The Muppets

The Muppets posterIt’s time to play the music!  It’s time to light the lights!  It’s time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet Show tonight!

Walter has never really fit in anywhere, but he’s always loved the Muppets.  Which is why he’s so super excited to be going with his brother Gary and Gary’s girlfriend Mary to Los Angeles, where he can see the Muppet Studios.

When they reach the Muppet studios, however, they find it broken down and abandoned — and worse still, Walter discovers that oil baron Tex Richman plans to bulldoze the studio to dig for oil.  There’s only one way to save the studio and the Muppets — by getting the Muppets together for a show after thirty years of splitting up.

Will Walter, Gary and Mary be able to convince the group to make the effort?  Will they be able to find network time, a celebrity host, and enough acts for the show?  And is Walter a man, or a Muppet?

The Good:

If you love the Muppets, you won’t be disappointed with this film.  It’s just as random, ridiculous, song-filled, colorful, star-studded, and idealistic as every other Muppet film before it.  It’s constantly making fun of itself.  My whole family was roaring with laughter the entire time.

Walter and Gary’s close relationship and brotherly love, despite being funny at times, was a blessing to see.  Always there for each other, always looking out for each other selflessly, and growing to learn that each could let go of the other to have their own, separate lives, and still love each other.

Gary and Mary’s relationship was sweet and clean, and I was impressed by the fact that they never kissed, keeping physical interaction to hugs only.  They have their own little lesson, as Gary learns that he can’t let the most important person in his life slip away — and that if he wants her heart, he’s going to have to work to win it.

It’s almost completely clean, with absolutely no language, adult content, or graphic violence, and lots of clean, ridiculous fun throughout.

In the end, Kermit theorizes, “Maybe you don’t need the whole world to love you.  Maybe you just need one person.”  While the film lacks a coherent, unifying message, it’s full of sweet moments that will make you smile, laugh, and remember what it’s like to be a kid.

The Bad:

I have only a few minor quibbles with the film.  Firstly, although it was meant to be exaggerated, it still bugged me that Gary and Mary had been dating for ten years.  They’re actually going to Los Angeles to celebrate their tenth “anniversary.”  Also, though nothing is ever made of it, I was mildly bothered that they share a motel room, though with separate beds.  Overall though, the relationship was clean.

There is some immodesty, most notably some chorus girls who appear when Tex Richman sings his song about why the Muppets can’t have their studio back.  Some of Mary’s clothes are a little short or low cut as well, though not extremely so.

There is some very mild crude humor, including Fozzy’s “fart shoes,” and a few jokes about toilets when the group goes to recruit Gonzo, who has become a successful plumber.  There is also some slapstick violence scattered throughout.  None of this is excessive, however.

The Art:

The acting and puppetry are incredible, as is to be expected with an all-star cast and the always astounding wizardry of Jim Henson’s Muppets.  The music is great fun; well composed and extremely catchy.  The plot is, as with most Muppet films, almost nonexistent, but it’s such fun that one hardly cares.

This is a delightful film for the whole family, if you like ridiculous humor, fun song and dance numbers, and romances between frogs and pigs.  Kids will love it, while adults will leave the theater wanting to dance — and perhaps feeling younger than they have in a long time.

I’d rate this film 4/5.

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