I’ve always been a big fan of the Muppets. I grew up watching them on Sesame Street and on the Muppet Show on CBS. Later on I had a lot of fun watching the 7-Deadly Sins Muppet Show pilot at the Museum of Television and Radio and doing some voice and script work for our Playcole stop motion video “William Shatner on the Muppet Show.”
I also eagerly watched the previous Muppet film where we learn Gonzo is an alien. While not awful, that might be the low point of Muppet films.
I was skeptical about the new movie, but I needn’t have been. The Muppets was awesome and well exceeded my expectations.
In some respects, this film is a Muppet version of the Blues Brothers.
The movie follows the literal and metaphorical journey Gary (Jason Segel) and Walter (a new muppet) take across the country and around the world.
Gary and Walter are brothers living in Smalltown, USA. They do everything together, but Walter always feels alienated among other people until he first see the Muppet Show on TV.
Fastforward several years and Gary promises to take his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) to LA for a trip. They bring Walter along for the journey.
Once they arrive in LA, the discover the Muppet Studios is crumbling and about to be sold to a Texas oilman and destroyed. Thus begins a quest to find Kermit, get the whole band back together, and a put on a show to try and save the Muppet Studios.
The movie started off solidly, but the moment I really go on board was when they went to find Gonzo and the actions he takes to join the team.
The movie is funny and has plenty of heart. The jokes ranges from the silly, corny ones, to some really Meta ones that play with the idea of the characters being in a TV show and making a movie.
The music is catchy and fun. Jack Black is brilliant in his roll.
They also did s really nice job with Animal and gave him a little depth. He was awesome to watch even when he wasn’t going Animal Crazy.
The cameos were mostly spot one, especially Jim Parsons.
An interesting concession to the passing of decades is that there is much less domestic violence in this movie than we usually get with the Muppets. I think Miss Piggy only beats one person and it’s not Kermit.
As a character, Mary doesn’t get as much of the story.I’m okay with that. While she does play Gary’s girlfriend, ultimately, the movie is not about her and Gary. It’s about Gary and Walter. It’s about Walter finding himself and Gary letting go of his childhood and redefining his relationship with Walter. While there is growth with Gary and Mary, Mary isn’t the driving force in the story. She’s an obstacle or challenge that needs to be dealt with and a pivot point for Gary’s development.
As Movies go, The Muppets is a winner. It’s respectful of the Muppet traditions, doesn’t take itself too seriously, had great music, and gives many of our favorites their own moment to shine.
Old fan or new, check out “The Muppets.”