House Of Swine And Frog

Fighting Time Lords hoodies are at Sharksplode right now! Wibbly Wobbly Hoodie Warmy! 

Randy from Something*Positive is offering a print of the “The Purring Sea” watercolor he did for this HE guest comic. GO BUY IT!

Speaking of Randy, he, I, David Willis, Danielle Corsetto, Jeph Jaques, Rob Denbleyker and MORE will be at the Dragon’s Lair Webcomic Rampage panel/signing event on December 10th and 11th. It is always a good time. Austin Fancy Bastard should NOT miss it.

HijiNKS ENSUE at Dragons Lair Webcomic Rampage

While I must admit that I viewed it through rainbow connection colored glasses, having grown up with The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, Muppet Babies, and basically everything The Henson company put out in the 70’s, 80’s or early 90’s, The Muppets is essentially a perfect movie. When it is funny, it is REALLY funny. The first act as a good LOL at least every 2-3 minutes. Act 2 slows down a bit as we get to the emotional stuff (more of that later ) and act 3 finishes hilariously strong. When I wasn’t laughing, I just had a perma-grin from ear to nostril to nostril to ear. And it wasn’t just that it was funny. It was THE WAY it was funny. There was something genuine about the comedy. Like people of all ages and walks of life would laugh at these jokes because they were just plainly, humanly funny. The comedy was so relatable because it didn’t depend on current trends, or specific references (like HE does ((though HE is for a VERY specific audience)) ). It was universal and timeless.

When things got serious or emotional, it was hard to choke back the tears. When Kermit wonders if anyone really cares about The Muppets any more, you hear the humans behind (or beneath) The Muppets wondering the same thing. When Kermit and Piggy talk about their relationship it doesn’t even seem like a movie (much less one about felt frogs and foam pigs), but rather a real couple trying to figure out if they still need each other.

Jason Siegel and Amy Adams both do a superb job of anchoring the story to reality without getting in the way of the real stars. The humans in the story seem to live in a sort of absurdist reality that straddles the line between Pee Wee’s Playhouse and Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. It is a world that allows for Muppets to be real people and for song and dance numbers to break out at any time. Speaking of, all of the songs (penned by Flight Of The Conchords’ Bret MacKenzie) are good, and a few of them are great.

The Muppets is a 2 hour thank you to long time Muppet fans and a love letter to Jim Henson and his legacy, while still being accessible to new audiences. If you have kids that aren’t familiar with The Muppets, I would see it once without them to fully enjoy all of the call backs to Muppet history, then again with the whole family. Then see it again, just because it’s great.

Muppet nerd stuff: 

  • The guy that took over Piggy and Fozzy from Frank Oz does a SPOT ON Piggy and a 90% perfect Fozzy. It was a little eerie.
  • This is the first post-Jim Henson Muppet production where I thought Steve Whitmire’s Kermit REALLY sounded like Kermit. His voice was soft, shaky, unconfident and revealed a character who’s had a couple of decades to reflect on his glory days.
  • They digitally removed all the arm rods! I could not stop looking for them.

I hear Frank Oz thinks they didn’t stay true to the characters. I also hear Frank Oz is a bit of a curmudgeonly dick these days. Does he think the later Star Wars movies were true to the characters? Sure Yoda had some lightsaber battles, but basically everything else was horrible. Frank, you passed the porcine gauntlet on 10 years ago. Stop being a cranky old coot and understand that Jim would have loved this movie and been proud of everyone that made it.

Side Note: There was a time in my childhood where all I wanted in the world was to be a Muppeteer. I practiced puppetry for hours at a time, I studied the techniques for performance that Henson had pioneered, I read books about his history and his work… I was obsessed. I saw in The Muppets the as ultimate escape. They were imagination personified in foam and fabric. I still consider Jim Henson to be one of my largest early influences and doubt I would be drawing silly internet cartoons for a living if not for the characters he created.

