When The Muppets came out in theatres in November, I really thought I was going to be one of those crazy people to see it the first week of release
(I will not go into what the Muppets mean to me, or Jim Henson once again). But, the movie came out and I didn’t go. One by one, friends of mine were asking if I had seen it yet. When I would say “no”, they were shocked, surprised or even confused at how I hadn’t done so. To be honest, so was I. Reviews were coming in and they were positive. I adore Jason Segel and knowing that he was helming this renaissance made me feel that this treasured franchise was in good hands.
Ironically, when I watched the movie last night, it was on the same day that the NFB Mediatheque screened The Muppet Movie (aka the most superior Muppet film of all) during Canadian Music Week! Paul Williams (the man behind its score, and the writer of The Rainbow Connection was also in attendance).
So, here we go…all in all….I thought the movie was just ok. That being said, it definitely has resuscitated the franchise and a sequel is underway which is awesome. AND the film won an Oscar this year for Best Song. So, these are GREAT things that this movie as done. But, here’s my list of PROS and CONS
- Wow! It’s really so amazing to see them all on the big screen again.
- The Rainbow Connection still makes me cry – seeing Kermit play his banjo…..and then having everyone joining in to sing…good Lord.
- Seeing the opening to The Muppet Show again made me so happy, I can’t even tell you. And hearing the theme. Unbelievable.
- I like Walter – our new whistling Muppet protagonist. He’s very likeable. (The whole set up of him being Segel’s brother is a little weird though).
- Walter seeing himself as a human and he’s Jim Parsons – GENIUS.
- Animal in anger management – GENIUS. Ya gotta give him his drums, man.
- Cameo by Feist – AWESOME (Her 1,2,3,4 redo she did for Sesame Street is still one of the best that show has done).
- Cameo by Dave Grohl (blink and you’ll miss it) – LOVE IT. Could I love him more, please?
- Amy Adams, I love you. That “Me Party” song of hers is great.
- Fozzie singing a horrid retooling of The Rainbow Connection in Reno? Hilarious.
- The Moopets? Really funny. And weird. I would like to see them again.
- Chickens singing Cee-Lo’s “Forget You”? Hilarious.
- The entire Mahna Mahna section at the end of the film – cute.
Alright… the CONS
- The whole notion that the Muppets are irrelevant and not important in this day and age. Okay, fine – but hearing it throughout the ENTIRE movie, well that made me sad. They kept using it as a dialogue point and it was a bit overkill, so much so that it made me feel that there was this lingering melancholy on the entire movie.
- Kermit…my hero. He’s SO SAD IN THIS MOVIE. His voice, his movements…..he’s like a shadow of himself! I kept wanting him to snap out of it….but I even find that by the end of the movie, he’s still not so happy. What happened here!!!
- When Jim Henson died, I felt that the loony side to these beloved characters also died too. With Frank Oz also not involved with the Muppets anymore (he reportedly didn’t want to have anything to do with the movie because of the plot point that The Muppets were not relevant), a certain side to this incarnation of The Muppets lacks a certain joy and silliness. This movie is a good introduction to newcomers to The Muppets, but I can’t help comparing to material from the past and knowing the difference between the two.
- Having Selena Gomez say “I don’t really know who you guys are, but my parents do” – enough said.
- The Muppets have NEVER resorted to dumb crude dialogue or language, so to hear Fozzie utter the words “Fart Shoes” and also hear the word “bastard” in it too? Not cool (and no I’m not THAT MUCH of a prude).
- Jason Segel and Amy Adams should have had more interactions with the main Muppets rather than just Walter.
- No scene of Janis being caught saying something inappropriate once the group goes silent? 😦
So, there ya have it – a review a little too thought out. But, the good thing is that more Muppet films are looming and fingers crossed that it can only get better from here.