It’s time to start the music. It’s time to light the lights. And if this is your first time, then it’s time to meet the muppets on the Muppet Show tonight!
We live in such a nastalgiac age that often we find ourselves looking back on certain entertainment properties and asking ourselves why they endure. And for the muppets created by Jim Henson and his beloved Muppet Show that ran from ’76 to ’81 with various movies to follow, it is a question easily answered by the latest movie titled simply The Muppets. Kermit the frog and his friends have been entertaining the masses for decades and their experience shows as they put on a comedy spectacle like never before.
It’s very easy for our cynical generation to look down on modern comedy and compare it to everything we’ve ever seen. Sure we like our serious jokes with our foul language and adult content, but whatever happened to the universal humor? Whatever happened to the joke that everyone could laugh at? Where did they go? Nowhere; and that’s exactly what The Muppets set out to prove. From the very beginning we are drawn into a spectacular musical endeavor of ridiculous proportions that makes every attempt to let you know that they know just how ridiculous they are–that’s the joke! With infectious stars such as Amy Adams and the lovable talent that is Jason Segel (also the co-writer of this work) heading up the live action portions of the movie, The Muppets showcases broad strokes of genius in humor, singing, brilliant writing, and great classic lines from all your favorite Muppet characters.
The story follows a muppet named Walter and his human brother Jason Segel as they and Segel’s fiance Amy Adams embark on a trip to Muppet Studios to experience and meet the muppets that Walter had admired his whole life. Finding the muppet property in shambles and abandoned, Walter and Segel strike out to bring the gang back together for one last show in order to save the Muppet Theater from an oil tycoon bent on the idea that a huge profit rests below their property. This movie explores not only the human dynamic involved with loving and enjoying the muppets, but also the legacy of the muppets themselves. As we progress with Kermit, we find that the other muppets have gone their separate ways and begun new lives–some successful like Gonzo’s million dollar business and some not so much like Fozie’s knock off muppet show called the “Moopets”. Each of them bring a powerful amount of emotion to their characters that pull you from your seats in a way that most real humans have a problem evoking from an audience. Whether it be Kermit singing sadly as he walks past all the photos of all his friends over the years or the moments he sits alone staring at an old photo of Miss Piggy, this frog deserves the highest acting praises and awards.
This film has all the laughs you missed growing up and all the laughs for any first timer to the Muppet Show. It will warm your heart with musical prowess as well as just have you slapping your knee over the audacity of Fozie’s bad puns that still for some reason get you giggling. And let’s not forget the plethora of cameos ranging from Whoopi Goldberg to Neil Patrick Harris and much much more. Young and old; all genders; all races–The Muppets is for everyone. And long after we are dead and gone the Muppets will be here. They will warm the hearts of our grandchildren and their grandchildren, because that’s what timeless characters do. Jim Henson left us with a legacy that sings loudly and demands to be heard no matter what popular trends in entertainment may say. Treat yourself and anyone else you know to something truly astounding. A real universal comedy.