There are many things from our childhood that we can look back upon and really love as if we are still kids. Usually once we actually do re-experience those things in our adulthood they lose something. Very rarely though there are things that actually get better once we our adults or we re-connect with them on a different level. For me one of those things has been my love for the Muppets.
As a kid I grew up with the Muppets, whether it was THE MUPPET SHOW or one of the many movies. (1978’s original MUPPET MOVIE being the best of the bunch and one of the movie I have seen the most in my lifetime.) I loved them for being funny on a very basic level. As I got older though, I actually appreciated them more. I began to get the self-referential humor, how well thought out all of the individual characters are and how perfectly they all fit together as a unit. The Muppets really are one of the best examples of great kid’s entertainment. There are things for both kids and adults to enjoy on different levels. I am getting off track a little here and I could turn this into a 1200 word essay on my love for the Muppets but this isn’t what you are here for. So, I am going to trust that you just believe me when I say that I am a big fan. Knowing that you should now understand that I had high hopes for this new “reboot” and it was my most anticipated movie of the second half of this year.
THE MUPPETS turned out to be not only the most fun I have had at the movie theater this year but it also the funniest movie I have seen this year AND one of the most moving experiences. It ended up better than I could have ever imagined or hoped for and I believe it is one of the year’s best films. Other studios need to take notice because the success of this film is what happens when a huge fan like star/writer Jason Segal gets the chance to live out one of his dreams by creating a movie he has always wanted to do. The passion and care that was taken in making the movie came across so evidently on screen and is one of the biggest reasons why THE MUPPETS ended up being so successful. It really seemed like everyone had as much fun making it as I had watching it. This is such a rare feeling with movies today. There is so much advertising and money to make that nothing really feels organic or fun anymore, but THE MUPPETS was something special and I really commend Segal and company for pulling it off. I had a huge smile on my face throughout the entire film.
The biggest worry I had before seeing the movie was that it would focus more on Jason Segal and Amy Adams’ characters and make the Muppets supporting characters. This turned out to be exactly the opposite though and the filmmakers understood that we came to see Kermit and company and not the humans. Speaking of Kermit and company, they pulled every single Muppet off to perfection. Each one of them was spot on and just as good as they ever were. Kermit and Miss Piggy really seemed exactly like the Kermit and Miss Piggy we grew up loving. While they did not have a specific scene as magical as the date scene in the original MUPPET MOVIE, their relationship didn’t seem to have skipped a beat. Fozzy and Gonzo each had their own scenes that they stole. The only issue that I had with the original Muppets is that I wanted more Statler and Waldorf. I also need to mention Walter, the newest Muppet. I was worried about him but he felt like he fit in perfectly with the others.
Movin’ This film also brought back the original Muppets tradition of fantastic celebrity cameos. They stopped doing this with all of the Muppet films that have been made after Jim Henson’s death but it was a very nice addition with some great surprises. (So don’t read any spoilers.) They also brought back the elaborate musical sequences. (Just watch this clip if you need to be sold on that.) Most of them are fantastic and I have not been able to get the soundtrack out of my head. (Just don’t listen to the soundtrack before you see the movie because it will spoil a really great Chris Cooper sequence.)
I could keep going on and on with how much I loved this film and my love for the Muppets might be blinding my critical eye but I don’t care because I loved every frame of this film. It was as close to the Jim Henson magic that we have experienced in any Muppet related project since his death. It was hilarious without being cynical and moving without being melodramatic or schmaltzy. The last third of the movie was the most fun I have had watching a movie in a very long time. Coming out of the theater was a little depressing because of the realization that I had to go back to the real world. I wanted to stay in Muppet World forever but it is good to have the Muppets back in my life. Now if we can only get a revival of The Muppet Show so I can have an experience like this every week. I am pretty sure Jim Henson would be proud of what this turned out to be and ultimately this is the biggest compliment I can pay the filmmakers of THE MUPPETS.