The Muppets was like taking a nostalgia bomb right in the face. It was wonderful.
Walter and his brother Gary are from Smalltown and do EVERYTHING together. Everything. Much to the chagrin of Gary’s girlfriend Mary (lol, get it?). Walter is also the biggest Muppets fan (not surprising, since he looks like one), So when Gary and Mary go on their 10th dating anniversary to Los Angeles and the Muppet studios, Gary invites Walter along, and Mary just grins (grinds?) her teeth and bears it. For now. When they arrive in LA, Walter uncovers a nefarious plot to destroy the Muppet studios, so he and Gary and Mary track down Kermit and they round up the gang together to try and put on one last show to save the studio. While doing so, Gary and Walter come to life-altering decisions, as demonstrated via song, “Man or Muppet.”
Being a kid and watching the Muppets is a completely different experience than being an adult and watching the Muppets. When you’re a kid, you are entertained by the funny looking puppets (although Sweetums is not really funny looking and is more terrifying as my traumatized brain recalls), and the slapstick. But when you’re an adult, you can really pay attention to the euphemisms, double entendres and hidden meanings of what the Muppets are saying, and it becomes 10x funnier. You actually get the jokes, instead of just enjoying the antics. And such is the magic of Jim Henson. He created characters that can be truly enjoyed by the whole family, as opposed to say… Barney, who is reviled by all, but most especially by parents who are sometimes forced to listen to his treacly, dumbed down messages.
I remember watching the Muppet show when I was little and I know a ton of the stuff went over my head. I bought season 1 recently and am watching that now and am a little surprised at how adult and weird some of the skits are. Also Miss Piggy’s voice hadn’t settled yet, and she goes from her “normal” voice to some kind of bizarre grande dame voice and back again.
In this movie, Walter is obviously a placeholder for the watching Muppet fan. And Gary and Mary are 2 dimensional human characters provided for comedy effects and for a flimsy story. The real treat is watching your old tv Muppet friends perform, and sing, and crack jokes, hear the introduction song and some other favorites, and get all weepy with memories. And cameos! So many cameos! Although they should’ve had more! Maybe with some of the more famous guests they had in the past (although a lot are probably dead by now… depressing). But of course the best cameo was in the aforementioned “Man or Muppet.” Everyone reports of audiences going wild with that one.
I’ve already bought the soundtrack, and can’t wait to buy this movie. I also really really hope there’s some kind of Muppet revival and some videos we can’t buy today can be bought again. UNEDITED. Sheesh. Music copyright laws are a bitch and a half. I watched Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Family Christmas with Shaz this month, and neither are available in their original forms due to horrible editing decisions and stupid music distribution law.
Oh, and btw, I am so over the Golden Globes as 1) they did not give ANY nominations to ANY of these superb songs for “Best Original Song.” 2) They put the most bizarre things under comedy/musical–like full dramas. And 3) Breaking Bad was not nominated for Best TV Drama, but American Horror Story was. Okay, so I have not watched AHS, but I HAVE seen Breaking Bad season 4, and that was AMAZING, and I can’t imagine that AHS, which has mixed reviews at best, to have beaten that. /completelybiasedrant