Movie News

The Great Gonzo Tells Us About The Script For The New MUPPET Movie - aka THE GREATEST MUPPET MOVIE OF ALL TIME!!!

Published at: March 18, 2009, 8:05 p.m. CST

Merrick here...
I've been waiting for a new MUPPET MOVIE for a long time...and been really curious about what Segel & Stoller (FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL) have in store for us since being charged with bringing the Muppets back to the big screen. The Great Gonzo sent in his thoughts after reading the film's script. The verdict? Pretty positive! And, as far as I know, this is the first time the film's title has been revealed anywhere. I've a toddler who's already loving DVDs of the MUPPETS. Hopefully this'll be in theaters just about the time he's ready to sit through movies.
Here's The Great Gonzo...
I have been lucky enough to get my hands on the script to the new Muppet Movie a.k.a "The Greatest Muppet Movie of All Time!!!" (as theyre calling it) by Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller. I've read it an thought I'd pass on my thoughts. Before I get started, I think it's helpful to get my take on The Muppets. I LOVE THEM. I have a huge place in my heart for these characters and many of their adventures. However, I feel the Muppets have been completely misused and misunderstood since Jim Henson's death. I love The Muppet Show, The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, and The Muppets Take Manhattan. I feel like all the Muppet films after Jim's death just didn't "get it". There was something missing. The characters were watered down... kiddified, if you will. Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island, Muppets From Space... ugh. They just didn't feel like true Muppet movies. Anyway- keeping that in mind, how did I like the new script? Well, I'm going to start with the non-spoiler review and let you know my impressions. Then I'll go into some spoiler-iffic detail for those interested. The movie revolves around The Muppets reuniting after a huge falling out to save The Muppet Studios in Hollywood. They have to put on a show in the Muppet Theatre and get 10 million viewers to save the Studios from an evil Texas oil tycoon. That's the quick version. How is it? It's a solid, if not spectacular script that, with a bit of work, could be really great. What's good? It's obvious that Segel and Stoller really have a lot of love for the Muppets so the characters all feel pretty spot-on. It's funny and silly, just as the Muppets should be. All the classic characters are in there: Kermit, Piggy, Rowlf, Gonzo, Fozzie, Animal, The Electric Mayhem, Sam Eagle, Swedish Chef, Bunson and Beaker, Sweetums... etc. They obviously worked really hard to include everyone. Interestingly, the only post-Jim Henson Muppet to appear in the script is Pepe. He has all of 3 lines so it feels as if they thought "well, we have to have him in there because he's popular but we don't have to give him much time". There are some reverent nods to The Muppet Show and the first 3 movies that really displays the writers' respect for Jim Henson's work. There are a lot of great cameos scripted as well. Of course, we'll see if they can actually get all the celebrities they want to, but it would be nice. It is a musical which, for me, is a plus and hopefully they'll be able to churn out some songs as memorable as we had in the original 3 Muppet movies. What's not so good? There are patches in the script that still feel kind of flat. They need some punching up. The script also includes a lot of spoofs, which is to be expected. But some of them are already incredibly outdated, or will be in 6 months (MINOR SPOILER- there's a short scene written with cameos from Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau that is a spoof of Swingers. Swingers?!?!?!? I love that movie but it is 13 years old! No one is going to get this). The human characters that befriend the Muppets (Gary and Mary) are pretty bland and generic. I guess that's not surprising considering the outrageousness of the Muppets, but they have no real personalities. Also, I have always liked it when Piggy pursues Kermit but he's either aloof or not interested, like in The Muppet Movie. In this film, Kermit is in love with Piggy and acts like a jealous boyfriend. Not my favorite choice. Finally, I feel the climax of the film feels pretty small compared to the big finishes of The Muppet Movie or Muppets Take Manhattan. SPOILERS: Good stuff- -A good part of the film takes place in and around Hollywood, which ties it nicely it to the ending of The Muppet Movie. They even reference the "Standard Rich and Famous Contract" that was signed at the end of that film. -When Kermit decides to get the Muppets back together, he sends out the Muppet signal, ala the bat-signal. We then see where all the Muppets are and what they're doing. It's also a very funny sequences. Rowlf is working in a Kinko's run by cats. Gonzo is a crime fighter (including a cameo of Christian Bale in full Batman costume). The Electric Mayhem are performing in some dive bar in Alaska. Animal is in a celebrity rehab center for anger management. Lots of fun stuff here too. -There is another fantastic sequence that involves the Muppets trying to get a celebrity to host their show that is full of great cameos (Ben Stiller, Steve Carrell, George Clooney, Jack Black, Mel Brooks, Matt Damon) and the villain in different disguises foiling their plans. It's very fun and reminds me of classic Muppet fun. -Other cameos that I recall are Anne Hathaway and Emily Blunt (in a Prada spoof) and Rachel Ray (cooking with the Swedish Chef). -There a lot of fun flashbacks in the movie. There's a great bit where the Muppets resent Kermit for always getting to open The Muppet Show and he answers, very simply, "I was the only one who could fit into the O". Flashback to all of the other Muppets trying to fit and failing miserably. -One of the best cameos, and nods to the past, is in a scene where Ms. Piggy ends up in jail. In the cell next to her is Charles Grodin, still incarcerated after The Great Muppet Caper. -The one main new muppet is Walter. He is a nondescript brown puppet, so there's a funny running gag of everyone thinking he's something different (a talking blanket, a prairie dog, a beakless bird, an otter). -On of the best bits happens late in the movie. The villain has a gun and plans on shooting Kermit (honestly, I don't remember why). Bunson switches the movie to "slow motion bullet time" and all of the Muppets start to pretend to be in slow motion while a small puppet bullet comes out of the gun on a stick being carried by another muppet who's making whooshing air noises. Fozzie walks in at regular speed, asks "what's going on", Kermit explains that they're in slo-mo, so Fozzie cooperates and starts moving slowly too. I can picture it, and it's a great bit. -Finally, the film is scripted to end with a montage of all the Muppets and celebrities who have appeared singing "Mana Mana" from The Muppet Show. Bad stuff- -The movie opens with 2 Muppet executives heralding the return of The Muppets and introducing the title (The Greatest Muppet Movie Of All Time). It's not funny, we never see these characters again, and so it really makes no sense. -Along those lines, the first 15 minutes or so are really flat with almost no jokes. It really picks up once they track down Kermit (in his big mansion where we get a little Willy Wonka joke), but it's a bit of a chore to get to that point. I hope they inject some fun here or people are going to check out. -Like I mentioned, some of the spoofs are just not going to work. I mentioned the Swingers one. Another example is that we are reintroduced to Fozzie Bear at The Comedy Central Roast of Fozzie Bear where they've written in cameos for Bob Saget, Lisa Lampenelli, Jeffrey Ross, etc... Well this sounds funny now when they're showing these Roasts pretty regularly, but it sure is going to date this movie in 5 years when these C-listers are completely gone. -They certainly tries to get all our favorite Muppets included, but there's only so much time. So there are a few who make appearances but get almost nothing to do or say: Scooter, Sweetums, and Pepe seem to take the biggest hit. END SPOILERS Overall- it is a strong script and I really, really like it. I hope they hammer it out, punch it up, make it faster and funnier, and we may finally get the return to form, and therefore the comeback, for The Muppets that we fans have been waiting for. We can hope, can't we? If you use this, call me The Great Gonzo.


