May 20 2012
Like millions of other kids The Muppets were a huge part of my childhood. I don’t think they were shown on Indian television until cable tv was introduced and even then perhaps very little but I was lucky enough to catch the Muppet Show on Kuwait tv while I was living there. But it had been a long, long time since I had seen anything related to them, save for clips on Youtube and some odd stuff here & there. That’s why I was pleasantly surprise that they were doing a movie on the Muppets, a comeback of sorts. The Muppets is a 2011 live action comedy film, the first Muppets theatrical release in 12 years, the film is directed by James Bobin, written by Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller and stars Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper and Rashida Jones.
While I watched with some childish happiness, Walter (who is a muppet born to a human family) who lives in Smalltown, USA with his human brother Gary. Both of them are huge Muppets fans and they grow up watching the show on tv a lot. When Gary plans a trip to Los Angeles with his girlfriend Mary to celebrate their 10th anniversary as a couple, he invites Walter along so they can visit the Muppet studios. Mary is a bit disappointed as she has hoped it to be just the two of them but she is too nice to object. While at the abandoned, derelict studios Walter sneaks into Kermit’s old office and overhears Statler and Waldorf selling the theater to Tex Richman, an oil magnate, and his henchmen Bobo the Bear and Uncle Deadly. If the Muppets can raise $10 million they can repurchase the theater as there is a clause in the contract that says so. Richman revealing his plans to destroy the Muppet Theater and drill for oil underneath, and later warns Gary and Mary about Richman’s intentions.
Walter gets Gary & Mary to take him to Kermit’s mansion where they find Kermit all alone. Kermit realizes that he must get the old group back together and organize a show which they haven’t done in a long time. Fozzie Bear, who is performing in a small club the Moopets, a group of uncouth Muppet impersonators which includes a man (Dave Grohl) dressed as Animal. Gonzo has become rich in the plumbing business. Animal is in an anger-management clinic, with Jack Black who tells him not to play the drums to keep his temper in check! They get all of the muppets to join and that leaves them with going to Paris and meeting Miss Piggy, working as Vogue Paris’s editor for “plus-sized” fashion in Paris. She is not convinced to join them (she wants Kermit to admit that ‘he’ needs her and not that the group needs her) so they get Miss Poggy from the Moopets to replace her. After much rejection, CDE network executive Veronica gives the Muppets a two-hour opening in CDE’s schedule as long as they can get a celebrity host.
Miss Piggy finally returns and takes her place but they can’t find a celebrity host so Miss Piggy has the Muppets kidnap Jack Black as a celebrity guest. Mary goes alone on a sight seeing trip as Gary helps Walter, who is also going to perform, for the big night. Gary forgets his anniversary dinner with Mary and she leaves for Smalltown. Fearing the worst Kermit goes to Richman and asks him for the studio back but learns that the Texan plans to sell their trademark name and rights which he plans to give to the Moopets. Gary goes and apologizes to Mary and brings her back to the show. People slowly start piling in and each act is a success, despite Jack Black’s protest on being kidnapped. Although initially Walter is scared he finally shows up and does a beautiful whistling song. Kermit reconciles with Miss Piggy and the Muppets perform “Rainbow Connection”. Richman in desperation cuts the power & disables the telephone lines and finally evicts the Muppets from the theater, out of time and short of their monetary goal.
Although dejected Kermit & friends leave the theatre but are greeting by thousands of cheering fans. With Gary’s encouragement, Walter greets the crowd with the Muppets. Gary proposes to Mary and Richman gives the theater and rights back to the Muppets after suffering a head injury from Gonzo’s bowling ball act. All’s well that ends well. And ofcourse we have a musical number at the end.
Feel good movie and I hope it revitalizes the Muppets and bring them back for more stuff on tv & movies. Silly yes, a bit cheesy but it’s good cheese. I loved it and it’s a 8 out of 10 for me!