Do you realize that it’s been 12 years since we’ve last seen the Muppets on the big screen? It’s crazy to think about. The Muppets are as big of an American institution as Saturday Night Live is. There should be a new Muppets movie every three years. Some people may not be big Muppet fans, but can you find anyone who really doesn’t like them?
Before I start the review, please enjoy this short commercial break.
The video above is in my opinion one of the best things the Muppets have ever done. But that’s beside the point.
The Muppets is surprisingly good even going in with high expectations. It’s one of the best family films of the year and it should successfully relaunch them as a franchise. The story is that a enereyday guy from Smalltown named Gary (Jason Segel) decides to visit Las Angeles with his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) and his muppet brother Walter, who happens to be the world biggest Muppet fan.
When Gary, Mary and Walter get to LA they take a tour of the abandoned Muppets theater and it’s there that Walter learns is about to be bought and torn down. So in order to save it and get the one million dollars needed to do so, they go on a search for Kermit and try to convince him to get the gang back together to put on a telethon by putting on one more show.
This proves more difficult than it seems as they’ve all been separated for some time. Fozzie has a show he puts on in Reno called “The Moopets”, Miss Piggy is living a fashionable life in Paris, and Gonzo runs his own used-toilet business.
This movie is different from the other Muppet movies you’ve seen and grown to love. One thing that makes the Muppets great is their ability to appeal to just about every age group with their comedy. They’re notorious for making jokes that will make kids laugh and grown-ups chuckle and their sometimes dirty innuendos. This is lacking in the movie though, and it is practically a children’s movie that has few jokes that make older audiences laugh. The laughs you get as an adult though are because of nostalgic purposes, and not the clever writing of their movies before.
Rather than being a Muppets movie, this is more of a celebration of the Muppets and it’s one of the things that makes it so great, even if I was missing some of the adult-ish humor of before.
One thing the movie does great is that it doesn’t shy away from the fact that it’s been 12 years since we’ve seen the Muppets. It fully embraces it, and it serves as a launching point to re-energize this franchise. This truly is a love letter to Kermit and friends from Jason Segel.
Maybe one of the greatest things this movie has done is bring the Muppets back onto television through late-night talk shows, celebrity interviews, and other media. They belong on television, that’s where they shine. I recently watched Kermit and Miss Piggy play a game of Password with Michael Stipe (REM) and Martin Short on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and it was hilarious.
As I mentioned before, there’s a whole generation of kids who have never been introduced to the Muppets. Most of my generation was introduced to them with The Muppet Babies on Nickelodean. I still know the theme song. It’s not the best way to be introduced to them, but atleast I was. And because of that I was introduced to The Muppets Take Manhattan which I eventually owned and watched multiple times on VHS. The Muppet Babies served as a gateway drug to the real thing. Today, kids don’t even have that.
This movie is that. This is a great family movie and a great introduction to the Muppets for our younger generation with plenty of celebrity cameos. It’s self-aware, charming, Fozzie’s jokes are corny, and it hits almost all the right marks. Go see Jason Segels love letter to Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and the rest of the gang. You won’t regret it.
The Muppets gets a 4 out of 5 stars.