Weekend Viewing Roundup: The Muppets Review

Happy Monday all! How’s your Easter weekend? Did you get any time off? Unfortunately, it’s not a company holiday where I work, but it certainly didn’t dampen the special meaning of this holiday for me.

Well, I did get to the cinema on Saturday and this weekend I actually saw two movies I wasn’t initially interested in before, but suffice to say I’m glad I gave both of them a shot. Interestingly both are Disney movies, which is totally unplanned. I think the last movie I saw from Disney was Tangled almost a year ago.

Oh, we’ve also got Netflix streaming so finally we got the chance to catch up on shows we’ve been meaning to watch for a while, namely BBC’s Sherlock! I was intrigued by my friend Novia’s post on one of the episodes. Seems like a lot of people LOVE this series and I can totally see why. I’m so hooked now, the writing is so clever and witty, and of course the lead actors Benedict Cumberbatch (one of my new fave actors) and Martin Freeman are absolutely terrific. I’ll be posting about this series in the near future, surely.

Stay tuned for my review of John Carter up tomorrow. Anyway, below is my review of…

The Muppets (2011)

Ok, I feel that I must confess that the reason I wasn’t initially interested in this movie is because I didn’t really watch The Muppet Show growing up, I mean my hubby and I were wondering what the difference was between that show and Sesame Street! 😀 But of course, there are a few characters I’m familiar with, and that is Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, and that’s about it.

Truth be told, I was quite surprised by how much people LOVE The Muppets, I mean this movie was a box office hit and a critical darling, garnering 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. My blog friends were egging me on to watch this (you know who you are) and so on Friday night, my hubby and I were looking for something wholesome to watch on Good Friday and this movie just seemed like the right choice!

The story begins with Walter, the world’s biggest Muppet fan, and his friends Gary (Jason Segel) and Mary (Amy Adams) on vacation to L.A. Though it was initially an anniversary celebration for Gary and Mary, it ended up being all about Walter and his puppet idols when he inadvertently uncover an evil plan from oilman Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) to knock down the Muppet Theater and drill for the oil  beneath it. The solution to such predicament is to raise $10 mil to save the theater, and the only way to do so is to stage The Greatest Muppet Telethon.

It’s quite fun to go along the journey of Walter & co. along with Kermit to find the rest of the Muppets. I heard an interview w/ the writers of the movie, Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller on NPR that the only way to ‘alter’ the essence of the Muppet characters is to introduce ‘doppelgangers’ of the original ones, thus the Moopets, with only Fozzie as the only one from the original show.

As with any Disney musicals, there are plenty of song and dances here, and some are totally unexpected! Really, it’s worth renting just to see Chris Cooper rapping in a hilarious scene that came out of the blue!! Oh that was a hoot to see the normally-serious actor bursting into a hip-hop number, with lyrics like “I got more cheddar than some super-size nachos/got cash flow like Robert has De Niros,” and managed to do it with a straight face!

There are plenty of cameos in this movie, but I’m glad I didn’t know who they are going in which adds to the surprise. The human characters obviously take a backseat to the Muppets, though both Segel and Adams each have their own musical segment that are pretty enjoyable, especially the Man or Muppet one that’s funny but quite touching as well. It deservedly won an Oscar for Best Original Song.

The movie also ends on a high note with telethon itself and that famous song The Rainbow Connection, which of course magically worked out so well despite the disastrous rehearsals. Hey, this is not the movie where it’s best to enjoy without asking too many questions, just sit back and enjoy the infectious festive fun of what’s in front of you.

Final Thoughts: Well, I’m glad I finally saw what the fuss is about this movie. I can see why these characters are so massively popular and director James Bobin and composer Bret Mckenzie did creator Jim Henson proud with this one. It’s highly entertaining and would definitely delight longtime devotees and new fans alike.

4 out of 5 reels

So what did you watch this weekend? And are you a fan of The Muppets, if so, what did you think of the movie?

