Walt Disney Pictures
The Muppets are back
and the world couldn’t be happier! Seriously, they even say so in the opening number.
The new movie brings back fond memories from childhood and throws in the type of adult humor that’s become typical with every “kid” movie that you see coming out these days. In a lot of ways, I’m not even convinced that this is a movie for kids at all. Sure, you could bring little Tommy and Sally along and they would no doubt enjoy the singing, montages, and Gonzo explosions, but the majority of the film is centered toward reminding those familiar with the original tv show exactly why the Muppets were so popular when they first appeared in the 70s.
With the new film, we’re greeted by all the old favorites – Kermit and Piggy (obviously), Fozzi Bear, Gonzo the Great, Beeker, Munson, Animal, Swedish chef (my personal fav – and somewhat downplayed in this movie) and many others. In addition, we get to see a few new faces – most notably Walter and a very large blue, elephant-looking Muppet I can’t seem to recall in anything previously Muppet-related ever. The start of the movie introduces us to newbie-muppet Walter’s plights as an outcast that just wants to be one of the famed Muppet gang. Together with his brother Gary (Jason Segel) and Gary’s girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams), the three head to Hollywood on a vacation that turns into a mission to save the old Muppet Theater from being demolished for oil wells beneath its foundation by the evil Tex Richman (Chris Cooper). But first, they have to find and reunite all our favorite Muppets – starting with the obvious, and as I like to call him, King Kermit. It takes some persuasion initially, but once Kermit is on board, it’s just a matter of travel-by-map to collect the rest of the group in a montage fit for any cartoon connoisseur.
Getting the gang together, including a quick stop at anger management to pick up Animal where we also meet his sponsor Jack Black, is the easy part. Next, it’s a matter of refurbishing the old run-down theater (completed in the time it takes to finish a januty tune), finding a network to showcase their telethon, getting a celebrity host (or rather kidnapping a celebrity host), finding talent, and putting it all together in the span of an hour. Throw in some tough choices and inner turmoil, and you’ve got a complete Muppet movie with all the requisite resolutions for a happy ending in tow! Not to mention a slew of celebrity cameos sprinkled throughout (keep an ear open for Neil Patrick Harris’ comment as he answers phones for the telethon near the end).
After all the death, horror, and vampire-fairies hitting theaters, it’s nice to have something so delightful to turn to in place of all the gloom (which is still usually pretty entertaining stuff, but still you need a break every once in awhile). Whether you decide to bring the brats with you to see it, make it a date night, or just go solo, you will enjoy seeing this movie and will walk out with a welcome smile on your face. I did.