Readers Talkback

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  • March 18, 2009, 7:49 p.m. CST

    Sounds an awful lot like a chicken-loving plant...

    by TheMarineBiologist

    But I'll still probably watch it anyway...

  • March 18, 2009, 7:59 p.m. CST

    the muppets rule

    by DarthScotland

    that is all

  • March 18, 2009, 8 p.m. CST

    Sounds hilarious!

    by sonnyfern

    Some great bits in there. I miss the Muppets!

  • March 18, 2009, 8:02 p.m. CST

    Christian Bale erupts on Muppet set

    by Kief_Ledger

    During a heavy emotional scene with Kermit, Bale gets fucking distracted and causes the TOTAL FUCKING DESTRUCTION of the muppets

  • March 18, 2009, 8:03 p.m. CST

    Muppet Christmas Carol wasn't bad...

    by BadMrWonka

    I laughed a lot through that one...<p>but I would love a return to form from the old ones...oh, how I love them!!<p>Kermit: Fozzie, where did you learn to drive?<br> Fozzie: Oh, I took a correspondence course.

  • March 18, 2009, 8:04 p.m. CST

    ARE YOU SHITING ME

    by MEGAN_FOXS_CUNT_JUICE

    "(including a cameo of Christian Bale in full Batman costume)" Is that true? and yes MUPPETS RULE

  • March 18, 2009, 8:05 p.m. CST

    I love the Muppets!!!!

    by Johnny Ahab

    And I really wanna see them back on top! Even worse than the post-Henson movies cited above have been the painful abuse they've been subjected to at the hands of Disney. The Muppet Wizard of Oz was an abortion. And my daughter had some Disney Channel show on, and they were shilling for all this tweener crap. UGH! Hope they do punch up the script. Here's the spoof I'd like to see them do in the film: "MUPPETS 300" - come on, you know you want it! Can't you see Kermit as the messenger dude before the pit trembling and saying, "This is madness!" And Animal as Leonides screaming back, "RAH RAH RAH RADRESS! RAH RAH RARTAAAAH!!!!", then kicking Kermit into the pit. That shit would rule!

  • March 18, 2009, 8:06 p.m. CST

    Dracula's Lament is the same 2 chords over and over

    by darthpigman

  • March 18, 2009, 8:06 p.m. CST

    Good luck with the cameo stuff

    by liljuniorbrown

    I loved the Muppets growing up and I think they should get a little edgier with this moive. I don't mean like perverse or anything but like the pixar movies and the Shrek films.They found a way to balance it so that it goes over the younger crowds head's while cracking the adults up.Good luck with this one.

  • March 18, 2009, 8:08 p.m. CST

    Cool

    by Charlie_Allnut

    Its about time the muppets were done justice again. The muppets were never meant to be dumb kid crap like Barney. Great news.

  • March 18, 2009, 8:09 p.m. CST

    Muppets Christmas Carol...

    by TheMarineBiologist

    ... was by far my favorite Christmas Carol adaptation.

  • March 18, 2009, 8:13 p.m. CST

    If Bale is a good sport, he'll do this

    by terry1978

    And if it's still relevant, do a little parody of his tirade.

  • March 18, 2009, 8:18 p.m. CST

    "KERMIT, DON'T FUCKING TRASH MY SCENE!!!!!"

    by F-18

  • March 18, 2009, 8:23 p.m. CST

    Sounds kinda fun.

    by Sal_Bando

    You never know. Turn Animal into a big rocket powered Robot and you might have something here-

  • March 18, 2009, 8:27 p.m. CST

    whats green and smells like miss piggy?

    by Groothewarrior

    kermits fist!

  • March 18, 2009, 8:34 p.m. CST

    FUCK Jack Black & Ben Stiller

    by Flint420

    That's all I wanted to say

  • March 18, 2009, 8:35 p.m. CST

    Statler and Waldorf

    by aleeminator

    Should have a brief cameo where theyve been introduced to the internet, and are now full-time AICN talkback haters

  • March 18, 2009, 8:37 p.m. CST

    Kermit the jealous boyfriend sounds lame

    by axel fff

    Walter sounds like its got potential. <p> The spoofs sound like shit.

  • March 18, 2009, 8:39 p.m. CST

    That's a great Jack Parr clip. Makes me miss Jim Henson even mor

    by Flim Springfield

  • March 18, 2009, 8:39 p.m. CST

    Swingers

    by geemenblue

    Dude, don't hate on a Swingers bit. That would be INCREDIBLE.

  • March 18, 2009, 8:41 p.m. CST

    Jim Henson saw faces on those valves!

    by Orionsangels

  • March 18, 2009, 8:49 p.m. CST

    Great review.

    by hallmitchell

    The muppets should be one of the most awesome franchises out there. Yet since Jim died the movies have NOT been as good. I'm glad the Henson company went with these guys. If it's flat send it around to Kevin Smith, Judd Apatow or Seth Rogen. I'm sure they'll give it a kick in the pants.

  • March 18, 2009, 8:49 p.m. CST

    I am so excited about this.

    by hallmitchell

    Please put this into production soon.

  • March 18, 2009, 8:50 p.m. CST

    Lisa Lampenelli

    by American Mythos

    Is she really going to be in this? Aren't kids going to see this? Is her one line to call Fozzy a n*****? Seriously, her whole act is racial. I'm not personally offended by it (besides, at her shows there seems to be a lot of the same minorities her act is aimed at ENJOYING the show), but I'm just not sure that will go well with these characters.

  • March 18, 2009, 8:50 p.m. CST

    Please also put into production Bryan Lynch muppet script

    by hallmitchell

    Where gonzo becomes a batman type figure.

  • March 18, 2009, 8:52 p.m. CST

    Are Paul Williams & Kenny Ascher still doing

    by Amy Chasing

    the music for this one? I heard a rumour a while back saying they were. How many pinches of salt should I take that with?

  • March 18, 2009, 8:56 p.m. CST

    Kiddified?

    by Dominic-Vobiscum

    The reason Muppet Wizard of Oz sucked unholy ass is because there were too many (not subtle at all) sex jokes. That's also the reason why Pepe is only funny in small doses. He's a horny shrimp.<br><br> They also referred to them as "puppets" in MWofOz, they aren't puppets. They are dogs and frogs and chickens and such, goddammit.<br><br> Muppet Treasure Island and Christmas Carol are great fun, and (if only for Ray Liotta's cameo) so is Muppets From Space.

  • March 18, 2009, 9:12 p.m. CST

    With Henson long dead and Oz gone, why bother?

    by performingmonkey

    As soon as everyone saw the Muppets as this franchise then it was always going to go downhill. Jim Henson and Frank Oz, without them the Muppets are very little. Whatever reasons Oz gave for leaving, the real reason has to be that everything Muppets is now shit and he needed to get out. Christmas Carol was great but everything since has been a disaster. They should have taken the hint. This new movie sounds like a return to good old Muppets but that's gonna feel tired. Half the cameos won't happen (come on, does anyone seriously think Bale would have a frog trashing his scene?? It would be FUCKING DISTRACTING having Kermit going DA DA DA DA DA in his eyeline)

  • March 18, 2009, 9:15 p.m. CST

    Muppet Treasure Island is classic

    by commiepinko

    Mr. Bimble will forever live in my heart as well as my finger.

