I have people who can testify to this under oath.
I can tell stories about someone very dear to me who wouldn’t tell me some of the films they had watched because they thought I would judge them harshly for it.
I’m a snob, I’m opinionated, and I love my cinema, film, and movies.
And I can easily say that The Muppets met and exceeded every one of the expectations that I had for it. Which is truly saying something, because since I heard there was a new muppet movie coming our way, my expectations and hopes seemed to have built exponentially since that first announcement.
In an earlier post I expressed some of the worry that abounded about the characters not having the same voices, and admittedly being worried about the script.
Now I can say those worries have been brushed aside, and left nothing but the wonderful shiny movie that is The Muppets.
The theater we saw it in was filled with our peers, I don’t think there was anyone younger than 25 in our audience, and there were a couple in their late 50s surely. Which meant they were all here for the same reason we were, a love of the muppets from our childhood. From characters we grew up with, and now, in the cynical and jaded 21st century, wanted to catch up with again.
From the get go, I found the experience to be, it may sound childish, magical. The story works from the go, and is filled with self-referential material, nods to the camera and the audience, irreverence, and purity. Everything that, for me, made the muppets what they were when I was growing up.
Sharing the screen and the story with our favorite felt characters, are two brothers, Gary (Jason Segel) and Walter who grew up, much like I did, watching The Muppet Show, The Muppet Movie, and The Great Muppet Caper, and Gary’s girlfriend Mary (played by Amy Adams who everyone knows I have a huge crush on).
On the cusp of their 10th Anniversary (of dating) Gary and Mary are planning a trip to sunny L.A.! Gary, however, invites his brother to join them, who very much wants to visit the legendary Muppet Studios.
On arriving, the trio, especially Walter, are crushed to discover that the studio and theater have fallen into disrepair. Sneaking into Kermit’s old office, Walter hides just in time to overhear the dastardly plans of the evil Ted Richman (Chris Cooper), who now has possession of Kermit & Co.’s standard Rich & Famous contract from their first film, and in just a few short days, the rights to the theater will pass to him, whereupon he will knock down the studios and theater and dig for the oil which is beneath it!
Walter, Gary and Mary decide that Kermit has to be told, and seek him out. He tells them the only way they could possibly raise the money in time is to get the old gang back together for another show, it seems they all went their separate ways in life after the show and movie career petered off.
And so begins an awesome film…
For me it walked the perfect balance between nostalgia and something wonderfully new, the nods back to the first film were there, but there were also tons of new songs, and so many laughs, and for me lots of misty-eyed moments.
If I was Disney, I would be tapping everyone involved with this film, and asking them to please kindly sign this contract here so we can make a few more of these movies please.
I love the fact that people refer back to the dance number they were just in like it’s the most ordinary thing in the world to break out into song and dance. I love all the backgrounds in Kermit’s home, magazine covers and the like, I loved Gary and Walter’s room with all the muppet memorabilia, Gary’s Halloween costume, Kermit’s 80s robot, all the brilliant throwaway lines that you need to see the movie again for, cause you were too busy laughing to hear them.
The film was everything I wanted from a Muppet Movie. Now, do the voices sound exactly the same, no. But you know what? My voice has changed since the last time I saw the Muppets on the big screen, so I’m willing to chart that one up to age and let the characters have it. It certainly wasn’t enough to pull me out of the movie!
The movie is wonderfully crafted and Disney should be very glad they’ve finally done something with this property.
The cameos, while seemingly not as numerous as the original Muppet Movie are fun to catch, and bring moments of pointing at the screen with a hey-look-it’s-so-and-so!
It’s not cynical, it’s not jaded, it’s the muppets.
I’ve tried to keep this review as spoiler free as I can, cause I don’t want to ruin any of it for you! Get out there and see this movie, and I challenge you not to like it. Anyone who grew up with these characters will be glad to see them on the big screen again…
Kermit, it’s been too long…