Monday, November 28, 2011

The Muppets Movie

First of all, I loved the first Muppets movie that was released back in the 70's, besides being an ardent fan of the show on TV. And when I first heard of "The Rainbow Connection", I fell in love with that song. So it was that nostalgic background that I went to see the new Muppets movie this past weekend.

The movie looks back with fondness to the "golden" years of the Muppets, and anyone who loved the show would be thoroughly pleased with this movie. The story traces the effort the Muppets to get back their old studios by raising money to get it back from an "evil entrepreneur". To get the money, they decided to redo the old variety show on TV.

The movie follows Kermit's effort to get the old gang back together again, including, of course, the curvacious Miss Piggy. A lot of this was done tongue-in-cheek, with reference to showing a montage of the smaller characters being asked back to join the gang, and a very neat trick of making quick travel via map. The climax of the movie was the staging of the show itself. The clucking chicken number was easily my favorite. But when Kermit started singing "The Rainbow Connection" again, I challenge anyone who was at the first movie to keep a dry eye. This song was done as a duet with Miss Piggy, and it could have been the emotional highlight of the movie - but they interrupted it for a short period of time during the song with a side plot. They got back to it, but the emotional high was lost by then!

This movie was done as musical. I think there was a bit too much "musical" in the movie that I can do without. I would have preferred a lot more scenes of the "Muppet Show" itself. They were hysterically funny, and a lot of the "musical" could have been there. I can't help wondering if this is going to be Disney's next Broadway musical production (not going to be easy with all the Muppets on stage). They also missed a golden opportunity to replicate a bit of the Muppet Show into the movie at the end. They could, after the credits, have Statler and Waldorf shoot their last words about the movie, just like they usually did at the end of the Muppet Show. Sadly, the movie did not have that.

It was a very entertaining movie, and certainly a very strong argument to bring the Muppets back to centerstage, rather than just remaining as an attraction at DHS in WDW. And with the movie making a solid $42 million over the Thanksgiving weekend, there's hope that Disney will do just that.


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