Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Muppets: A Review

One of my earliest memories is being at the home of my great-grandparents with my father and my siblings, drinking 7-Up from a glass bottle while watching The Muppet Show on their TV. I remember wondering why Kermit had moved from Sesame Street to The Muppet Show, but was pleased nonetheless with all of the zany comedy and musical numbers. Over the years, Kermit became a sort-of personal hero of mine. He's the long suffering, easily frustrated everyman. He's the underdog who may not always succeed in the end, but ends up better for having tried.

My daughter has grown up having to endure my Kermit impressions which usually involve goofy voice sketches or the spontaneous singing of "Rainbow Connection". Over the Thanksgiving break, we watched the first two seasons of The Muppet Show on DVD and kiddo seemed to enjoy it despite her initial confusion about the variety show format and Miss Piggy looking weird. It was enough to get her excited about the new movie and we were finally able to see it last weekend.

Now that Disney owns The Muppets, I was leery about the movie but still faced it with a cautious optimism. The movie is a metaphor for the state of The Muppet franchise itself: people have forgotten about them and a comeback would seem unlikely. Thankfully, the film is a love letter to the childhood of every Muppet fan out there, old and young alike and is also catchy enough to reel in new fans. Jason Segal's labor of love had me on the edge of tears several times. And, while the film has a few misfires and some pacing issues, it's still classic Muppets with catchy songs and goofy, self-referential humor. If I were to point out any negatives, it's that The Muppets spends a little too much time on the human protagonists and that Miss Piggy is so over-the-top that she seems like a parody of herself. The best part for me had to be the Kermit/Piggy duet of Rainbow Connection. My daughter looked over to me and exclaimed "That's a REAL song? I thought you were making it up for the joke!" (I always said that Rainbow Connection ticked me off because there really aren't that many songs about rainbows as Kermit claimed).

In short, The Muppets is a great movie for both old and new fans alike. What are you waiting for? Go out and see it. NOW.

No comments:

Post a Comment