COMMENTERS: Did you see The Muppets? What did you think? Were you a fan as a kid? Any particular bits of Muppet history that stick out to this day? Pigs In Space? Veterinarian’s Hospital? Nanny’s crazy-ass socks?

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  1. Hey Joel, I've been reading your comics for a bit now (And I think they're frakkin hilarious!) been putting off commenting, but this is the Muppets! I saw it and I loved it. I'm a 90's kid, but as soon as I was introduced to the Muppets I became obsessed. when i saw the movie there was only about five people in the Theater, and I laughed hard enough for everyone and then some, and I totally had that perma-grin!

  2. I saw The Muppets at 9:20 AM on the day it opened (earliest show I could find) and it made me ridiculously happy. "Muppet or a Man" kind of summed up the movie for me — it was emotionally true and wrenching while being so funny that I was wheezing by the end of the song. That was always the magic of The Muppets for me — the deft way that they were both ridiculous and genuine, often more human than any of their costars.

    Also, Jack Black as Animal's anger management sponsor nearly killed me with glee.

  3. I loved the original Muppet show, and enjoyed the short lived revival series in the 90's too. But I hadn't really given much thought to this new Movie.
    I am SOOO used to the big studios digging up the graves of beloved characters and trying to reanimate them as crude characterchures of themselves that are nothing more then mockeries of what they once were. That I have at this point learned to just try and ignore most of them, it's that or be continually pissed by it (if I they continue to rape the once good name of Bugs Bunny they way they have been for years, I may kill a Studio Exec… ((or all of them, if you're going to go there, may as well go all the way) ). So it had never really occurred to me to think that this new Muppet movie might actually be… GOOD…

    In other words; Thanks for the raving review, I now actually want to see it. If someone like you whose taste I respect liked it so much, it must be a pretty good contribution to the Muppet legacy.

  4. You are right, more than any other franchise, the Muppets are about this simple, genuine, trans-generational humor. I don't know how they do it, but it works. My kids and i laughed at the same jokes, for the smae reasons, and that is just magical. And until you see it again, you don't realize how much you have missed it.

    And Kermit for best actor. Seriously, those scenes where he was reflecting on his past, and what happened to his friends… just heartbreaking. You could feel the regret, the nostalgia, the hope. Plus, this was the first time I felt that there was a real relationship between K and Piggy, something complicted and messy, and not just joke.

    • "kids and i laughed at the same jokes, for the smae reasons, and that is just magical"

      That was it! I watch a lot of what my 4 year old watches and this rarely if ever happens with regular "family" programming.

  5. Okay, since I'm old enough to remember seeing The Muppets when Nick At Night reran the show the first time and to have seen Muppets Take Manhattan in the theater, I guess I can comment.

    They are an integral part of my childhood. From Kermit's reporter on the scene for Sesame Street, to Big Bird (a nickname I got saddled with for being tall, blond, and slightly child-like), to The Dark Crystal, and Fraggle Rock. I look at those wonderful creatures as dear friends. Rainbow Connection still makes me cry. I still laugh at Pigs In Space (I still hear the announcer saying "Piiiigs Iiiiiin Spaaaaaaaaace") like a hyena. Bunson and Beaker are my secret heroes.

    So the fact that Jason Siegel was able to make a film that pays tribute in such a loving way gives me hope. I haven't seen it, but it's on my list.

  6. I loved it! We don't own a TV but we see LOTS of movies. This was absolutely my favorite all year. My daughter saw cameos from stars she knows, I saw old favorites, and the songs were a great generational mix. Who else but the muppets could put lady gaga and nirvana in a movie with dancing chickens 🙂 I thought they did a great job with Piggy: a woman trying to have her own career and be independent and modern, but regretting the sacrifices made to gain that independence. It's a funny, genuine, accessible movie that everyone should see…twice.

  7. Loved every minute of it. Went with my whole family. My wife and I are in our mid-40's and the kids are both 'adults' now. We all loved it. The only ones that weren't completely enthralled were my pre-teen nieces.

