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The Muppets

The Muppets

What She said:

She

I honestly never thought they’d ever make another Muppets movie.  The Muppets are fun and all, but they’re more something for Generation X than today’s youth.  But that’s the very principle behind the new Muppets movie.  In The Muppets, Gary (Jason Segel) and his brother, Walter, who also happens to be a Muppet (the physics don’t make sense but just overlook that), go on a quest to reunite Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, and crew and save the Muppet Theater from being torn down.  Chris Cooper plays Tex Richman, the evil oil magnet who wants to drill where the theater and museum currently stand in Hollywood.  The Muppets put on one final show in an attempt to raise the $10 million they need to stop Richman. 

It’s absurd, I know, but it’s also the Muppets, so it all seems about right.  Prepare yourself for plenty of musical segments with choreographed dancing. There’s also a whole lot of celebrity cameos.  Ignore all gaping plot holes and just take in the scenery for all it’s worth.  The Muppets is refreshing, and, depending on your personal background with Jim Henson Productions, may make you nostalgic for yesteryear. 

There’s some weirdness going on with this movie, and not just Muppet weirdness.  I got the sense that the whole thing is actually the warped personal story of Jason Siegel, a man whose personal obsession with the Muppets has left him torn between being a Muppet and being human.  No joke, there’s a song called “Am I a Man, or am I a Muppet.”  I feel like Siegel is sort of singing to himself.  In fact, I’m fairly certain he is.  Since he wrote the movie, there are also a couple of awkward humor moments that ooze his personality. 

But you can tell that Segel is a huge fan of the Muppets who took a lot of care in crafting a story that would be fun, festive, and heartwarming.  Overall, the movie is fairly well done.  In the theater I was in, it seemed that the children did not enjoy the film quite as much as their parents.  Everyone REALLY enjoyed the Toy Story short that ran right before The Muppets though.  It’s super funny; those ten minutes are almost work the entire price of admission.

Thumbs up.

What he said:

He

The Muppets aren’t something I really sit around and think about all that often. Like so many others, I enjoyed them growing up, but I didn’t notice when they disappeared from pop culture. Apparently, I’m not the only one who felt this way, because this is exactly what Jason Segel and company decided to make The Muppets about.  

Gary (Jason Segel) and his brother Walter (a muppet) are huge fans of The Muppets. They grew up watching it and still love them to this day. When Gary decides to take his girlfriend Mary on a trip to California, he also brings his brother Walter along. Gary is looks out for Walter, but that is also something of a sticking point with Mary. She’s doesn’t dislike Watler, but wants more time with her boyfriend.

When they make it out to California, the guys are disappointed when they see the sad shape Muppets Theater is in. Nobody really seems to care that they aren’t around anymore either. Things really heat up when Walter inadvertently finds out that the evil oil tycoon Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) plans to tear down everything and mine for the oil he swears is underneath the Muppets old stomping grounds. This immediately sets Gary, Walter, and Mary on a question to bring the Muppets to their former glory.

Along the way, the three of them bump into all kinds of familiar Muppet faces. Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, and the rest of the gang have scattered across the globe. Apparently, the group has fallen out of contact with one another; making their quest all the more challenging (but fun for the viewer).

The journey is also something of a test for Gary and Walter’s relationship. As Walter gets over the shock of meeting all his idols, he slowly begins to become a part of the group. Kermit and the gang begin to rely on him more and more. While Gary is happy for his brother, he begins to feel like his brother doesn’t need him anymore. This comes to a climax in one of the funniest musical bits I have ever seen. I absolutely loved this bit. Besides being a very funny song, “Am I a Man, or am I a Muppet” is bound to make any nerd or lover of TV burst into laughter the way we did. That’s all I’ll say about that.

I also have to agree with my counterpart that I got this weird vibe that Segel was sort of singing to himself, which make it all the more awkward and amusing.

Next thing we know, it’s the night of the big reunion show and the gang has to put on the show of their lives to save the Muppet Theater. Can they do it? Well you’ll just have to watch to find that out, but I can promise you that if you do, you remember about the greatness that is the Muppets. My face actually hurt from smiling so much when I left the theater.

I really loved the build up to this movie too! Well placed teasers and other promotional events made me want to see if even more. For example, the collaboration with the WWE was hilarious!

I also have to say just how great the Toy Story short was before the movie. That franchise is clearly still oozing with creativity and it just goes to show you that audiences still want more. I also think it is a great way to continue to push this franchise – as well as others – if companies didn’t want to make full length movies all the time. I would love to see something of a throwback to the old days when cartoons and other shorts were shown before the feature film.

This movie review was given the He said, She said seal of approval on December 5, 2011.

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