  • March 18, 2009, 9:19 p.m. CST

    What is missing from the Muppets...

    by landosystem

    Great Puppeteers who love and understand the characters. Jim Henson and Frank Oz were so tied to their characters that they knew and loved them, and this came through in their puppeteering. Watch the outtakes of them on youtube and you'll see what I mean, so much heart. http://www.youtube .com/watch? v=lrDLhNSa37E

  • March 18, 2009, 9:20 p.m. CST

    NATASHA RICHARDSON R.I.P.

    by Light_Tweaker

    Rest in peace.

  • March 18, 2009, 9:30 p.m. CST

    He's not a shrimp.

    by TheMark

    He's a prawn.

  • March 18, 2009, 9:32 p.m. CST

    Animal in rehab

    by D.Vader

    That's fucking funny!

  • March 18, 2009, 9:34 p.m. CST

    Which means the Electric Mayhem must have a replacement...

    by D.Vader

    Celebrity drummer since Animal is in rehab? My guess is its Dave Grohl?

  • March 18, 2009, 9:39 p.m. CST

    Not just a prawn...

    by dancingbean

    A King Prawn. I also liked muppet Xmas carol, they've been missing not only Jim Henson and Frank Oz in front of the cameras but Jerry Juhl, the writer. He was a HUGE part of what made the muppets who we know them as. And they haven't found a good replacement for him--someone who could write on multiple levels. I just hope whatever cameos they do aren't forced, so many of what they had done recently were abnoxious 'oh look another celebrity, lets not be funny with them for a while, as we bask in their fame'. To be fair, the most recent small screen movie, the Letters to Santa film that aired this year was the truest to the muppet spirit I have seen in some time.

  • March 18, 2009, 9:40 p.m. CST

    Muppet Treasure Island & Christmas Carol

    by speakingof

    ...are good. The crap ones have been the TV movies and the Muppets in Space, which was a complete atrocity -- effectively ruining the franchise in theaters since its release. http://www.dipassaggio.com/

  • March 18, 2009, 9:40 p.m. CST

    Bale

    by The Only Woj

    I'd pay for that scene to make it through. maybe Bale would do it for his daughters amusement?

  • March 18, 2009, 9:43 p.m. CST

    re: aka Greatest Muppet Movie of All Time"...

    by RetroActive

    Jim Henson's dead. So, that would be impossible.

  • March 18, 2009, 9:51 p.m. CST

    The Muppets were edgy

    by D.Vader

    They don't need to get "edgier" with this incarnation. There was a bit in one of the movies where everyone's talking at once and they suddenly stop, but Janice (the hot blonde rocker chick) can still be heard saying something like "So I said to him, hey, I don't take my clothes off for just anyone."

  • March 18, 2009, 9:53 p.m. CST

    Statler and Waldorff as AICN talkbackers- BRILLIANT

    by D.Vader

  • March 18, 2009, 9:55 p.m. CST

    Needs more Charles Grodin!

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Did they have to repair the Mallory Gallery after the Muppets broke in?

  • March 18, 2009, 9:56 p.m. CST

    Hopeful for this one

    by BizarroJerry

    That Roast bit will just have to go. The films need adult references, but that would juts be too much. Personally, Muppet cameos are funnier when the celebrities are not playing themselves. For some reason, though, I get the feeling that Segal and whoever could do a good job because they're supposedly fans who went looking for this job, instead of screenwriters assigned to it. Plus, Segal seems roughly the right age to have loved the Muppets at their best.<p>The Christmas Carol movie was pretty good. The others weren't very good at all, though Muppets From Space was OK. They just went for too much of a feel good ending there. Two changes that would've greatly helped:<p> 1) When the rats escaped from their cage into a hole hidden behind a poster, the should have run into Tim Robbins (ala Shawshank Redemption) in the tunnel, asking for directions. 2) The aliens claiming to be Gonzo's true "family" should have been revealed to be lying all along, not really have those long noses, and attempt an invasion at the very end which the Muppets then had to foil. In the end, Gonzo remains a "whatever" but sees that his real place is here with his real famiily: the other Muppets.

  • March 18, 2009, 10:03 p.m. CST

    bob sagart will be gone in 5 years?

    by BendersShinyAss

    finally

  • March 18, 2009, 10:07 p.m. CST

    cool, I wasnt sure that this was actually happening

    by TheDark0Knight

    and I dont think the swingers reference should be cut out...who cares if not everyone gets it, thats whats fun about film references.

  • March 18, 2009, 10:08 p.m. CST

    so long as its not like ...

    by BendersShinyAss

    loony tunes back in action ... im in

  • March 18, 2009, 10:13 p.m. CST

    Longest, most boring YouTube clip EVER.

    by ShiftyEyedDog2

  • March 18, 2009, 10:16 p.m. CST

    performongmonkey

    by phoenixmagida5th

    Thanks for the laugh. I just got a picture of kermit walking in front of the camera singing DA DA DA DA in front of bale. That would be perfect muppet humor. Then bales yells 'THAT'S DISTRACTING KERMIT!' If bale has a sense of humor he should do this but I don't think wb will let bale dress up as batman in anymovie that is not heir own

  • March 18, 2009, 10:22 p.m. CST

    muppets from space

    by firehawk_thexder

    is apparently rather the flash point here of taste with some thinking it was allright and others flat out hating it. I myself enjoyed it a good deal.. sure it's not up there with the first three movies, but it had some really great bits in my opinion..

  • March 18, 2009, 10:23 p.m. CST

    Obviously the Muppets are in the right hands now

    by SifoDyasJr.

    Or would that be ON the right hands? I like what I'm reading.

  • March 18, 2009, 10:43 p.m. CST

    Ricky Gervais interviewed by Elmo

    by terry1978

    That shit is on Youtube right now, basically outtakes from his upcoming Sesame Street appearance, and it is funny as hell...he asks Elmo if he knows what necrophilia is, and Elmo responds to the female director off-camera, "when did you lose this interview?" That type of stuff is what they need to do for this next movie.

  • March 18, 2009, 10:43 p.m. CST

    wait a minute...

    by shatterglass

    So according to The Great Gonzo, if you spoof something current it dates your movie, but if you do an older spoof like "Swinger" (which I also think would be FANTASTIC) then nobody is going to get it? Wow.

  • March 18, 2009, 11 p.m. CST

    Pepe

    by darthvedder81

    Pepe is far and away the best of the "new" Muppets. But I agree, the Muppets shouldn't be telling sex jokes.

  • March 18, 2009, 11:04 p.m. CST

    I actually though Muppets From Space was their best movie!!!

    by HB_Dad

    I actually though Muppets From Space was their best movie!!! Seriously! It was nice to see Gonzo get some much desrved attention as the focus of the story. The humor was top-notch, and the story flowed very well. Jeffrey Tambor was also really good in the role. Pepe was actually pretty fucking funny. What I also really liked about the movie was it was one of few Muppets Movies that didn't follow the "Let's have a show to save the theater" formula. Apparantly, this new movie is going back to that which is a bit of a bummer. MFS also had good art direction and soundtrack to boot. In a way, I was hoping the new movie would be similar to the Youtube shorts, particlarily the Rowlf on Skateboard bit. Either way, I will still be looking forward to this.

