The involvement comes just months after Pixar helped shape reshoots for Disney's upcoming sci-fi tentpole "Tron Legacy."
In other words, this is the second recent example of the animation house assisting parent Disney with a live-action feature.
Some of the members of the so-called "Pixar Brain Trust" -- filmmakers John Lasseter, Brad Bird, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, Michael Arndt, Bob Peterson and president Ed Catmull -- were there for the consultations. Docter is a particularly avid Muppets fan, so he almost certainly was one of the attendees. On the Disney side, Muppets director James Bobin and producers David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman were likely in the room along with Segel. Neither Pixar nor Disney would comment.
Beyond whatever advice might have come down for the project at hand, the fact that Pixar has its fingers in the Muppets pie suggests that Disney, under the new regime of Rich Ross and Sean Bailey, is intent on taking advantage of its subsidiary's storytelling abilities.
Pixar still is batting 1.000 with critics and commercially, with "Toy Story 3" being its 11th hit in a row. The film has grossed $366.9 million since its June 18 release, becoming the top domestic grosser of the year, surpassing the $334.2 million collected by Disney's "Alice in Wonderland." (Worldwide, "Alice" still is far ahead with $1.02 billion in grosses; the global tally for "Toy" stands at $634.4 million as its international rollout continues.)