  8. I've been really worried that the movie wasn't going to be any good so reading your review is a huge relief! I love the Muppets, have done ever since I was a kid. Growing up my dad had their LP and put it on cassette tape and I used to beg to listen to it whenever we were in the car (Grover and Sam the Eagle doing willow-tit-willow is just fantastic!) I watch the Muppet Christmas films every christmas religiously and if I'm feeling blue I put a cd of the Muppet Movie songs on in the car.
    I kind of feel like Jim Henson somehow found a way to express the simple warmth of human emotions in such a way that it crosses all creeds and generations.

    Sorry for gushing – I just love the Muppets and can't wait for this movie!

    • Holy crap I love that album! As a little kid I was just FASCINATED by the fact that I could here the Mahnah dude getting farther and farther away at the end and then he runs back up and… yeah. Ear to EAR.

      Joel, on the podcast awhile back y'all talked about which celebrity deaths really hit you? I was in school, and the crappy "news" show they piped into the classroom just announced that Jim Henson died, like it was nothing. To this day I tear up a bit remembering how that felt.

  9. I have to wait until January 19th to see it. Stupid overseas release dates… *pout*
    And no, I will not stream or download it instead. This movie exists because of a *fans* dedication and love for the original. It deserves a proper big screen and my €8.50.

    • I agree – I'm in the UK so have to wait till February to see it (I'm going to get them to hold the Doctor Who Xmas Special to ransom until the US release the Muppet movie over here earlier) but I'm definitely going to wait and see it on the big screen – haven't seen a Muppet Movie in the cinema since Muppet Treasure Island. Also, definitely going to buy the DVD – they can't make more movies unless they see they're a big hit!

      • I'd usually not care if the Christmas special was held, but lately they haven't been doing the same old thing. All but the latest Christmas specials were just angry aliens with invasion plans. "Son, I'm giving you Earth for Christmas." "Gee, thanks dad. Remember what happened with the whole Atmos thing?"

  10. The new Muppet movie is genuine magic. I took my partner, who is not originally from this country and didn't grow up with the Muppets like I did. I had that perma-grin pretty much the whole movie, but the thing that surprised me was how much my partner enjoyed it. So now I'm going to show him the other Muppet movies.

  11. That…was a great review. I've wanted to go see it, but after reading that, I WANT TO GO SEE IT NOW! Do they have showings at 7 am? Why not!?

  12. I saw it friday with my girlfriend. I was originally planning to skip it, because I had pretty much no nostalgic call to this film (I was going through my "I'm a serious kid" phase when the Muppets were making movies and television and never saw the oriignal stuff), but the trailers got me laughing enough to give the movie a shot. So I was watching it purely from a "this is something that is happening in front of me" standpoint. ie, purely on the film's own merits.
    And I freakin' loved it. Segal and Walter made a great comedic pair, the jokes were all spot on and densely packed. The song numbers were good both comedically and musically. Jack Black was PERFECT. And Deadly is awesome. I wonder if he's a new Muppet or if he's in some of the older stuff.
    And they even managed to put that song Forget You in the film, which gave me a chance to elbow my girlfriend and say "it's not easy being Cee-Lo Green" (OK, so I knew a little about the Muppets going into this film)
    There's only one negative thing I can say about the movie and that's that it is somewhat formulaic. But it's so funny and heartwarming (even for an evil bastard like me) that that problem is comeplete overruled.

    • Muppets work great on a formula. When the formula works, how can you knock it?

      When Muppets go off-forumla, that's when bad things (movies) happen.

  13. I'm taking my wife to see it tomorrow. We've both been looking forward to it since we found out it was coming out. The thing I was interested in the most was how Rowlf sounded. From what I understood, since Jim Henson's death, they hadn't had anyone do a Rowlf voice because no one could get it right, but I saw him speaking for a split second in the new movie commercials.

    • Rowlf was basically retired in respect of Henson. he's had 2-3 one line speaking parts in in the last 20 years or so. In the movie he is always present but still only has 2 or 3 small lines. He doesn't really sound like Jim at all, but Im OK with it.