  • March 18, 2009, 11:09 p.m. CST

    GEORGE CLOONEY FOR BATMAN

    by VALENTINEproductions

    They should get george for the gonzo/batman scene, that would be alot funnier. Also instead of Fozzy getting a roast they should do something like him going on a racist rampage like michael richardson.

  • March 18, 2009, 11:16 p.m. CST

    If anything positive can be said of MFS...

    by hillvalley

    It's that at least the muppets got to play themselves rather than being cast in literary roles.<p><p>That this upcoming movie is about the muppets and not just featuring them makes me optimistic, as does the incorporating of their theater/The Muppet Show.<p><p>As far as dekiddifying the script, I hope the writers use Pixar as their model as opposed to Dreamworks, as I suspect Henson's muppets have influenced the folks at Pixar. They both seemed to understand that entertaining adults in a family film needn't involve obvious sexual innuendo or non-sequitur pop-culture references that only serve to date the movie.

  • March 18, 2009, 11:36 p.m. CST

    d.vader re: janice

    by necgray

    "...look mother it's my life, okay? So if I want to live on a beach and walk around naked..." <p> Sadly, I have that and many, many others memorized but consistently forget my parents' birthdates. I remember the month, never the date...

  • March 18, 2009, 11:37 p.m. CST

    We shall see if it any good...

    by Bones

    I just hope it doesn't suck. As to Kermit being the jealous one--I think it is great. Kermit and Piggy have been in a common-law marriage for like 25-30 years.<p> Now if only all the rights to the Muppets were all in one place so they could release the Muppet Family Christmas and Jim Henson Hour on DVD...!

  • March 18, 2009, 11:39 p.m. CST

    love the plot concept, lukewarm on the parody

    by necgray

    It sounds like the exact kind of thing I personally have been dying for from the Muppets in recent years as far as the central plot and the Muppets themselves. But I'm definitely wary of the cameos and potential amount of parody. As long as they keep that stuff to a relative minimum, I'm cool with it.

  • March 18, 2009, 11:42 p.m. CST

    but overall: HOOORAY!!!!!!!!!

    by necgray

    Excited. To hell with the naysayers. Yeah, I love Jim and Frank and nothing can ever take the place of the originals, BUT the characters are timeless and there's no reason to keep them locked away if something good can be done with them. <p> Oh, and MFS failed from the very concept. You. Do. NOT. Explain. Gonzo.

  • March 18, 2009, 11:45 p.m. CST

    Dancingbean

    by Dominic-Vobiscum

    You're right, Letters to Santa felt like a return to form. <br><br>Plus it had music and a cameo by Paul Williams.

  • March 18, 2009, 11:46 p.m. CST

    Grodin in jail cameo FTW.

    by Dwide Shrewd

    That's fucking golden. The Great Muppet Caper is the shit.

  • March 19, 2009, 12:01 a.m. CST

    When can we expect this?

    by Jawa 007

    any timeline?

  • March 19, 2009, 12:03 a.m. CST

    I third...

    by El Gooche

    the idea of Statler and Waldorff as AICN talkbackers. P.S. The only good thing about the Muppets being whored out by Disney is that my daughter is now hard-core into Muppets. She DEMANDS that I purchase all 3 seasons of the Muppet Show.

  • March 19, 2009, 12:05 a.m. CST

    Christmas Carol was great

    by WickedJacob

    and, btw, this is the most plant-er-iffic thing I've read since that ridiculous Disney's 3 musketeers thing YEARS ago.

  • March 19, 2009, 12:12 a.m. CST

    Impossible without Jim Henson

    by Dr. Strangelove

    Henson & Oz were the Lennon & McCartney of the Muppets. Their comedy was so sharp and subtle. I can't really watch Kermit since Henson died. He sort of sounds like he's been lobotomized.

  • March 19, 2009, 12:15 a.m. CST

    "Myth! Myth!" "Yes?"...

    by DanielKurland

    The original Muppet Movie is one of my favorite movies of all time. Right up there with Oldboy, Boogie Nights, Blue Velvet, Clockwork Orange, and other classics. It is such a BEAUTIFUL movie. The songs are great, the jokes are fun, the cameos great, and it just approaches a muppet movie how it should. To show Kermit in a wide shot RIDING A FUCKING BIKE, or how they replicate the movie itself on a soundstage at the end of the film, or filming Kermit's reflection in the water, or at the end of "Magic Store" how the shot starts on a close up, and ends in an extreme wideshot, with all the muppets, and that rainbow on them where it doesn't even look film, but rather a PAINTING, are examples of the grandiose things this movie tries and succeeds at. This film sounds like a worthy successor and I cannot wait for it.

  • March 19, 2009, 12:38 a.m. CST

    When will Seasons 4 and 5 be out on DVD?

    by HB_Dad

    My kids demand all 5 seasons of the Muppets Show. I want to see them too!

  • March 19, 2009, 12:42 a.m. CST

    "I spank you..

    by Harold-Sherbort

    I spank you like a bad bad donkey o.k." Love Pepe. He's definitly the best of the new muppets. I'm with the people that are saying stay off, or at least lessen, the innuendos though. That just doesn't fit in the Muppet universe. Keep it subtle....way fucking subtle.

  • March 19, 2009, 12:50 a.m. CST

    Best muppets movie ever?

    by Last_Action_Negro

    I don't know, Muppets Take Manhattan is pretty slick flick. What other movie has rats skating on butter?

  • March 19, 2009, 12:59 a.m. CST

    Muppets? Muppets?

    by scriptgirl_nipples

    Who honestly gives a fuck to want to see a big screen Muppet movie?

  • March 19, 2009, 1:01 a.m. CST

    They can get all of the celebrities except Bale....

    by TheWaqman

    because everybody he listed seem like chilled out people who would definitely appear in a Muppets film. Bale seems like a twat though and would definitely not be in it. Get Clooney for Batman just for the lulz.

  • March 19, 2009, 1:04 a.m. CST

    Fuck off scriptgirlnipples....

    by TheWaqman

  • March 19, 2009, 1:13 a.m. CST

    Goodfellas

    by American Mythos

    I always wanted to see Goodfellas done with the Muppets, word for word, shot for shot.

  • March 19, 2009, 1:38 a.m. CST

    BORK BORK BORK!!!

    by Campion

    That is all.

  • March 19, 2009, 1:45 a.m. CST

    Fozzie as Joe Pesci's character!!

    by Campion

    "what am I, a clown? I fucking amuse you? WOCKA WOCKA!"

  • March 19, 2009, 2:13 a.m. CST

    The Muppet Movie Canon Order

    by SingingHatchet

    The Muppet Movie > The Great Muppet Caper > Muppets Take Manhattan > Muppets Treasure Island > Muppets Christmas Carol > Muppets In Space > All those crap TV movies, except John Denver and The Muppets Christmas.

  • March 19, 2009, 2:33 a.m. CST

    Waqman

    by scriptgirl_nipples

    Don't get clever now, just because Josef Fritzl has let you out of your dungeon.

  • March 19, 2009, 3:07 a.m. CST

    Fucking Disney

    by Toby_FN_Wong

    I really hate them for buying the Muppets.

  • March 19, 2009, 3:09 a.m. CST

    "THE GREATEST MUPPET MOVIE OF ALL TIME"

    by richy

    Uh... so... you're saying without Jim Henson the muppets will be improved?

