Being an avid Muppets fan, I look forward to any project featuring these wonderful Jim Henson creations. So, of course, I was eager to see The Muppets, their latest movie. But I didn’t expect it to be one of the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, muppetational shows ever! This delightful film boasts catchy songs, funny dialogue and nostalgic sequences -- as well as human characters almost as lovable as the Muppets themselves.
Tying everything together is a simple plot involving a plan to save the Muppet theater from being destroyed by a greedy oil baron, played with great relish by Chris Cooper (as you’ve NEVER seen him before!). When Walt, a Muppet lookalike and longtime fan, discovers what “Mr. Richman” has in store for that beloved location, he recruits his brother Gary (Jason Segel) and Gary’s girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) to help him find Kermit the Frog, hoping something can be done to keep the theater intact. Kermit finally agrees to get his Muppet friends back together in order to put on a telethon to save the day. In the process, our heroes face many obstacles, and it’s a treat to see how they deal with such problems as locating Miss Piggy, finding a celebrity host for the show, and giving the villain his well-deserved comeuppance.
Jason Segel (Gulliver’s Travels), who also co-wrote the amusing screenplay, provides one of the unexpected highlights here. He’s quite endearing as Walt’s concerned brother. Plus his enthusiastic singing and dancing complements the more accomplished musical performance by the endlessly charming Amy Adams (Enchanted). Jack Black (The Big Year) as Animal’s anger management sponsor and Emily Blunt (The Adjustment Bureau) as Miss Piggy’s officious receptionist also stand out. Naturally, the Muppets are all as cute as can be, even the most bizarre ones like the disturbing new Moopets.
Kudos to director James Bobin (TV’s The Flight of the Conchords) and musical supervisor Bret McKenzie for including so many wonderful musical numbers in this Muppet film. Simply thinking about “Life’s a Happy Song,” “Me Party,” and “Man or Muppet” boosts my mood considerably. (Note to self: Get this soundtrack!)
The Muppets have been missing from the big screen for about 12 years now. Muppets from Space, which dealt hilariously with Gonzo’s roots, was released back in 1999. Like so many fans, I’ve been longing for their return. Welcome back, Muppets!
(Released by Walt Disney Studios and rated “PG” for mild rude humor.)
For more information about The Muppets, go to the Internet Movie Data Base or Rotten Tomatoes website.