THE MUPPETS (2011)
Stars: Jason Segel, Amy Adams
Director: James Bobin
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
The premise behind the latest Muppets movie is simple (and true). Basically, the world (young kids) has forgotten about them. Kids today are more entertained by the internet, 3-D movies and digital animation than they would be by the hippie, ‘80s’, clever humor that The Muppets often promote. This movie could have very easily been accompanied by the tagline “based on a true story.” This is the first Muppets feature film since 1999’s Muppets from Space. They have taken stabs at several TV movies, but none of them as nearly as successful as the late 70s-early 80s prime-time variety half-hour, “The Muppet Show,” which spawned classic films such as The Muppet Movie (1979) and The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984). It’s safe to say that the last twenty years or so have been a bit of a drought for the Muppets’ popularity amongst younger crowds. Well, long-time super fan, Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, 2007), decided to resurrect The Muppets by writing this screenplay and getting support from Disney, which is the most popular movie studio with kids and families. What we get out of it is a glorious, fun- filled, nostalgic and charming 90 minutes of hilarity, music, adventure and, best of all, memories. The Muppets introduces us to Walter, a Muppet-like creature himself who has been living a human life for more than thirty years with the hopes of one day meeting the Muppets in Los Angeles. When his older brother, Gary (Segel), plans a trip to L.A. with his fiancée, Mary (played by Amy Adams), he lets Walter tag along so that they can take a tour of Muppets Studios. Upon arrival, they learn that the studio is run down with virtually no foot traffic anymore. They also discover an evil plot by a wealthy oil tycoon, Tex Richman (played by Chris Cooper), to tear down the studio and drill for oil. Walter, Gary and Mary embark on an adventure to gather the entire Muppets gang for one last hoorah in an effort to save the studio from demolition. All of our favorite Muppets are back – Kermit, Piggy, Fozzy, Animal, Gonzo and so many more. There were even Muppets that I had forgotten about that made appearances, much to my delight. The film also spares no expense on the celebrity guest cameos, which included Zach Galifianakis, Jack Black, Dave Grohl, Selena Gomez and Neil Patrick Harris, among others. Jason Segel is a hero in my book for bringing back one of the most enjoyable “family franchises” in movie history, and his corky, shy approach to his role of Gary was endearing and funny. Amy Adams (Enchanted, 2007) is a delightful ray of light that shines in every single role that she takes on. She fits like a glove into this goody-too-shoes, heavy-hearted, “girl in love” character. Make no mistake, the real stars of this movie are indeed The Muppets themselves. I can remember when I was 6 or 7 years old watching “The Muppet Show” on my Dad’s lap, and this movie drug up some of those same happy feelings again. It was like I was transported back to a simpler time where the smiles were plentiful and the worries didn’t exist. “The Rainbow Connection,” “It’s Time to Meet the Muppets,” and many other old-school songs from the crew can be heard in the movie, along with several hits from the 1980s that only aid in bringing all of that childhood nostalgia back to life. New fans, and children that were not around in the 80s, will enjoy this movie just as much as anyone else because it does a terrific job at telling the brief history lesson of the Muppets, and then carrying on with their current story, which is basically their comeback thanks to Segel and Disney. The Muppets is easily one of 2011’s best films. It is a movie that will endure as a timeless treasure to add to the story of these larger-than-life fuzzy creatures. All of the best installments from the Muppets franchise involves celebrity cameos, musical numbers, the adorable Muppets and big show finale, and my friends with The Muppets, we get all of that and then some, which equaled one of the most enjoyable movie-going experiences that I have had in a long time – maybe since the 1980s.
- It’s Time to Raise the Curtains on the Most Sensational, Inspirational, Celebrational, Muppetational Soundtrack! (chipandco.com)
- Jason Segel Talks About “The Muppets” and More (chipandco.com)