61 thoughts on “Weekend Viewing Roundup: The Muppets Review

  1. Ted S.

    I’m not much of a Muppets fan, in fact I don’t think I’ve seen any of their movies or TV shows. But I’m in the minority since many people seems to enjoy them.

    1. Oh don’t worry Ted, I’m sure you’re not the only one. The movie was fun, but it’s not like I’m gonna start watching Sesame Street re-runs or anything, ahah.

  2. Wow I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t watch the Muppets when I was growing up. I mean I might have watched them a bit but I don’t love them like a lot of people seem to. That said, there were so many clever and funny movie parody trailers that i did want to see this. Think I’ve missed it in the cinema now so will have to be a rental. Like Segel and Adams a lot so looking forward to it! Glad to hear you recommend it!

    1. Oh yeah, talk about GREAT marketing! Disney should’ve applied the creativity of the promo w/ John Carter, perhaps it won’t suffer such a dismal fate at the box office. If you like Segel and Adams then you won’t be disappointed, Pete.

    1. Yeah, glad that he did. Actually Castor highly recommended it to me as well. It’s really hard not to enjoy this movie even if you’re not a fan of the show. The cameos alone make it worth seeing!

  3. Just like you I didn’t know the difference between “The Muppet Show” and “Sesame Street”. Walking in to watch this I was expecting Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and The Count to appear on the screen. Only when they were no where to found did I realize that it was a different show. Doh!

  4. is it true that my darling Emily Blunt appears as Miss Piggy’s secretary in her VOGUE office as a spoof on Millie’s mindblowing role in THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA when she was the secretary to Meryl Streep’s Vogue editor character?

    1. Hi Dezzy, yes indeed she was! I immediately thought of her role in The Devil Wears Prada too. I didn’t want to mention all the cameos so it’s more of a surprise when you do see the movie 🙂

  5. I liked “The Muppets” but I didn’t love it. I did grow up watching The Muppet Show and the film captured a lot of what I liked about it. But I didn’t quite connect to it. But it was still a fun time at the theater with my family.

    Great review!

    1. I didn’t connect with it as much as the fans do, but I still enjoy the songs/dances. I think the filmmakers are able to somehow make it fun to even non-fans, so kudos to them.

  6. lrstreet

    Great review! I can’t wait to watch The Muppets again, such a fun film.

    Also… it’s official, I need to watch Sherlock! It’s been sitting there quietly in my Netflix queue as I keep hearing more and more great things.

    1. Hi Lindsey, oh you’ll be hooked on Sherlock. I’m surprised it took me so long to get to it as well, considering I like Benedict. The writing is just top notch, you’ll be quoting it all day long.

  7. jackdeth72

    Hi, Ruth and company:

    Living in suburban Maryland, I’ve been a fan of Jim Henson’s Muppets since
    their first prototypes were used to hawk Wilkins Coffee in Baltimore in the early 1960s.

    There’s been a statue of Mr. Henson at Maryland U’s College Park campus for decades.

    Still think Animal and Sweetums are Henson’s best characters. Even if Jim Henson did supply the voice of Kermit.

    I was way too late for ‘Sesame Street’, though I admire the imagination used in creating such memorable characters as Big Bird.

    The latest incarnation of ‘Sherlock’ rocks out loud!

    1. Wow, I didn’t realize The Muppets went all the way back to the 60s. I’m amazed at the enduring quality of it.

      Yeah, I remember how much you love ‘Sherlock’ so I’m glad I finally got to see it. Glad to hear that the second season is still as good!

  8. I havent seen the muppet yet, not really that interested.

    horay for Sherlock. Yup the dialogues were amazing!! I dont know whether you noticed it or not, everytime I rewatched Sherlock I always twitted the dialogue nonstop. I love that series too much.

    and thank you for linking my post 🙂

    1. Well, all your fangurl-ing on Sherlock finally rubs off on me! 😀 I’ve always liked Benedict but WOW, he’s just spectacular on this show. LOVE him!

