After what seems like eons, The Muppets finally return to the big screen in the aptly titled The Muppets.
Even though the feature is our reintroduction to our favorite bunch of furries, the tale actually revolves around a muppet named Walter. Strangely, Walter was born to a human family and his big bro Gary (Jason Segel from TV’s How I Met Your Mother) took care of him. Walter accompanies Gary and his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams, who was born to act opposite non-human objects) on a visit to Muppet Studios–his Mecca. Through chance, Walter overhears a dastardly plan from a corporate sleazeball to demolish the Muppet motherland. (Chris Cooper plays the villain and he seems to be having the time of his life in a much less serious role than he’s used to.) The trio then set off to find the now-elusive Kermit the Frog and, together, after collecting the rest of the gang, they all attempt to put on one last show.
The genius of the film is how it taps into your emotions and nostalgia, so that when the familiar opening number finally does come up (“It’s time to light the lights…”), you basically want to sing along and cheer. When Kermit strums his banjo and begins the first few lines of “Rainbow Connection,” it’s goosebump city. And just try to control yourself when “Mahna Mahna” rears its insanely catchy, repetitive head. (Doo dooooo doo doo…)
All of your favorites are back. Kermit still manages to furrow his face in all manners of perplexion. Fozzie Bear is still wocka wocka irritating. And Miss Piggy has never been more Kardashian full of herself. The human cameos come fast and furious as well, including Neil Patrick Harris, Mickey Rooney (no, really) and Jim Parsons (Sheldon from TV’s The Big Bang Theory).
They even find the time to include second tier characters like Swedish Chef and a skit involving chickens clucking to Cee Lo Green’s “F– You.” A strangely inappropriate amount of time is devoted to Animal and his 12-step program to stop drumming. (Jack Black is around as Animal’s anger management sponsor. Go figure.)
If anything, there needed to be more of the Professor doing cruel experiments to Beaker. And Pigs in Space. And a Miss Piggy catfight.
But perhaps that’s the best thing about The Muppets. It makes you want more furries.
Note: As if this movie weren’t worth seeing all by itself, there’s a brand new Toy Story short that begins the screening. And like all other Toy Story productions, it’s hilariously genius.