  • March 19, 2009, 3:12 a.m. CST

    by richy

    (And yeah I know it's a fake title within the movie, it still sounds kinda weird and rude considering the big man missing.)

  • March 19, 2009, 4:06 a.m. CST

    It's A Very Muppet Christmas Movie

    by LtColMcQueen

    Plot of new movie: "The movie revolves around The Muppets reuniting after a huge falling out to save The Muppet Studios in Hollywood. They have to put on a show in the Muppet Theatre and get 10 million viewers to save the Studios from an evil Texas oil tycoon. " Plot of a Very Muppet Christmas Movie (2002): The Muppets must band together to put on a show and get enough viewers to raise enough money to save the Muppet Theater from a greedy banker who is

  • March 19, 2009, 4:07 a.m. CST

    by LtColMcQueen

    attempting to level it to turn into a parking lot

  • March 19, 2009, 4:17 a.m. CST

    Love the Muppets but

    by The McPoyle Clan

    Rachael Ray...instant fail.

  • March 19, 2009, 5:50 a.m. CST

    This is script - they'll never get all the cameos

    by filmcoyote

    So i wouldn't get excited for any of these and the rest of sounds so-so. I'll watch it because i'd turn up anytime Gonzo, Rolf and Fozzie make a movie but i won't be excited until i see footage that looks good. And Muppet Christmas Carol is awesome so this guy has no credability for me

  • March 19, 2009, 6:54 a.m. CST

    Retire the muppets!

    by segundus

    Personally, I prefer to remember them as they were - with the original performers and writers - than trying to do something all whizzy, fancy and utterly soulless which has been what a lot of the recent productions have been - and it's most unfortunate because the guys are trying hard :(

  • March 19, 2009, 7:26 a.m. CST

    No Henson = No Muppets

    by Nice Marmot

    That is all . . .

  • March 19, 2009, 7:28 a.m. CST

    SCOOTER BETTER BE IN THIS

    by God's Brother

    Or I'm-a gonna be PISSED

  • March 19, 2009, 7:35 a.m. CST

    They have to put on a show. How original.

    by ricarleite

    I thought Rowlf was retired.

  • March 19, 2009, 7:50 a.m. CST

    they won't get christain bale or batman

    by IndyAbbey Jones

    first of all this movie isn't with WB, so they won't be able to get the rights to the batman character (just llok athow botchy warners is being to FOX over the adam west TV show), plus christain bale is a great actor, buthe's a bit of a douche and i doubt he would bother doing a bit cameo that mocks the batman character...good idea, but it would never happen, your more likley to get a smaller hero like iron man or even brabden routh as superman (since the shusters own more of the rights then WB does, and would gladly allow it for a charity donation)

  • March 19, 2009, 8:01 a.m. CST

    Last Chance for the Muppets

    by Xian042

    I grew up watching the Muppet Show and the Muppet movies. The first movie is one of my faves of all time. Some of the later movies have been ok, but just lack that Henson magic. Jim had a knack of making you smirk at the lunacy of what is going on, and didnt take itself too seriously while still doing a great job of entertaining you. People taking over as Kermit are better, but the last guy to do Animal really hurt. They need an extensive casting session to really nail the voices. Funny that Brian Henson was the worst Kermit ever.

  • March 19, 2009, 8:04 a.m. CST

    Scooter and Sweetums

    by NubtheSquirrel

    Are not as much in the movie because I guess Richard Hunt was the only one who could do those characters justice. Especially Scooter. Otherwise, the script sounds brilliantly funny with some changes that will inevitably be made. The whole put on a show aspect is perfect because that was what the muppets do best. I'm totally there when this comes out in theaters. No doubt about it. My kid is barely eight months and he is already in love with the Muppets. Whenever they are on screen, he stops and watches them. Now we just need news that this has entered production and a release date.

  • March 19, 2009, 8:06 a.m. CST

    Anybody think it was creepy when the Muppets were hitting on Kat

    by rev_skarekroe

    In Muppets From Space? She was 19 when the movie came out, but it was still pretty weird.

  • March 19, 2009, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Spoofs

    by ballyhoo

    It's not the TIMING of spoofs that makes them good or bad, it's the quality and creativity.

  • March 19, 2009, 8:40 a.m. CST

    Richard Hunt & Jim Henson

    by God's Brother

    All the best characters were done by these 2 guys (besides the mainstays performed by Oz, of course) . So I guess no Stadler and Waldorf in this movie, either...

  • March 19, 2009, 8:41 a.m. CST

    Xian042

    by m2298

    As far as I know, only Steve Whitmire has done Kermit since Henson died.

  • March 19, 2009, 8:45 a.m. CST

    This project is dead already.

    by shiofuki07

    Disney hated the script. Frank Oz wrote another one.

  • March 19, 2009, 8:53 a.m. CST

    We Know the Truth

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    The stuff in that script that's good? It won't make it to the final movie. Christian Bale as Batman? We won't see it. Rachel Ray? We won't see it. Anne Hathaway? We won't see it. Those elements will be excised.

  • March 19, 2009, 9:43 a.m. CST

    I want all Scorsese films done with Muppets...

    by American Mythos

    Including Taxi Driver, starring Kermit the Frog as Travis Bickle. <br /> <br /> Kermit (V.O.): Each night when I return the cab to the garage, I have to clean the cum off the back seat. Some nights, I clean off the blood. <br /> <br /> Gonzo (in the backseat, wearing a business suit, brandishing a .44): "Have you ever seen what a .44 Magnum will do to a woman's p***y? Now that you should see. What a .44 Magnum will do to a woman's p***y that you should see?" <br /> <br /> And of course, Elmo as the underage prostitute.

  • March 19, 2009, 10:23 a.m. CST

    I liked Muppet Treasure Island

    by chrth

    Of course, Tim Curry makes any movie 500% better

  • March 19, 2009, 10:26 a.m. CST

    cool clip! but i hate wrong sounding muppets.

    by FleshMachine

    yep.

  • March 19, 2009, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Muppets Take Manhatten

    by 4we8have15to16go23back42

    I don't get that reviewer, I thought that was one of the worst Muppet movies, at least on the original 3. Chrismas Carol was way better. And for the record Jim Henson did have quite a bit to do with Christmas Carol. He died near the end of production just like Disney died near the end of Jungle Book production. I do agree that everything afterwards hasn't been as good though.

  • March 19, 2009, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Jason Segal??? NAKED MUPPETS!!!

    by MrMysteryGuest

    Ya know, with muppet dicks flying around, ala "Sarah Marshall"...:P

  • March 19, 2009, 10:38 a.m. CST

    Sounds like something Jerry Juhl told me.

    by spcglider

    I was friends with Muppet headwriter Jerry Juhl for several years before his untimely passing due to cancer. He described to me once a script idea that he and Jim had been tossing about called "The Cheapest Muppet Movie of All Time". The script centered around the Muppets needing to fulfill a contract for one last Muppet Movie but they'd used up all the money on the previous films. So the characters go on a globe-trotting romp only every time they step out onto the street in a new country, its the exact-same street re-dressed for the destination (France, Ireland, Egypt, Russia, China, etc.). Of course, he said that because of the huge amount of work that would go into making the movie look cheap, it budgeted out to actually be the most expensive Muppet Movie ever. Which immediately put the whole concept into the "circular file". From the description above, I actually have hope for THIS Muppet Movie. It brings into sharp focus the thing that I've been saying since Disney bought the property: The Disney people have NO IDEA what to do with the Muppets. They will require an outside influence that "gets it" in order to be the stars they can be. Disney formula will NOT work on the Muppets. Being a puppeteer myself, you can see my works at http://www.youtube.com/user/TVTVonline , I am particularly sensitive to the plight of the Muppets. Knowing the potential marketing juggernaut power of these characters, it is astonishing to see what kind of botched handling it takes to make them fail.

