Monday, March 19, 2012

The Muppets - On DVD Tomorrow!

It would be easy to write this review quickly and simply say that the new Muppet movie was…perfection. However, I will remove my rose-colored glasses and do my best to give it a real review.

Full disclosure, The Muppets are very close to my heart and were a major part of my childhood. My Dad was a huge fan and I can’t remember them not being around. I remember Muppets on SNL and I had a super cool Animal puppet. I don’t have the puppet anymore, but I still have the motion picture soundtrack on vinyl and I have Christmas Muppet Babies that always adorn my holiday tree.

When The Muppet Show was on in the 1970’s to the early 80’s, it brought my family together. We would crack up and “ahhh” the sweeter moments. The one thing the Muppets always seemed to do was never offend yet be hilariously funny.

For many Muppet fans, dusting off these icons posed a huge risk. These felt puppets encased our childhood and there always has been a pure and innocent spirit about them, which is largely due to their creator Jim Henson. Now that he has passed, exploiting Kermit and the gang would be an abomination. I was sad when Jim Henson passed away in 1990. The first time I heard Kermit talk in some TV appearance, I bawled like a baby. He just didn’t sound like my Kermie.

I tell you all of this because I’m someone that would be a hard sell for a re-boot of this cherished franchise. Somehow, it all slowly fell into place and I was so excited, I rushed out opening day because I couldn’t wait another moment.

First, I read that Jason Segel was responsible for Disney giving the Muppets a new lease on life. I was instantly relived. Not only do I love this guy’s work, he was a fan. Someone who actually loves the Muppets is much better than some corporate big-wig looking to make a quick buck.

The icing on the cake was Bret McKenzie of Flight of the Conchords doing the music. I’m a huge fan. After that tidbit, I was fully in.

I originally planned on seeing the film on Friday, after Thanksgiving. I could not contain myself though and ended up seeing it Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving.

I could not be more pleased with the end result. The Muppets, is a fully realized film with great music and a big heart. The times I wasn’t crying, I sat with a huge smile on my face. It felt wonderful to be back in the company of friends.

The story is one told many times over. The old Muppet theatre is going to be torn down, so all the Muppets must reunite and put on a “Big Show” to stop this from happening. Leave it to The Muppets though to take an otherwise tired plot line and make it a complete joy from beginning to end.

My only disappointment is there wasn’t enough. To drive the story along, it was important focus on certain characters, so there was no time for The Swedish Chef to make a meal or Professor Honeydew to report from his lab. Also, no pigs went into space.

This seems like a great problem to have because it leaves room for new movies. Thankfully, Bret McKenzie snagged that Oscar for “Man or Muppet” to ensure they’ll be back to the drawing board for another installment.

Henson created something very special with his puppets and it’s important for a new generation of children to enjoy his CGI-less creations. There’s been some backlash about this being anti-corporation and FOX News accused them of pushing a liberal-bias onto children. That’s crazy. The Muppets’ message is simple. Believe in yourself, keep you’re friends close and look for the rainbow connection. Some people really are lovers and dreamers. Actually, I don’t need to come to The Muppets defensive. They can take care of themselves. Check this out:

We’re all grown up I guess. I sure did enjoy going down memory lane though and I hope a new crop of youngins’ will embrace The Muppets. Am I buying the DVD? Of course I am, silly!

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