It is Time to Meet Them

The Muppets Review

I saw The Muppets last week. You should do the same. It is a terrific movie, even for those who are not already fans of the Muppets. It manages to both cash in on viewers nostalgia while still offering something new.

Some of the new additions to the Muppets world are this movie’s main characters: brothers Gary and Walter, as well as Gary girlfriend Mary. While these characters eat up a lot of screen time, they never feel obtrusive. Rather than pull attention away from the real stars, Kermit and Piggy and Fozzie, they offer new viewers a lens in which to view the old beloved characters. Gary and Walter love the Muppets, and they help show new viewers that they should love them too. It is especially amazing how likable Walter is, considering he is a new Muppet made just for the movie. He could have been the Scrappy Doo of the movies, but his sunny optimism and suitably reverent of the true Muppets that he is a wholly welcome addition.

The movie plays off the fact that the Muppets have been largely out of the spotlight for most of the last decade or so. In the movie they have been broken up as well. Their triumphant return to movie theaters is also a triumphant return in the movie. At the behest of Walter and to save the old Muppet theater, Kermit tries to get the band back together for one last show.

As they travel the country to collect the troupe and prepare for the show, the jokes and bits start coming fast. Not all of the jokes hit, but they move on so fast soon there will be one that if hilarious. Some are great, like Fozzie;s fall to performing with the knock-offs the Moopets and Rolf’s tale. The musical numbers are also largely great, though it doesn’t appear that Jason Segel can dance even a little.

It is a celebration of the Muppets, but also a reintroduction. The movie doesn’t just look back on the Muppets and their history, but it does in a way that welcomes new fans to the fold, not excluding them for not being familiar with the past. As long as the viewer has no preconceived notions about musicals or puppets, The Muppets is sure to entertain. It is certainly more sweet for old fans of the Muppets, though. Whoever your favorite Muppet may be (mine‘s Rowlf), they will get a moment or two to shine. Unless your favorite is Rizzo the rat, who barely appears. I was flooded with warm memories of the Muppets upon watching this, and most of my Muppet related memories are about Muppet Babies.

This is the best family movie of the year, and one of the best movies of the year period. It manages to be funny without being insipid or vulgar, something not many movies accomplish. The Muppets will entertain kids without talking down to them and entertain adults without seeming childish. It is really, really good.

One thought on “It is Time to Meet Them

  1. Longtime Muppet fans will undoubtedly have more fun than young ones, but for the most part, it’s a witty, delightful romp, that shows you that you can still be funny, without ever being mean still in 2011. Good review.

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