  • March 19, 2009, 10:55 a.m. CST

    Bones

    by Balcony Fool

    Muppet Family Christmas *is* on DVD. I have it. It's a yearly tradition in our household. :)<P> "I guess Fozzie didn't tell you about the icy patch."<P> "Yeah, I guess he didn't."<P> LOL

  • March 19, 2009, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Speaking of Bale and Kermit...

    by Anna Valerious

    http://tinyurl.com/d4asw3 And yes, there is also the dub of Kermit doing the "Terminator:Salvation" rant.

  • March 19, 2009, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Statler and Waldorf ARE talkbackers

    by Howling_Fantods

    See? http://tinyurl.com/68rc3z

  • March 19, 2009, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Yeah, "Muppet Family Christmas" is on DVD, but...

    by hillvalley

    Not all of it. They cut out almost all of Fozzie with the snowman (which makes it weird when he brings him into the house, referring to things we didn't get to see) and the Muppet babies home movie where they sing "Santa Claus is coming to town" before Animal destroys the screen. I guess disney didn't feel it necessary to pony up for the music rights to the songs in these parts.

  • March 19, 2009, 11:53 a.m. CST

    no muppet babies on the xmas dvd?

    by Bouncy X

    i knew they cut out the snowman stuff but didnt realize they cut out the babies too, damn, that was like the most adorable thing. lol

  • March 19, 2009, 12:02 p.m. CST

    I agree, the first 3 movies were good...

    by sapno_krei

    I re-watched them recently, and I was amazed how well they hold up, especially with a lot of in-jokes and snarky dialogue that would go right over th eheads of most kids. That was the appeal of the original Muppet Show -- low brow slapstick for kids, sharp wit for adults. If the movie continues with that tradition -- or even makes it edgier -- I think the Muppets are in for a huge revival.

  • March 19, 2009, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Ricarleite brings up a VERY good point: Rowlf WAS retired

    by Shut the Fuck up Donny

    so the fact the "reviewed script" alludes to Rowlf's presence automatically makes me think something's not quite legit about this whole thing.

  • March 19, 2009, 12:11 p.m. CST

    American Mythos: that's already been done.

    by gruntybear

    See Peter Jackson's "Meet the Feebles."

  • March 19, 2009, 12:14 p.m. CST

    aleeminator, muppets are one step ahead of you!

    by caslab

    statler and waldorf are trolling as we speak . . . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpcUxwpOQ_A

  • March 19, 2009, 12:34 p.m. CST

    Rowlf came out of retirement in 1996

    by chrth

    (according to Wikipedia)

  • March 19, 2009, 12:44 p.m. CST

    I want a great Muppet movie, but Jason Segal?

    by Snake Foreskin

    He's second rate. He isn't funny and he may love the Muppets but that doesn't mean he can fill Jim Henson's shoes. He doesn't have the sweetness that Henson had, and he sure doesn't have the genius.

  • March 19, 2009, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Fuck your "edginess". Edgy sucks.

    by Snake Foreskin

    Edgy is what is wrong with this world. We need more sweetness.

  • March 19, 2009, 12:53 p.m. CST

    All I demand is one "how'd they do that?!" moment.

    by Royston Lodge

    The original four Muppet movies all had at least one scene where they tried to push the limits on what they could do with puppets. The best one was, of course, the famous "bicycle scene". The one from Muppets Take Manhattan where Miss Piggy chases the mugger while wearing rollerskates was a decent attempt that didn't quite work (it was obviously a person in a Miss Piggy costume.) If the new Muppet movie is truly going to be the next installment of the classic series, the Jim Henson Creature Workshop is going to have to come up with something REALLY spectacular that pushes the technology of puppetry forward. Maybe they can partner with a Japanese university's robotics department.

  • March 19, 2009, 2:50 p.m. CST

    What about Scooter?

    by hst666

    Are they going to have him or the Rasta guy that succeeded him on the new Muppet show back in the 90s.

  • March 19, 2009, 2:51 p.m. CST

    Speaking of the 90s show.

    by hst666

    I believe that show was as good as the originals. It's the only thing post-Henson I believe was as good, but that show had some great moments.

  • March 19, 2009, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Thay have been doing roasts for the last 5 years

    by hst666

    And what the fuck is the production cycle on this film. Is it slated for 2014? The roasts will still be relevant and those guys are funny.

  • March 19, 2009, 3:11 p.m. CST

    won't remember Swingers, but we'll remember Charles Grodin?

    by Jabroni

    Unless you spent the better part of your life watching these muppet movies over and over, how is anybody even going to remember who the heck Charles Grodin is? At least parents will remember Swingers, but Charles Grodin being locked away at the end of "The Great Muppet Caper"? I don't even know if I would recognize Charles Grodin now. right now my son is 3 and could care less about The Muppets, this would be for me to hopefully make me feel young again. Sounds good, I say keep the Swingers Reference, even if it's just to see Vince and Fav do it one more time. Hopefully they can get Steve Martin to make a showing again.

  • March 19, 2009, 3:28 p.m. CST

    I'm sure the cameos

    by aleeminator

    are not just wishful thinking. Firstly its a lot of work to write all those bits, and certainly not worth it if the odds of the actual celebrity that they're written for agreeing to appear in the movie are unlikely. On top of that, I think Segel was probably smart about using his press tours for FSM and "I Love You, Man" to recruit some folks. He even used his appearance on Ferguson to get him to agree to appear in the movie. So hopefully he can get a Bale cameo, otherwise I'm sure Favreau would be more than happy to lend him an extra Iron Man suit to use.

  • March 19, 2009, 3:48 p.m. CST

    Thanks for posting that Jack Paar appearance.

    by Dingbatty

    I'd read about the painted pipes in "Jim Henson's Designs and Doodles: A Muppet Sketchbook" but could never find a picture of it.

  • March 19, 2009, 4 p.m. CST

    Are you ready for dangling Muppet Schlong? Neither am I.

    by Snake Foreskin

    I hate Hollywood sometimes.

  • March 19, 2009, 4:01 p.m. CST

    Jack Paar had more class and talent in his anus

    by Snake Foreskin

    than Letterman has in every ounce of his being.

  • March 19, 2009, 4:11 p.m. CST

    Oh please, after seeing Bart Simpson's schlong

    by chrth

    You're worried about Muppets?

  • March 19, 2009, 4:24 p.m. CST

    Jack Parr is and will continue to be a footnote in history

    by hst666

    While Dave will be remembered as one of the greats.

  • March 19, 2009, 5:22 p.m. CST

    "Drinks are on the house!"

    by DanielKurland

    "Hey, there's no drinks up here." It's crazy how much I love that movie.

