This one’s a Must-see!

Mightily great; enormously touching.

Perhaps you remember how the absolutely terrific Toy Story 3 brought back characters from our childhoods and made us feel great sympathy for them in 2010? Well, it’s 2011 now and an even older set of lovely characters are given a very similar treatment in one of the year’s better film – they are Jim Henson‘s Muppets!

Walter, no 1 fan of the Muppets.

James Bobin’s new musical comedy The Muppets is a film I thought would never be made, as the last Muppet-movie to go to theatres was Muppets From Space in 1999. But then, immensely clever trailers and other means of marketing the film began to emerge and I could barely believe it. They are back. They actually are.

The Muppets begins by introducing us to Gary (Jason Segel) and his puppet brother Walter (Peter Linz). How a puppet can be brothers with a human isn’t meant to be explained so hush. Since childhood they have both been large fans of The Muppet Show and in 2011 they go to Los Angeles with Gary’s girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams), hoping to visit the Muppet Theater and finally meet the Muppets in real life. When they arrive, though, the place is abandoned and messy. The Muppets are no longer famous. Walter discovers that an evil oil tycoon, the hilariously stereotypical Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) intends to demolish it entirely to drill for oil there. Maniacal laugh.

Gary, Mary and Walter find Kermit The Frog and talk him into joining them in reassembling the Muppet-team and raise money to get their old theater back. Thus they travel around the world to get everyone back for the first show in many, many years. Fozzie Bear, The Great Gonzo, Sam the Eagle, Dr. Bunsen, Beaker, Scooter, Statler & Waldorf, Animal, The Swedish Chef, Dr. Teeth, Rowlf the Dog and of course, Miss Piggy. Together they work hard to get the show back and save their theater. It is hard not to feel moved by scenes where the gang is talking about the times they’ve shared and what used to be.

The film contains, like most Muppet-films, many cameos from celebrities like Jack Black, Whoopi Goldberg, Neil Patrick Harris, Alan Arkin and Selena Gomez. The puppetry is done by Steve Whitmire, Dave Goelz and other regulars from the Henson-company. No Frank Oz, though.

The gang is about to reassemble.

I began watching The Muppets with certain skepticism. I thought the subplot revolving around the relationship between Gary and Mary, and how Mary is upset with how much more attentive he is to Walter, was going to be distracting and annoying but no, I found this story to be nice and touching, like the rest of the film.

I was expecting otherwise, though. I thought it would attempt to attract the kids of today with hip jokes and Dreamworks-y pop culture refernces, but I was wrong; this is a genuine Muppet-film for the fans who grew up loving them. It makes sense that they are not famous anymore, sadly. Look where we are! We have the technology to create movies like Rango and Pixar-films. Most kids today wont be interested in or imprssed by even the finest of puppetry and that is what this film is about. The Muppets all feel forgotten, ignored and outdated. I shall be entirely honest and say that this is one of the only films I have ever cried to. I wept like a baby over a bunch of towels stuffed with cotton, dear readers. That is the power of this film.

This film, like many other Muppet-films, is perfectly aware that it’s a film and many jokes revolve around the fact. But isn’t this film set in the real world, or rather the world where the Muppets are just actors and not in one of their self-aware films or shows? I don’t know, but it does not really matter as the fourth wall-jokes really are funny ones. The Muppets also has surprisingly lovely songs accompanied by equally lovely dance numbers. Indeed, alot of the wonderful things about the film came as a surprise and an infinitely pleasant one too.

The Muppets is touching, funny, saddening, joyful and altogether wonderful. You who think the Muppets are but a memory, go to see this film. If you have children, bring them along. Maybe they will like it, maybe they will not, but you must try; there is still a chance for the children of today to get a childhood together with the Muppets. I though they were creepy when I was first introduced to them even though I loved The Dark Crystal, but that isn’t the point. Kids deserve the Muppets and this film could be their introduction. Kermit and friends, I still love you. Don’t forget that you still matter to us.

Speaking of which, it seems as though the success of this movie will give the same people a new chance to finally create a sequel to The Dark Crystal. Could it really be? No… could it?

Here is one of the completely ingenious trailers for the movie (many more are on YouTube):

5/5 whatever.

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