  14. Sadly despite The Muppets being a British TV show and having a huge following over here we don't get the movie here until February for some bizarre reason.

    Really stupid decision – they'll lose million to piracy.

  15. Ah, muppeteers. What other job can you get where you spend all day on your knees with your hand up a butt? I always wondered if the puppeteers subconsciously freak out when people talk to their faces and not their hand, thinking "Oh god, I'm in frame! Don't look at my human eyes!"

    • Jason Segel talked about that a bit when he was on Conan the other day. He said that it was interesting to watch the puppeteers just completely disappear next to the presence of a muppet.

    • Probably not. I think for them it's kinda like Clark Kent being able to assume a wholly different persona with different accessories. Except instead of glasses being their psychological trigger, it's a felt puppet butt on their arm.

    • Interesting fact about the muppets, all of their stages are built about 7 feet high so the performers can stand up and move freely.

  16. I, too, had the perma-grin (or tears depending on the scene) plastered to my face. I am also 30, grew up with the muppets, and have parents who also LOVE the muppets. My significant other and I went to see it with my parents at the Alamo Drafthouse and the entire experience was magical. They played clips of old episodes of The Muppet Show before the film and many people in the audience were singing along with the familiar songs. I seriously don't think there was anyone under 30 in that crowd. Also, Muppets+my family+beer= most awesome night ever.


    I'll admit, the Whitmire's Kermit has finally become Kermit in *character*. The voice is still not there, but it can't ever be. I think a lot of people are saying that he finally "sounds like Kermit" because they've heard him doing it for over 2 decades now. If there had been just a touch of Bean Bunny in this flick, I could be persuaded to jump across that thin line and call his Kermit perfect.

    I'm also not too quick to discount the negative opinions of Oz and a few other Henson alumni as you have with the "Jim would have loved this, you crotchety old douchenut!" I kinda think that those guys would know better what Jim would have liked and disliked. For what it's worth, the curmudgeons (my father included) are sort of right when they say that BLATANT flatulence jokes would never have really flown while Jim was at the reigns. It was, predictably, the one thing my dad did not love about the movie. What I think is important, and what I think you realized as well, is that this was not just a fart-joke-for-fart-joke's-sake fart joke.

    There was no actual flatulence presented onscreen. It was whoopee cushions, duh. Secondly, each time the Fozz presented the joke, it was dismissed by his superiors as "not our thing" or with a "not now, Fozzie".

    That last one is important: Who said "not now, Fozzie"? Rowlf, arguably the character most Hensonesque in the bunch. So all the nostalgic old farts who refuse to see the flick because of the "fart jokes" are not only cheating themselves out of a great Muppet movie, they're missing out on an on-screen nod to the very mindset that leads them to think farts and Muppets don't mix.

    And the rest of us, who love fart jokes, get fart jokes ON TOP OF ALL THAT MORAL METANOSTALGIA.

    I also miss Jerry Nelson quite a bit, but seeing Uncle Deadly put to very good (and hilarious) use is a good salve. I'm sure Googling would turn up some Oz-like disdain of Nelson's for the new flick, so I'll refrain. This was as perfect a Muppet movie as could be made in 2011.

    Just don't get me started on the "Kermit never married Piggy" issue…

    • An excellent point. While Kermit was clearly Jim's signature character, Rowlf was almost undiluted Henson in floppy-eared dog form. (Only Cantus Fraggle feels more Hensonesque, but he basically IS Jim…) That's why they semi-retired Rowlf for such a long time after Jim's death. (Clearly, there was no way the Muppets could survive without Kermit.)

      Speaking of Kermit, you're right about Steve Whitmire, too. No, the voice isn't perfect, but he's the most experienced Muppeteer beside Dave Goelz now, and that experience shows in his performance. That new guy doing Rowlf and Dr Teeth, on the other hand… It just doesn't feel right to me.

      I truly doubt Jerry Nelson is capable of being curmudgeonly. (Frank Oz has always been a cranky, it's just grown exponentionally over time.) He retired from Muppeting years ago, but I can't imagine it was due to anything besides his health. He's in his late 70s, after all.