  9. PrairieGirl

    Well, I didn’t have the Muppets growing up, I’m a Mickey Mouse Club and Shari Lewis and Lamb Chop kid, which, of course preceded them. Sounds like the perfect film to counteract a drama, which, as you know, I like to mix.
    Saw the first half of the TV miniseries Scarlett (1994). Timothy Dalton is perfectly divine in the role of Rhett, and so is the actress playing Scarlett. They remain very faithful to the original characters in the famous film. But the scene after their sailboat capsizes in a storm is HOT, and not just because they are drying off in front of a blazing fire ;-D.

    1. Oooh, I can’t wait to finally watch that. I mean Dalton as Rhett Butler, be still my heart!! I don’t know if I like him w/ a mustache, but heck I’m sure he looks good. I have to talk to you in person about this 😉

  10. Glad you finally gave The Muppets a chance. I thought it was odd that you would stay away from it for so long despite everyone cheering you on to see it 😉 Fun movie, I look forward to checking it out again!

    1. Ahah, I didn’t stay away from it, it just wasn’t on my radar. In any case, yeah it was fun. I’m sure you enjoyed it more because of Amy right? 😉

  11. filmplicity

    I have to admit that the Muppets do absolutely nothing for me and I too confused them, until very recently, with Sesame Street, which I couldn’t stand (and was faintly unsettled by as a youngster) and didn’t get. I just don’t see the appeal of a bunch of puppets. Ok so they’re funny and they make people smile, that’s great, that I get. But I watch them in some Orange ad or hear them on the radio and I’m just a bit like ‘meh, ok…’ Can’t really explain it. I think I’ll have to wait until next Christmas to find out where I really stand as my friend gave me the Muppet Christmas Carol and it would be rude not to watch it but I don’t like watching Christmas films out of season (except It’s a Wonderful Life). Nice review Ruth, glad you enjoyed the film.

    1. Hi Ronan, yeah I think I’m more like you. I grew up reading Tintin and watching Disney animation so The Muppets appeal is a bit lost on me. Still the movie itself is fun.

      Oh It’s A Wonderful Life is great for all season, just like Ben-Hur is great outside of Easter season 🙂

  12. I had a nice relaxed weekend working on a new series for my blog and watching some movies 🙂

    I didn’t like The Muppets as much, but it wasn’t bad either…

      1. This is a series in my mind for a while, just didn’t have the time to prepare it. The last two weeks my girlfriend and daughter were on holiday (I had to take care of the other two girls), which allowed me extra time to finally make it. Probably will still take a week or two before I finally unleash it 😉

        1. Seriously man, you’ve got plenty of other series going around as it is 🙂 But whatever else you’ve got cookin’ I’m sure it’s great.

          1. Hahaha, almost sounds like you want me to limit the amount 😉

            Well, this one will run just a couple of weeks and once you see what it is you’ll understand why.

  13. Glad you enjoyed this, especially since you didn’t grow up with the Muppets. I did grow up with them, so I’m pretty much the target audience. 😀 I will say that although The Muppet Show and Sesame Street both came out of the mind of Jim Henson (and did occasionally cross over before they were sold to different companies), they’re very different shows. The Muppet Show had a strong surrealist streak to it and definitely more for adults than for kids (in the sense that you have to have certain world experiences to get all the jokes, not in today’s “adult” sense of “poop humor”.)

    1. Hi Morgan, welcome to FC! So the movie did please the fans as well as win new ones, that’s quite a feat. I’m glad that there aren’t a lot of silly poop humor in The Muppets!

