Oh boy – where do I even begin?! I thought The Muppets was a fantastic movie – Jason Segel did an amazing job with the script, the story was both fun and incredibly emotional for any lifelong Muppets fan like myself, and I know that I left the theater not only ecstatic for what I had just watched, but also extraordinarily hopeful for what we might now see out of the Muppets in the future…
…because one of the things that rang extraordinarily true for me while I was watching this movie was that while although yes, it was a silly story for entertainment purposes, at the same time it was also a very real story because the Muppets aren’t nearly as big of a deal right now as they used to be back in the day, and I think the reason why this ended up being such a powerful film is that it truly became a fan’s story asking the question, “Wait a minute – what did happen to the Muppets, and what do we have to do to get them back???” It’s the kind of story that could only be told by a diehard fan like Jason Segel – not someone who spent the last 30 years performing these characters, but instead someone who spent those same years idolizing them.
At its heart, I couldn’t help but thinking throughout this movie, “These guys do deserve a comeback!”
And mind you, I never actually even saw any of the big three Muppet movies in the theater – in fact, come to think of it, I only ever saw Muppets From Space which was as recent as 1999, but nonetheless as the opening theme to The Muppet Show played and the characters came marching across the screen singing like it was 1976, I couldn’t help but imagine that it felt something like that and frankly, even just recreating that experience from years before I was even born was pretty cool. These are timeless characters that have been around my entire life, and at the end of the show it was just really rewarding to finally see them getting the second shot that they’ve really been waiting on for what seems like over a decade at this point.
The high points for me?
- The Opening Number – Just as fun as I’ve been expecting since I watched the video of Kermit and songwriter Bret McKenzie singing a few weeks ago, with plenty of fun sight gags thrown in to play along.
- Amy Adams – She had a tough role in this movie because she eventually has to present one of the conflicts to Jason Segel’s character, but without making you absolutely hate her for it, and I think she did a really good job of that because when you see her singing and dancing again at the end of the movie, she still seems to fit right in with the whole gang.
- The Kermit & Piggy Dynamic – I really loved how they handled this without going over the top because even though it would’ve been entirely possible to create the entire movie around the mysteries between them and whatever happened to their relationship, instead it became more of a quaint rekindling with a lot of unspoken heart.
- The Rainbow Connection – I don’t really think that it’s a “spoiler,” per se, because it is on the soundtrack, but the actual performance of this song … including a very heartwarming interlude … was a huge moment. One of the many where I had to casually dry my eyes… 😉
- A Flight of the Conchords-esque Soundtrack – It can’t be easy writing songs for characters with this kind of legacy, but Bret McKenzie did a fantastic job of penning quirky originals that seemed to fit right into the Muppet universe while also maintaining a modern tune.
- The GRAND Finale! – In a word, it was BIG, and TEAR-JERKING, and FUN, and INSPIRATIONAL, and all of the things that I remember from growing up watching the Muppets all of these years. Ok, so maybe that’s several words, but they really pulled out all of the stops and delivered a phenomenonal ending and to quote another random Internet commenter, “The only bad thing about it was that it meant the movie was over…”
So yeah, I absolutely loved it, and if I had the time between now and Christmas, I’d most definitely go see it again because you only see a handful of truly great movies in your time and The Muppets was certainly one of them! At the very least, I can’t wait for the DVD to come out, and until then I’ll probably be listening to choice hits from the soundtrack on regular rotation in my car and while I’m working!
One final note that I wanted to end on is that if nothing else, I sincerely hope that Disney takes full advantage of this movie’s destined success and uses it to actually elevate the Muppets back into our daily lives like so many fans have been wishing for years. I’m talking more appearances by the characters, I’m talking a new attraction (or possibly even a new land altogether) at Walt Disney World, I’m talking figuring out how to make The Muppet Show profitable and taking another stab at that, too! This was a movie all about taking chances and trying new things, so what better way to honor these incredible icons that Jim Henson left us by putting them back in the spotlight where they so rightfully belong to be?!
Seeing Kermit and Fozzie and Miss Piggy up on the big screen was a genuine reminder that this is an amazing cast of characters, full of heart and love and the desire to make as many people laugh as they possibly can. All Disney needs to do now is step back and let the Muppets do their thing…