characters, including the Muppets, inspired the international merchandise, Chris Bensch, Rochester`s chief curator, the Strong National Museum of Play in New York: ”There seems to have been a particular enthusiasm for Kermit the Frog in Japan,” probably because of ”the cuteness call.”  Baby Kermit plush toys became popular in the 1980s after the success of Muppet Babies.  In 1991, a year after Jim Henson`s death, merchandise containing Kermit and other Muppet characters was sold in Disney theme parks, leading Henson Associates to file a copyright infringement complaint against Disney. Henson claimed that the ”counterfeit merchandise” incorrectly indicated that the characters belonged to Disney, although Disney had the right to exercise the use of the signs under a previous licensing agreement.  Henson associates have showcased a T-shirt with Kermit, the Disney brand, and a copyright symbol. Disney Rep. Erwin Okun said the complaint was ”unheard of” and ”an unfortunate break with the legacy of a beautiful relationship with Disney left by Jim Henson.”  Disney then acquired the Muppets, and the clothing, toys and souvenirs depicting Kermit and the Muppets continued to be sold in Disney parks and theme stores. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter on Monday, Whitmire explained that he was fired by Disney in October. He was given two reasons: unwanted notes during the short-lived reboot of the Muppets on ABC and union decision-making. News of his resignation came after months of news that he would be ”honoured” for his contributions to the Muppets and hope to develop problems with Disney`s brass.
After Henson`s death, veteran Steve Whitmire was named Kermit`s new actor.  Whitmire asserts that Henson apparently wanted to pass on the role to him before his death, although it was Jane Henson and his son Brian who chose him after their father`s death.  Whitmire`s first public appearance as Kermit took place at the end of the television special The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson in 1990. Whitmire explained that his main intention, when he inherited Kermit, was to ensure that the character remains the same and coherent, but that it is not obsolete and has only become a copy.  Kermit`s personality during Whitmire`s tenure was widely described as healthier, calmer and pollyanna-ish than Henson`s.   Several criticisms of Whitmire`s portrayal come from the Henson family. Brian Henson explained that while Whitmire`s performance was ”sometimes excellent and still pretty good,” he also said that ”Kermit has become a flattened character over time, he has become too square and less vital than he should have.”   Cheryl Henson stated that Whitmire had portrayed the character as ”bitter, angry, depressed, victimized”.  He remained Kermit`s lead actor until October 2016, when he was fired from The Muppets Studio.   Disney cited ”unacceptable commercial conduct” as grounds for dismissal, while Whitmire asserts that the decision was made because of creative differences of opinion on Kermit`s characterization and lengthy union negotiations that delayed his participation in Muppet productions.   In 2016, in a Good Morning America post on Twitter, ”But That`s None of My Business” was described as ”Tea Lizard,” which was the subject of viral online mockery. The New York magazine responded: ”Kermit is a frog.
A frog is a species of amphibians. A lizard is a reptile. It`s insulting. Beyond a frog and a lizard, both clearly ectothermic, they could not be more different.