  • March 19, 2009, 6:46 p.m. CST

    Great Gonzo here with some clarification...

    by GreatGonzo

    Hey everyone- No, I'm not a plant. TImeline? I know the script has been submitted. No word on whether it's been approved or not. Muppet Movies? There really seems to be a lot of love for Muppet Christmas Carol... it's not horrible. I just don't think it's great. I hated to see the Muppets shoe-horned into other stories (Christmas Carol, Treasure Island, Wizard of Oz). I like it when the Muppets are being themselves and the story is actually about them. That's MY preference and why I stated it from the start. Rowlf? Yes, he was retired but came back in 2002 (I think) for It's a Very Muppet Christmas Movie (which, btw, I thought was the closest they've come to greatness post-Jim). Take it as you will, friends.

  • March 19, 2009, 7:21 p.m. CST

    Dominic-Vobiscum & Xian042

    by dancingbean

    I had forgotten that Williams had done the music for that, I remember I was really excited when I saw his name in the credits though. They definitely need to get him on board if they do this movie. Why go for anyone else when the mastermind behind the Rainbow Connection is still around? *** The Henson siblings almost had to force Whitmere to do Kermit after Jim's death. And he is really improving with practise, in my opinion. Brian never did Kermit.

  • March 19, 2009, 7:31 p.m. CST

    Muppet Christmas Carol Was The Best

    by Frodo T. Baggins

    Adaptation I have ever seen(for A Christmas Carol). Dark at times, Michael Caine, And I liked the songs. The only movie besides Nightmare Before Christmas where I actually like the music.

  • March 19, 2009, 7:40 p.m. CST

    Gonzo

    by subtlety

    I agree with you that 'Carol' and 'Treasure Island' while plenty serviceable, are sort of filler to me, since the characters are all playing other roles. But then came "Muppets From Space" which had them playing themselves again and it was... pretty irredeemable. Almost painful. It made me wonder if the muppets can really work as themselves in modern times.<br><br> Jim's humor was really one of a kind (along with Jerry Juhl and to some extent Oz) and without the two of them, I just feel like no one seems to get the muppets' unique place in the universe. People keep attempting to modernize them, which always seems terribly forced to me ("from space" was the worst offender in this catagory, even though Juhl co-wrote). I'd love for them to recapture their mojo but I can't even really even imagine what a modern incarnation would look like. They're patently un-hip, but too smart to play lowbrow... there's really nothing else like it today.<br><br> The best muppets were warm and genuine, but with a surprisingly sly sense of humor, married with a certain surreal embrace of an insane world. If they can't get that tone, I'd prefer they didn't even try... let the muppets go, especially now that some of the major voices are dead (just because they can get people to do a decent immitation doesn't mean they get the spirit of the characters.) On the other hand, the world could certainly use a large dose of Henson and his legacy right about now, if there's someone out there who can do it right.

  • March 19, 2009, 8:01 p.m. CST

    Subtlety

    by GreatGonzo

    Agreed. Muppets From Space was terrible. I hated that they tried to explain Gonzo, which defeats his whole purpose. He's a "weirdo", not an alien. Plus, when they felt the need to throw in overplayed old songs (Brickhouse?)... wow. Painful. The best of the Muppets had an original story, original music, and, to your point, that unique humor that is silly but smart, sly and fun, pun-ny but works on many levels. None of it has felt right since Jim left us (sigh). I would like to see them brought back by someone who "gets it". But, who knows if that's possible. Many have tried but have constantly come up short. I feel the closest they've come is the aforementioned It's a Very Muppet Christmas Movie (which, while based on It's a Wonderful Life, was still about the Muppets) and last years Letters For Santa. They were both fun and good. Not perfect, but a vast improvement over some of the other attempts. And it does give me hope that the Muppets can live again if in the right hands. I know Segel loves them like we do. That was obvious in the script. So I am trying to be positive. Also- on another note, yes I am VERY biased against spoofs and pop-culture references. I feel it does date the material and often stands in for true creativity (like "we can't come up with our own joke, so let's piggy-back on something familiar that others have done that everyone knows"). It makes it feel too much like Shrek which, for me, is not a good thing. That's my opinion. Disagree if you like.

  • March 19, 2009, 9:39 p.m. CST

    Jim Would Be Depressed

    by ThusSpakeSpymunk

    The sad fact is, I think Jim Henson himself would be depressed if he had lived and tried to get financing for Muppet projects. He would surely have rejected the march of children's tv toward "extreme" and would be regarded as a throwback and a social pariah right about now in the vein of Soupy Sales and Bill Cosby talking about hating Pee-Wee Herman. Heck, Pee-Wee Herman is too much for the kids now!

  • March 19, 2009, 9:52 p.m. CST

    Very Muppet Christmas Movie sucked

    by Chief Joseph

    The first Muppet movie to get a PG rating. Tried too hard to be edgy; it included a rave scene with a cage-dancing Scooter and a pacifier-sucking Sam the Eagle.<br> I agree with the others-- everything after Jim's death flat-out sucked.<br> If Disney owns them now, why not just do a crossover-- Disney VS The Muppets or something?

  • March 19, 2009, 10:19 p.m. CST

    The Opening two muppets

    by killianx

    Why is it not Statler and Waldorf? Oh yeah I did hear that Paul Williams was going to write some songs!

  • March 19, 2009, 10:31 p.m. CST

    Sorry, but I LOVED Very Muppet Christmas

    by Bass Bastardson

    I am a huge Muppets fan and the original Muppet Movie is one of my top five movies of all time. Of all the post Jim Henson stuff I think A Very Muppet Christmas is my favorite. It might be heresy to say this, but I actually think I like it better the Muppets Take Manhattan which is my least favorite of the original 3 by a landslide.

  • March 19, 2009, 11:18 p.m. CST

    Kids today dont give a shit about the muppets

    by lockesbrokenleg

    They're off watching perverted shit like Family Guy and Robot Chicken

  • March 19, 2009, 11:37 p.m. CST

    David Arquette is surprisingly really charming

    by Dingbatty

    and natural with the muppets in his acting in A Very Muppet Christmas Movie. And the brief moment with Sam the Eagle whipping the glow sticks is laugh out loud hilarious.<p>That said, I can't stand how Steve Whitmire portrays Kermit. Over the years, on talk show appearances, he had frequently had Kermit speak in lewd innuendo -- completely out-of-character, and is missing the essential sweetness of spirit that Jim Henson exuded, that Snake mentioned earlier.

  • March 20, 2009, 4:02 a.m. CST

    Doesn't sound too bad

    by Cobb05

    I'm sure they'll do a lot of improv, so it'll punch up the movie. The one thing the reviewer left out is, is there cursing in the movie? Are they dropping f-bombs or does it look like they are going for a more PG-13 movie?

  • March 20, 2009, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Jerry didn't have much to do with "from space"

    by spcglider

    Jerry pretty much retired over the creative differences he experienced while working on that film. In the end, most of his work wasn't on screen.

  • March 20, 2009, 5:37 p.m. CST

    spcglider

    by subtlety

    Really! Well, hell, I always had a hard time figuring out how he fit into that debacle. Even though I don't have quite the same love for "Carol" and "Island" that I do for the classic trilogy, they still feel very much to me like classic Muppets humor (sort of like extended sketches from the original muppet show, perhaps), and I always attributed that to Juhl and the performers. <br><br> When I saw his name on "From Space" I couldn't believe it and I really wondered if I'd been wrong about his contribution to the franchise. Thanks for setting the record straight!