    • I wasnt going to dismiss Oz's comments until I heard a first hand account of how he behaved while directing an episode of [redacted] and he was pretty much despicable.

  18. I adored the Muppets all the way through, and am going again ASAP. I loved the songs, loved the jokes, loved some of the cameos… What really made this work is that the people behind it (Jason Segel, first and foremost) love the Muppets as much as anyone. That didn't happen with Smurfs or Alvin and the Chipmunks or Transformers. This wasn't a marketing team trying to reap a green crop of money off a recognizable name, this was lifelong Muppets fans reminding us why we loved the Muppets in the first place.

    Just a great movie worth gushing over.

  19. Joel,
    Did you see the interview with Kevin Clash (Elmo) on Jon Stewart? You could have made it, you slackass! 🙂

  20. I saw The Muppets on Thanksgiving and I was also grinning ear-to-ear. It also happened to be the first movie I saw with my sister's fiancee's family, and I might have scared them a bit, considering how loudly I was laughing… but I really don't care. I grew up with them, reruns of The Muppet Show, daily doses of The Muppet Babies (Muppet BAAAAAAABIES we make our dreams come true, Muppet Babies we'll do the same for youuuuu… yeah I've got that theme song in my itunes.) and frequent viewings of the movies, and I just loved it. I plan on making everyone I know go see it, and when it comes out on DVD, it will definitely be my new go-to happy movie… Doo dooo doo doo doo Menamamena!

  21. One of my best childhood memories was getting to Blockbuster, running to the kids section, and clutching that VHS tape to my chest as I got to watch another segment of the Muppet Show! (3 nostalgia throwbacks and only the first sentance!)
    One thing that really impressed me about this whole thing is the way they didn't just spring the Muppets back in the spotlight with just the movie (unlike other previous nostalgia favorites). First there were the Muppet music videos on youtube (Bohemian Rhapsody, etc), and like a double rainbow it was beautiful and I wondered what it all meant. Now there's the movie and I am still wondering what it means. Would they do a new Muppet Show? If you look at who guest starred on the Muppet Show back in the day (Vincent Pryce, Steve Martin, Julie Andrews, Elton John, Star Wars cast), it actually was a big deal to go on that show. Does anyone else wonder if this movie does well enough they might do a new Muppet Show? Is anyone else curious who all would come on the show?

    • I just wanna say, IF they do a new Muppet show, I cannot hope hard enough that no one named Kardashian ever appears on it.
      I think it would be more difficult nowadays, because the meaning of the word "celebrity" has changed so much since back in the day.

    • They are supposed to be working on a new show that does not feature the Muppet Show cast. Something about a family that moves in next to a puppet family.

    • A muppeteer was on CBC today (Not sure which one. I came in late.) Seems that the gist was – if the movie wasn't a big hit, they would have retired the Muppets quietly. If it does really well, then they will gear up for more movies, web content, try to complete the DVD set (Song permissions hard to get) and entertain the idea of a new TV show. So everyone who loves the Muppets, push everyone you know to the movie multiple times! Hit YouTube hard. Be a rabid fan!

  22. I completely agree with the ear to ear grinning, I just couldn't stop myself. You could just feel the love and joy that the creators have for all things Muppet radiating off the screen in every frame of the movie. I want to see it again to catch all the little references I'm sure I missed.

    I saw the Muppets with my nieces and nephews (ages range from 8 to 14). Their main exposure to the Muppets has really only been teasing their crazy aunt for being such a fan, but this movie made them understand my craziness a degree. Now they want to come over and watch the first movie and the TV show with me!

    Being 40, I was one of the first group of toddlers to grow up on Sesame Street and then The Muppet Show hit just as I was outgrowing Sesame Street. I went to see the touring Jim Henson exhibit earlier this year. While watching one of the interview segments I remarked to my friend (who is much younger ), "See! That's why I love him, we have the same sense of humor." Then I had a revelation. The reason I have the same sense of humor as Jim Henson is that he was a major part of shaping it from a very young age.

