Tuesday, November 29, 2011
I grew up on The Muppet Show, but I never really enjoyed any of the Muppet movies that came out in the 80's and 90's. So when I heard last year that they were doing yet another Muppet movie, I was skeptical. Is it going to be really corny? Will they be able to capture the spirit of Kermit and Miss Piggy now that Jim Henson and Frank Oz are no longer doing the voices? Will Miss Piggy be donning another 80's afro hairstyle?
I'm happy to say that my fears were unfounded. The new Muppet Movie is the best of them all (with the possible exception of the original Muppet Movie)!
Here's a brief synopsis:
When Walter, the world's biggest Muppet fan, and friends Gary (Jason Segel) and Mary (Amy Adams) discover the nefarious plan of oilman Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) to raze the Muppet Theater, they help Kermit reunite the Muppets to stage The Greatest Muppet Telethon Ever and raise the $10 million needed to save the theater.
The movie does a great job taking old fans down memory lane, and it's great fun seeing what the Muppets are up to (Miss Piggy is the Paris Vogue editor, Gonzo is a toilet seat magnate, Animal is in anger therapy). The move does get corny at times, but it's deliberately corny; other times it is truly touching, and I had a hard time holding back a tear or two (while The Pea was sobbing unashamedly beside me).
As with all the Muppet Shows and Muppet Movies, there are tons of fun celebrity cameos; my favorites were Zach Galifianakis as Hobo Joe, Ken Jeong as the "Punch Teacher" Host, Jack Black as himself, Emily Blunt as Miss Piggy's receptionist and Mickey Rooney as a Smalltown USA resident.
The fun starts even before the movie does, with the hilarious Toy Story short, Small Fry (where Buzz Lightyear is kidnapped by a small fast food toy version of Buzz Lightyear), and continues after the movie ends; as the credits roll, moviegoers are treated to more celebrity cameos, set to everyone's favorite muppet song, Mahna Mahna!
Disclosure: I was invited to an advanced screening of The Muppets so I could write this review. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.