Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Muppets

Branching out a bit from the Disney animated movies and Pixar, I decided to write up a review of The Muppets after seeing the movie for the first time last week.  After all, the Muppets are now owned by Disney, and they certainly have a presence in Disney World!

I loved the Muppets growing up.  My favorite movie was the Great Muppet Caper, although I was an extremely moral child and absolutely hated how Miss Piggy was framed for a crime she didn't commit!  So I usually watched only the first half of the movie.  Nevertheless, I loved all of the muppet movies and I was very happy to see a muppet revival with this movie.

I definitely feel that it did the muppet name justice.  It was obviously a movie about nostalgia, and in many ways seemed more geared toward older people that remembered the muppets from their childhood rather than trying to create new muppet fans.  I think kids will still enjoy it, but perhaps some of the subtleties that I felt made it such a great movie would be lost on them.  It was everything a muppet movie should be - funny, silly, heartfelt, and sentimental.  It was great to see glimpses of our favorite muppet characters, though of course the story focuses on Kermit and Miss Piggy, as well as the new muppet, Walter.  At first you might be a little hesitant that the movie is focusing on a new muppet, but it works perfectly.  Walter is a big muppet fan and has the opportunity to become one of them.  He is more of the "straight guy" that the other muppets play off of and not quite as silly himself, but he has his own charm and personality.  After I finished the movie I immediately wanted to watch it again, so I think that says a lot.

Jason enjoyed it but he is not a big muppet fan like I am.  He doesn't have any desire to watch it again, but that's not saying much as he doesn't watch many movies to begin with and almost never re-watches them if he has the choice.  He did laugh quite loudly at some parts (particularly Fozzie's fart shoes) so I know he liked it.

The Music
Like all good muppet movies, this one had music.  The soundtrack is fairly strong, with the songs upbeat and very... "muppet-y," for lack of a better word, with songs like "Life's a Happy Song" or the disco style "Me Party," sung by Miss Piggy and Amy Adams.  There was one sad ballad, when Kermit sang "Pictures in my Head" and reminisced about the old days.  I admit, I might have almost shed a tear during that part.  But the real stand-out song was "Man or Muppet."  It's an overdramatic power ballad sung by Walter and Jason Segel (who knew Jason Segel could sing?) that is at the same time haunting and hilarious.  Finally, there are some classic muppet tunes included, like "The Muppet Show" and "Rainbow Connection."  I plan to purchase the soundtrack and I rarely buy movie soundtracks, so I think that should tell you my feelings on the music.

The Villain
Tex Richman is ridiculous, as any muppet villain should be.  His evilness is really overdone for comedic effect - "maniacal laugh."  He seems to care nothing about others but only about gaining as much money as possible.    There is also a rather bizarre moment when he breaks out into a rap song and female dancers come out of his closet briefly.  Luckily, Tex can't destroy the muppets and their optimism and spirit, and he is stopped by one of his own minions, who is really a muppet at heart.

The WDW Connection
The Muppets have a big show at Hollywood Studios, with MuppetVision 3D.  This 3D show, complete with special effects, is classic muppets.  Most of your favorite muppet characters are in there, and they have some great corny jokes.

Becky's rating:  9 out of 10
Jason's rating:  7.5 out of 10

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