      1. No kidding… it would have been very easy for them to ruin the Muppets by trying to make them “edgy” or something. Fortunately, they not only avoided that, they spoofed the idea…

  14. Okay, I’m convinced. The new Muppet movie is going on my TBW list. I’ve only heard good things about this film, and anyway, I could do with a little Muppet fun. Really though, the Muppet Show was quite different to Sesame Street. The show was zanier. I actually appreciate the Muppets far more now I’m older because I recognize the sharp parodies and satire that was going on underneath.

    BBC “Sherlock” is brilliant. I’m a fan. Just saw the second three film series. I’m just writing a post comparing this series with Guy Ritchie’s blockbuster Hollywood movies, which are fun in a different way. It got a bit long so I need to either split it or edit it well before posting.

    1. I can see that the Muppets show would be zanier, I think it appeals more for adult whilst Sesame Street is really geared for kids.

      Oh I’d love to read that article on comparing the two Sherlock adaptations. Let me know when you have that up, Marcus.

  15. I’m back after a few days away from blogging without much to say…haha
    I have yet to see The Muppets even though I’ve been meaning to. I didn’t grow up with them either, I only knew of them from my parents. All I remember from when I was a kid is that I was somewhat afraid of Miss Piggy the few times I did manage to watch the show.
    In any case, your review just made me want to put this on my list even more.

    1. Hi Niels! Ahah, miss Piggy can be quite intimidating. I think her relationship with Kermit is cute! Let me know what you think after you watch this one.

  16. Yeah, it blows my mind how much people absolutely love The Muppets. I watched them a bit as a kid, but I don’t really get the die hard following they have. I would still like to see the movie, though.

    I finally made it back to the theater this weekend and saw The Raid. It was pretty crazy. Not worthy of its absurdly high IMDB rating, but it’s definitely one of the better action movies to come out in quite some time.

    1. Oh cool you saw The Raid, it’s not playing anywhere near me I don’t think. I don’t know when I’ll see it as it’s really not my cup of tea, but ’cause it’s set in my hometown, I’d definitely rent it.

    1. Hi matey! Yeah, I’m kinda a late bloomer when it comes to TV shows but I’m glad I finally saw what the fuss is about Sherlock and it certainly lives up to the hype, and then some.

    1. Ahahahaha… I LOVE that maniacal laugh scenes w/ Cooper, he’s just awesome in this movie! He..he.. well I was quite open minded this weekend, seeing this AND John Carter. Fortunately both delivered.

      Glad we’ll be fellow LAMB members 😀

  17. Ah, excellent! I’m always intrigued to see reviews of The Muppets from people who didn’t actually grow up with them (which I did). It seemed so specifically tailored to people who DID grew up with them it always interesting to hear how plays it for others. Glad it worked for you!

    1. Yeah I kinda figured people who grew up w/ it would appreciate it more but it’s fun enough for the rest to enjoy, and the casting is brilliant. I mean seeing Chris Cooper rapping is just awesome!

  18. Hurrah! Finally! 😀

    So glad you enjoyed it. It’s great you enjoyed it that much considering you’re not “used” to the Muppet world. So shows it’s got appeal beyond the fans and kids.

    Chris Cooper’s rap freaked me the hell out. I was not expecting that at all!

  19. It’s great to see that as a non-Muppets fan, you really enjoyed the film! I wouldn’t say I grew up watching The Muppets, but they were around in my childhood. It wasn’t until I grew up that I realised I didn’t actually get a lot of the jokes they told back then! Very clever writing.

    The film follows that too. Which is great! I remember when I saw the film in the cinema it was packed and everyone was at least 23 and over. A couple of kids there got bored and their parents had to take them out part way through!

    1. Hi Jaina! Yeah, it was tough not to be caught up in the movie’s sense of fun. It’s just too darn cheerful, ahah. I guess I’m familiar w/ The Muppets even though I didn’t watch the shows, I mean Kermit and Miss Piggy are such cultural icons.

      The nostalgia factor definitely is a factor in its success, but it has a great cast too. LOVE Chris Cooper generally, he was such a hoot here.

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