The Muppets


(out of 5)

Jason Segel and  are a happy couple from Smalltown, USA who decide to take a vacation to Los Angeles, California and enjoy some fun in the sun together. She is rather chagrined when he asks if his brother Walter can come along, but she knows how close the siblings are so she relents; after all, who couldn’t love Walter? He’s about two feet tall, made of felt and operated through a combination of puppetry and marionette techniques. That’s right, Walter doesn’t know it, but he is a Muppet in the making, so imagine his thrill and joy when he finds out that he is going to see the studio of his all-time favourite show, the legend hosted by a frog and starring a pig, and maybe even meet his idols! Sadly, he arrives to find a dilapidated studio in danger of being taken over by a greedy tycoon () who plans to tear the place down and drill for oil. Not one to let his childhood heroes down, Walter enlists Segel and Adams to help him find the cast of the original The Muppet Show and put on one last big extravaganza in an effort to save their original home. Kermit turns out to be game (but then, isn’t he always? It’s so great to see the most sincere film protagonist back on the big screen), and he rounds up the original cast of deliriously fun personalities (Animal’s attempts at modern-day anger management are a scream) but getting to put on their show turns out to be something of a challenge. Modern-day children have been degraded by contemporary programming which is hardly more than garbage, and no one is interested in the Muppets and their “hippy dippy” charms. Still, the gang pull through and, in doing so, bring a tear to the eye of anyone from the generation that thrilled to the sound of their theme song. Ironic nostalgia abounds throughout this light comedy, though that level of appeal could possibly go unappreciated by those who didn’t enjoy the show as children, but what really makes this one a great time to watch is that, despite a flimsy plot that need not be otherwise, the Muppet characters themselves stay wholly true to form. The downsides come from the humans at the helm: Segel’s terrible performance can barely pull off genuine sincerity, and his script (which he co-wrote with Nicholas Stoller) wastes the time and talent of his female co-star, who once made fairy tale irony Oscar-worthy in Enchanted but here is barely noticeable. Cooper, who is probably the least lighthearted man ever to appear in movies, puts a hell of a lot backbone into the comedy (he even raps!) than this couple with their insincere sentimentality and painful lack of chemistry. Most disappointing is the collection of tunelessly forgettable songs, with the exception of the revival of the original Muppet Movie’s gorgeous, Oscar-nominated theme “The Rainbow Connection,” which truly feels like a trip back in time when Kermit gives it a whirl. Still, it’s a lovely good time, the host of celebrity cameos (including !) are delightful, and the kids will adore it; if they don’t, lock them in their rooms for a few weeks until they learn what real entertainment is supposed to be.

Walt Disney Pictures, The Muppets Studio

USA, 2011

Directed by

Screenplay by , , based on the characters created by 

Cinematography by 

Produced by ,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Awards 2011

Dorian Awards 2011.  

Las Vegas Film Critics Awards 2011

Phoenix Film Critics Awards 2011.   

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