I’ve you’ve grown up in the past fifteen years, you might be oblivious to this, but those of us that are a tad older grew up on the Muppets. When I was a kid, I used to love watching the Muppet Show (though I didn’t realise until later it wasn’t live, ah to be a child again). The show was a variety show, mixing comedy and drama bits with song and dance; the show put on almost entirely by puppets (with puppeteers underneath) and a different guest star each week. The Muppet movie captures this same feel from beginning to end. The Muppet movie is a delight, with good natured humour that can appeal to all audiences.
In the movie, Gary and Walter are taking a trip to Los Angeles with Gary’s girlfriend, Mary. Gary and Mary are two of the staple ‘humans’ in the movie, both played wonderfully by Jason Segel and Amy Adams. They take Walter, who is a puppet, to see the Muppet studios, only to find it in complete disarray. The studio is being bought by an evil businessman who has found oil under the studio. Walter decides he must save his childhood heroes and goes to Kermit, who is finally convinced that they can save the studio if they reunite the old gang. What follows is a wonderful montage of visits to the various Muppet personalities as they re-join the team.
Once the Muppets are finally back together, Kermit must make a pitch to a TV exec to have the special air, they luck out and then have to find a celebrity host, whom they kidnap (Animal’s Court-Appointed Helper, Jack Black). The show itself goes off as any Muppet show does, with lots of laughs, lots of mistakes and wonderful guest stars. In the end, they don’t reach their goal, but due to hilarious circumstances, the Muppets get their studio (and name) back.
What makes the Muppet movie so great was the humour. The humour reaches out to all ages, all types of people and is good-natured and makes you feel good. A lot of the humour was based solely on the visual, like the fact that the entire Muppet crew fit into a Cadillac that should have seated 6, at most. Or the telethon that had celebrities in the background answering phones side-by-side with Muppets. The musical numbers do seem a bit overwhelming, but are perfect for a flash mob (if only I could organise better). What is wonderful about the Muppets is that they can make light of themselves, taking pot shots at their own movie and the silliness of it. I found myself both laughing, and crying, throughout and loved it all. If there is a movie for everyone this year, this is it.