I grew up with the Muppets, and the more I’ve grown up the more I’ve grown to love them. My parents showed me “The Muppet Movie” when I was but a lad and I thought it was fantastic. Then, as the years went by and I came back to watch it again and again, I noticed more and more clever gags and moments than the times before until it became one of my favorite comedies. I could enjoy episodes of The Muppet Show as a child for their colorful and whimsical charm, yet I never outgrew it because that humor and charm was not childish, but timeless. Characters like Fozzy the Bear, Kermit the Frog, the Great Gonzo, and Miss Piggy were childhood favorites of mine, and so when I heard that Disney was making a new Muppet movie after years and years of almost no fresh Muppet-related content, I was both very excited and a little bit concerned. After all, it’s a new era now than when the Muppets first came around, one that often values the crude over the clever and the crass over the clean, and many a franchise from way back when has been resurrected in the here and now with abysmal results. Still, I went into the theater to see “The Muppets” with my younger brother this evening with high expectations, hoping for a reunion worth coming to see.
So did I get what I came for? No. I got more.
I got a movie that successfully paid tribute to its rich and classic past while planting itself firmly and snappily in the present day. I got an hour and a half of good, clean, hilarious, snarky, goofy, self-referential, 100% Muppetational fun with a healthy dose of nostalgia and a few song and dance numbers thrown in to liven it up. I got a lot of fun out of seeing the brief and shining antics of a lineup of celebrity cameos just as great as in the original. I got to see chickens “sing” pop tunes and Kermit and the gang sing “Rainbow Connection” in the same movie, and it all worked so seamlessly together that I couldn’t stop smiling even after the credits rolled and the “Muh na muh na”s and “Wokka wokka”s faded away. I got a brand new dose of the Muppets at their best, and I can heartily recommend without a single reservation that you do the same. If you haven’t already, why don’t you meet “The Muppets”? I think you’ll be glad you did.