What would happen if we fans were given the keys to revive and drive a franchise back to the glory that was once was? What if George Lucas gave the keys to the Star Wars prequels to the fans and allowed us to create the clone wars and the rise and fall of Anakin Skywalker?
The Muppets is a prime example of the ultimate fan film. Jason Segel takes a dying franchise and revives it back to glorious life.
When I say “dying” franchise, I am referring to how the Muppets were slowly losing the charm and fun that made them great all those years ago when “The Muppet Show” was on television every week back when I was a lad.
When the TV show finished, Jim Henson and crew made The Muppet Movie at the right time; the very height of the Muppets popularity. The innocence and joy that was The Muppet Show translated perfectly to the big screen with all the great cameos and each of the Muppet characters staying true to themselves.
As the years progressed each Muppet movie and TV special just seemed to lose me. Perhaps I was getting older and lost what boyhood love I had for the Muppets. Finally, on the sad day that Jim Hensen passed away, I was sure the Muppets would pass along with him. After the diminishing films such like Muppets From Space and Muppet Treasure Island I was all but certain tit was over
Now 22 years after the passing of Jim Hensen, and well into Disney owning the rights; I am so happy to say that the Muppets are back baby.
The Muppets is such a welcome return to the days of The Muppet Show and all the joy and entertainment that the Muppets brought to us all those many years ago. Jason Segel, who wrote and stars in “The Muppets”, takes what we all remember about the Muppets and brings it all to life on the big screen once again.
Mary (Amy Adams) and Gary (Jason Segel) are the most perfect cute little couple living in Smalltown USA, smack dab in the middle of America; they have been courting each other for ten years and for their ten year anniversary Gary wants to take Mary to Los Angeles for a fancy dinner.
Gary has a little brother, Walter. Walter is obsessed with The Muppets, he knows all the old “Muppet Show” episodes by heart, his room is covered in Muppet paraphernalia, and his dream is to one day see the Muppet Theatre. Gary and Walter are very close, so Gary surprises Walter with an opportunity to go with him and Mary to LA so his dream can come true.
Oh I forgot to mention…Walter is a Muppet.
Now I am not going to get too deep into spoiler territory here; I am just laying down the basic plot line.
Once in LA Walter, Mary and Gary find the old Muppet Theatre dilapidated and condemned. It’s a sad little tour down memory lane as Walter looks at Kermit’s old desk covered in cobwebs, pictures of past hosts such as Steve Martin and Bob Hope also covered in cobwebs adoring the walls.
Walter happens to be in the theatre when an oil tycoon named Tex Richman (dastardly portrayed by Chris Cooper) moseys on in to sign a contract to purchase and tear down the theatre so he can drill for oil underneath the theatre.
Walter pleads with Gary and Mary to help him find Kermit the Frog to make a desperate plea to get the band back together and put on a “Muppet Show Telethon” to raise enough money to save the theatre from Richman.
The rest of The Muppets is a journey to find the old gang and once again bring some much needed life back to the theatre but more importantly some much needed life into what once made the Muppets great.
And that is exactly what The Muppets does. I am not going to lie my fellow readers. I had a grin on my face a mile wide throughout this amazing movie. The singing (yes I know, I don’t like musicals), the hilarious cameos (I will give none away here, that’s part of the fun), Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo and his Chickens, and even Sweetums. I loved loved loved every part of this movie.
I even was able to (finally) get over the fact that Kermit’s (and others) voices were not quite the same; and that’s taken me a long time to get over. I learned that the voices do not make the characters. It’s the love of these Muppets, it’s the message of nothing but pure entertainment. That is what I love about the Muppets; and that is what I love about this film.
The Muppets is full of surprises, I could go on and on about them all. But, that would take away from your experience, and that just wouldn’t be right.
So I leave you with this; get to the theatre cause it’s time to get things started on the most inspirational – celebrational – Muppetational this is what we call The Muppets.
Welcome back gang!
And Jason Segel; thank you for being a fan of the Muppets. And, thank you for bringing back what made the Muppets so great to all generations.