  23. As a person who saw ALL THREE original Muppet movies in the theater – yeah, even the first one, bitches – I'm afraid of this movie.
    Scared, scared, scared.
    I was not a fan of the Muppets revival show in the 90s. I hate Pepe almost as much as I hate Elmo – stupid, modern, Johnny-come-latelys.
    I have not been a supporter of a lot of the decisions Brian Henson has made. I did not like any of the later Muppet movies, but I can almost forgive them for the Christmas Carol. (Actually, I never saw the Gonzo movie because I was already disappointed in the way things had gone.)

    But I know Jason Segel loves the Muppets. I like Jason Segel. No one who actually loves the Muppets could make them do anything they shouldn't. I'll give it a chance.

    Joel – it doesn't matter how Frank Oz feels about the later Star Wars movies: A) because most fans don't take those seriously, why should a voice actor? B) Star Wars is an entirely different "creature" from the Muppets. The Muppets are timeless, and Star Wars was never intended to be. (based on George Lucas's constant updates, it can never be timeless, it will just always be new-ish)

    • As someone who's in the same boat, allow me to allay your fears. This movie could not have been in better hands. If you haven't read the interview with Segel in Wired from a couple of months ago, you should.

  24. The movie was totally awesome, I had to try hard not to sing along with the old songs and the Muppet theme song. I think the outcry from the Muppet grognards is totally overblown. The joke idea came from Fozzy king of bad jokes, rubber chickens, and whoopee cushions, very in character. If some other character had come up with the idea it wouldn't fit. NPR had a great interview with Jason Segel where he addresses their concerns and efforts to keeping the Muppets true to character.

  25. While I think The Muppets is great it doesn't live up to the perfect films that were The Muppet Movie and The Great Muppet Caper. A few of the musical numbers needed more time to breathe and the cameos were great up until Whoppi Goldberg, Selena Gomez, and Rico Rodriguez showed up.

  26. I've had a desire to see this movie, but you raised it up a great number of notches.
    I find myself finding new things I enjoy because I enjoy your comics more than I enjoy your comics because I get what you're referencing.

    Also, in the first panel, I looked down expecting there to be an actual wet spot on his(your?) pants. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that thought 😛

  27. I think there was a typo above. See corrected version:

    "If you have kids that aren’t familiar with The Muppets, then you have failed as a parent"

    • reminds me of the Simpsons (but what doesn't these days?) : Bart & Lisa had to ask Homer what Muppets are while watching them in one of Troy McClure's old movies. MORE Recently, Bart didn't know who Cheech and Chong are, or Beavis and Butt-head (despite predating them, but that's a different problem) and Homer cried he failed an a father. And HIS dad nodded in agreement!
      But back to what Joel said: Muppets are timeless, hilarious, and I've been a fan since I was a kid, & I still am!

      • Absolutely. I was looking forward to this movie before I heard how great it was, and my daughter and I will definitely be going to see it. Sadly, we live in Australia, and have to wait until mid-January. :/

  28. Want a fun time try "The Storyteller" also from Henson Studios, gives you that creat mix of live action and Muppets,… they take classic stories and throw in Muppets,…its amazing,….

  29. Love the comic as usual! I saw the movie last weekend with my daughter (I am 52 and she is 21). We both loved it, grinned and laughed through the whole thing and had appropriate teary-eyed moments. It was magic! I was very pleased with the muppet voices, remembering the original ones. And frankly (ha, frankly), if Frank Oz wasn't happy if the voices, then he should have come out of retirement and done them himself. So there.

  30. I went to see it again tonight and cried even earlier than the first time (first time was Rainbow Connection, this time was Kermit's first song).

    I know it's probably a little silly to a lot, but the Henson Company means so much to me. They've inspired me in so many ways. And to me, the Muppets mean never giving up on your dreams and always working towards making something wonderful.

    I'm just so happy they're back.

