It’s time to play the music. It’s time to light the lights… Oh, nostalgia take me away! I grew up with the Muppets and have fond memories of them. So when I heard there was a new Muppet movie coming out after all of these years I was excited to relive a little bit of my childhood. But I was also worried that it wouldn’t live up to my Muppet memories. Let’s face it, most things from our childhoods rarely do. But I am happy to report that The Muppets are just as fun now as they were back then.
It’s been more than a decade since Kermit and the gang were together on the big screen and this movie’s plot is all about reuniting them. It begins with a trip to the now decrepit Muppet studios in Hollywood by the world’s biggest Muppets fan, Walter (a Muppet himself although he doesn’t realize it yet), and his friends Gary (Jason Segel) and Mary (Amy Adams). While they’re there, Walter overhears a plot by nefarious oilman Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) to gain ownership of the place so he can tear it down and drill for oil. Walter is devastated.
The only way to save the studio is for Kermit the Frog to come up with ten million dollars. Walter, Gary and Mary track him down at his run-down Bel Air mansion and convince him he’s got to try to do it. They set out to find the rest of the gang so they can stage a Muppet telethon to raise the money. The first stop is Reno, where Fozzie Bear is performing with a “tribute” act called “The Moopets.” They track down Gonzo, who’s now a plumbing magnate, and Animal, who’s in rehab for anger management. Then they tell us it’s ”time for a montage” as they pick up the rest of the cast – except for Miss Piggy. She proves a bit more difficult to convince. After all, she’s built a new life for herself as the plus-size editor of Vogue in Paris.
Then it’s a race against time to convince a network, any network, to air their telethon and find a celebrity host. Will they get the show together in time? Will they raise the money to save the studios? It’s a Muppet movie – what do you think? It’s all about the journey, not the destination with the Muppets. And there are classic Muppet elements all along the way: musical numbers – some that, admittedly, I thought dragged a bit – characters breaking the fourth wall – like that “time for a montage” reference – and celebrity cameos galore.
For me, a Muppets fan from back in the day, it was just right and it plays well to the next generation too. My eight-year old movie companion says he loved it too because it was “funny and so cool.” He particularly enjoyed when Miss Piggy jumped on Kermit, and Fozzie’s fart shoes were “hilarious and so farty that they made me laugh like heck!” This movie’s a winner for all ages. Enjoy the show!