Review: The Muppets (2011)

The Muppets (2011)

Directed by: James Bobin | 103 minutes | comedy, family | Actors: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Zach Galifianakis, Selena Gomez, Neil Patrick Harris, Jack Black, Danny Trejo, Ed Helms, Rashida Jones, Katy Perry, Ricky Gervais, Whoopi Goldberg, Donald Glover, Chris Cooper , Billy Crystal

“In today’s market, you no longer play a significant role,” TV producer Veronica (Rashida Jones) snaps at The Muppets. The dolls hope to make their big comeback, but are no longer relevant in television land. People nowadays prefer to watch real life series about ill-mannered youngsters, it seems. The Muppets, that’s pure nostalgia. Are people still waiting for that? So yes, said actor Jason Segel, the man who is largely responsible for the resurrection of Jim Henson’s creations. Segel himself grew up with The Muppets and decided to make a case for a new film about the fluffy beasts. That movie that came. The Muppets (2011) is the first Muppet film since 1999’s Muppets from Space and the first to be under the umbrella of Walt Disney Pictures, which bought the rights from Jim Henson’s heirs in 2004. It’s a bull’s eye for Segel, who not only wrote and co-produced the film, but also stars alongside Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzy Bear and all those other cheerful characters who provide a feast of recognition, in any case. the case for anyone aged thirty and over.

Directed by James Bobin, The Muppets is, as you would expect from The Muppets, a vibrant musical comedy. It’s clear: the film was made to breathe new life into the plush heroes of yesteryear and to enthuse a new, younger audience, without disappointing the old fans. ‘The Muppets’ succeeds with flying colours. The film begins with two brothers, Gary (more human than Muppet, played by Segel) and Walter (more Muppet than human, played by Peter Linz). Because Walter is the biggest Muppet fan in the world (perhaps because he recognizes himself in the puppets…) Gary takes him to Hollywood to visit the old The Muppets Theater. Gary’s friend Mary (Amy Adams) also joins. She hopes for a marriage proposal from her boyfriend, with whom she has been in a relationship for ten years. The couple may come across as a bit silly, but it seems that Adams and Segel are deliberately portraying their roles this way, because this is not about them, but about The Muppets.

During the tour (provided by Alan Alda), Walter accidentally overhears that the wealthy Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) has nefarious plans to buy the theater and destroy it, because there would be oil in the ground. Of course that shouldn’t happen. Together with Gary and Mary, Walter tracks down his great hero Kermit the Frog (Steve Whitmire) and informs him. The theater can be saved if The Muppets buy it for ten million dollars, which they could raise by organizing a major television campaign. However, Kermit says this plan cannot work, as the people have long forgotten about The Muppets. Walter impresses on him that they still have a lot of fans and persuades him to look for his old friends, who have all gone their separate ways in recent years, and to bring The Muppets back together and put together an unforgettable show. But time is running out…

Relive old times with ‘The Muppets’. It’s a movie Jim Henson would be proud of. Not the actors but the puppets are the big stars. It doesn’t take computer animation to bring these colorful creatures to life. The story is of course predictable, but it does make sense: just like in the movie, The Muppets (or in this case the people behind The Muppets) try to breathe new life into the phenomenon created by Jim Henson. With a slew of famous stars popping up for short cameos (we won’t name names, spotting them yourself is much more fun!), and the complete arsenal of dolls is the motley crew that passes by. Composer Bret McKenzie (known for the TV series ‘Flight of the Concords’, 2007) was brought in for a series of catchy song and dance numbers. With the corny ‘Life is a Happy Song’, for example, see to sit still! The undisputed musical highlight, however, is the funny ‘Man or Muppet’, sung by Segel and Linz, which was nominated for the Oscar for best original song. Segel and his Muppets fight cynicism in this film, resulting in a genuinely cheerful comic musical. The fact that The Muppets also regularly make fun of themselves, of course, only makes a big giggle even more in the hand.

The Muppers’ role in the entertainment world seems far from over. Kermit, Miss Piggy, Animal, Gonzo the Great, Stadler and Waldorf; they have not lost their charm yet and look more energetic than ever before in their latest film. ‘The Muppets’ is great entertainment for the whole family, full of jokes and pranks, sometimes with a wink and the occasional serious note. Exactly as we are used to from them. The year may have just begun, but we can already say that ‘The Muppets’ is one of the happiest movies of 2012. A film that no one should really miss!

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