  31. Can't wait to see this now….

    I have to say, I really love the Muppets Christmas Carol – probably my all-time favourite muppeting. That and the phenomena sketch with Sandra Bullock 🙂

  32. Absolutely loved it – to me, this was pitch-perfect. Kudos to Jason Segel for seeing this to fruition. I had really high hopes; The Muppet Movie was my second movie in the theater as a wee lad in the 70s (the first was Star Wars), so it made it extra special for me to have The Muppets be my youngest son's first visit to a movie theater.

    Was SO happy that Uncle Deadly had a major role, too!

    • One of my biggest fears is the handling of Statler and Waldorf. Every appearance of these two since Jim Henson's passing tells me that no one understands their purpose and how to write their jokes.
      Even when Jason Segel was hosting SNL, the Statler and Waldorf "joke" was just stupid and should have been skipped.
      So, are they in this movie? And are they properly handled in this movie?

  33. Jim Henson is the only famous person (not counting my father — who wasn't nearly that famous) the news of whose passing caused me to cry, ever. (Gak, can't figure out the grammar for that!)

  34. I may as well post this here as anywhere else. I'm planning my wedding, and well before I even heard about this movie, I had a dream. I dreamed that the Muppets crashed my wedding, and as a group sang "The Rainbow Connection" for me and my bride. Of course we had to go see this movie. When as a group they sang "The Rainbow Connection", I pretty much lost it. So yeah, I know what I want the music for our first dance to be.

    • At my friend's wedding he danced with his mom to Rainbow Connection. So sweet.

      At the other and of the spectrum, another friend had his wedding party introduced to the Muppet Show theme. Very cheezy, and not the good kind of cheezy.

      Guess which marriage is still going strong…

  35. Saw it, loved it. Was a huge fan of the Muppets as a kid, especially Gonzo. He was basically my best friend when I was 9 years old. When he ripped [SPOILERS]ripped off his suit and blew up his factory[END SPOILERS] I could not stop laughing. I was still laughing at that scene as I left the movie theatre and walked out to my car. I was still laughing when I recapped that part of the movie to my colleagues days later.

    The movie left me warm and happy in the same way A Muppet Christmas Carol makes me feel every year.

    (And Jason Seigal was so obviously just *thrilled* to be there, in a way I would be if I ever met a real-life Muppet. His tangible love of the Muppets really came through, and really added a genuine "labor of love" feeling to the whole production.)

  36. I liked it, but not quite enough to gush over it. It felt to me like the first act was a little flat: Their response to realizing that they were ripping off the plot of 'The Blues Brothers' seemed to be to get the set-up over and done with as quickly as possible because they knew it was a lazy plot. "Oh, hi, I'm the bad guy and I plan to take over the Muppet Theater." "Let's get everyone back together!" "That'll take too long, let's do it in a montage." "Okay, we're back together." There's economic storytelling, and there's perfunctory and obligatory plot sequences, and a lot of the first act felt more like the latter than the former.

    That said, the telethon itself was great, precisely because it tried to be a modern updating of the Muppet Show. Modern songs, modern celebrities, but the same sensibilities and corny, surreal, twisted humor. It was excellent stuff, and clearly a model for where they could go with a Muppet revival. (Which would, yes, be the fourth iteration of a Muppet variety show after 'The Muppet Show', 'The Jim Henson Hour', and 'Muppets Tonight'. So what?)

  37. I saw the Muppets on Saturday while in Bethesda and then next day saw the original Kermit puppet at the Smithsonian- it was so awesome

  38. My mum worked for handmade films, which made the muppet videos in england she drove jim henson's car.met frank oz and george harrison.

  39. I just saw it at the dollar theater with my wife. She was mostly laughing at how bad I lost it while the chickens were singing. Nothing will ever beat good, classic comedy. The Muppets specializes in the O- of comedy: everyone can receive it.
    Also, +1 to Neal Patrick Harris' line: "Yeah, I don't know why I'm not hosting this either."
    And "Are you a ninja turtle?" "…Yes I am."

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