  • March 20, 2009, 6:12 p.m. CST

    the whole "sweetness" thing

    by necgray

    I appreciate the point, guys, and I agree that there's a gentility to the characters that may not be best served by innuendo. HOWEVER I also would rather see the Muppets with an edge than without. Toothless Muppets are boring and are one of several reasons I disliked their acquisition by Disney. We don't need kiddified Muppets. That's what we have Sesame Street for. I think a balance is necessary, but some of you guys sound like 80 year old nuns. Just look at Janice. There's a LOT of innuendo with her. Or how about Rowlf's song in The Muppet Movie? Give them credit for an ability to handle non-candy-colored material.

  • March 20, 2009, 6:27 p.m. CST

    Gonzo

    by subtlety

    Well, I sure hope you're a plant, because if so it sounds like the studio finally figured out that it was sinking these beloved characters by not paying them the respect they deserve. They're unique and nuanced characters, and the show had a very delicate tone and humor to it. It was always hip (hell, they had Alice Cooper in the 70s!) but never cool. They knew what was going on, but never let it change who they were and what they were doing. And it was always far too smart to be concerned with being edgy. That's ironically an arena these days mostly reserved for those without any new ideas. <br><br> As you can probably guess, I care deeply about these characters and their creators (Henson in particular is very high on my list of personal heros) and it physically hurts to see them debased the way they have been recently. So often these days it seems like the characters are just sort of repeating old action (only without the character conext which made those meaningful) or simply behaving kind of interchangeably. Still, I haven't actually seen "its a very muppet..." (I stopped getting excited about new muppets material after the one-two punch of "From Space" and "oz") but it seems to have a lot of love here so I guess I'll go back and take a look. I'd love to have one more great muppets film before none of the original voices remain, but I am sort of dubious about whether it should can be done... or should be done, even. I'm not sure its a franchise that really should continue without the guidance of the visionaries who created it. I mean, why do it? We'll always have their classic work -- why pretend someone else can recapture the magic, and, for that matter, why ask anyone to? I mean, no one would really think it a great idea to do a bunch of "little tramp" films after Chaplin's death, because come on -- yeah, you can probably find someone who looks the part and can eke a few laughs out of it, but it will never equal the work of a true original with his unique take on the world. <br><br> If that seems overly negative, I'm sorry. As I said, I'd love nothing more than a real fitting tribute to those geniuses... and a world crowded full of ugly, aggressive and mean-spirited comedy could definitely use it as well (not that I don't also have a place in my heart for "Metalocalpyse" mind you... its just that supposedly 'edgy' stuff like "Superjail" was passe decades ago and yet the marketplace seems absolutely packed with that sort of humor these days while gentler, more imaginative fare is much harder to come by). And heck, I do think Segel et al seem like guys who genuinely have some comedy roots in Henson's work, and care enough about the material to really work to get it right. They don't strike me as the type to try cynical meta-jokes or to make the cast cooler or more accessible. I'll definitely go in optimistic (heck, it has to at least be FUNNIER than a lot of the recent stuff) but even if it's fantastic I dont know that they should try a lot more of these. But you seem like a guy who knows and cares why the muppets were cool, so if you think the script is right-on, I'll sure give it a try.

  • March 20, 2009, 6:42 p.m. CST

    necgray

    by subtlety

    exactly! thats what makes the tone so difficult to strike. The Muppets aren't a bunch of starry-eyed innocents (Janice, hell. The Electric Mayhem may seem pretty tame today --perhaps even quaint--, but when it was created I don't think there were a lot of kids shows that featured characters obviously associated with drug culture) And as I mentioned, Alice Cooper for fucks sake. Not really Barney terrain in the 70s. And they premiered on Saturday Night Live (albeit in a different form) among very adult-themed stuff. The trick is that the Muppets never resorted to shock for their humor. Floyd and Janice may be on drugs (in fact, they probably are) but that's not the joke. The joke is always from their attitude or their perspective. It treats them kindly, even though it doesn't ignore things which may be a little rough-around-the-edges. Innuendo can be handled with a warmness and gentility without being blandly saccharine. Heck, even violence can (See: Crazy Harry). The Muppets at their best were smart enough to be kind and sweet without ever toning it down for the kids. But its a hard balance to pin down, and it takes a lot of creativity and deftness to do it. Which may explain why it isn't done very often these day (or, in those days, though I think the culture has turned dramatically towards more explicitly "adult" content as a matter of taste).

  • March 21, 2009, 12:26 p.m. CST

    Very Muppet Christmas Movie & Wow moments

    by Chief Joseph

    Very Muppet Christmas Movie also had a huge ad for Scrubs in it plus Whoopi Goldberg as God. Lame.<br> As for WOW technical moments that would impress an audience ala the bicycles in The Muppet Movie... can't be done anymore because of CGI. Audiences have seen everything now. Even if you do a great practical puppet effect, audiences will just assume it's done with CGI, so what's the point.

  • March 21, 2009, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Jealous Kermit sounds at least interesting

    by FeralAngel

    Which is more than I can say about the rest of the script. But really...a movie with puppets in it? Hello? Is any kid going to be impressed with that, after they've seen magic like The Incredibles? Eisner really stuck Disney with a clunker when he bought the Muppets. Disney should invest its dollars in fully reviving 2D. Screw Kermit. He's a snarky bastard anyway.

  • March 21, 2009, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Disney is not responsible for crappy Muppet movies

    by FeralAngel

    Jeezus, why all the hate for the studio that pulled those socks out of the gutter and gave them a home? Disney deserves the pity IMO. What the hell do you do with puppets that lost their charm 20 years ago?

  • March 21, 2009, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Kids today don't give a shit about the Muppets

    by FeralAngel

    Quoted for truth.

  • March 21, 2009, 1:50 p.m. CST

    Boogie Nights in Muppet form

    by Outlaw

    Hollywood, get on this bitch....chop suey!

  • March 21, 2009, 2:47 p.m. CST

    FeralAngel: if it's for kids, you'd have a point

    by necgray

    But it's not. It's for aging Boomers, Gen-Xers, and children OF Boomers and Gen-Xers. Are you Fireproof in another guise? He was also a douchebag whose frequent posts boiled down to "kids don't care" and "Disney saved those socks". <p> Incidentally, the Muppets couldn't be further from socks, but whatever makes your douchey point...

  • March 21, 2009, 3:11 p.m. CST

    Necgray: they're puppets. Get a frigging grip

    by FeralAngel

    Wow, did I strike a nerve or what? LOL! You in your second childhood or something? When I was a kid, I had socks that I made into puppets. S what's wrong with calling puppets socks? Am I offending Argyle-Americans or something?

  • March 21, 2009, 3:13 p.m. CST

    Disney didn't make Muppets In Space

    by FeralAngel

    Which was the true low point in Muppet history, as far as crap is concerned. That's why blaming Disney for bad Muppet stuff is lameass.

  • March 21, 2009, 11:17 p.m. CST

    He's right, the suits at Disney didnt ruin "Space"

    by subtlety

    it was the suits at Columbia, adding to the general loss of direction the Henson company was experiencing at the time (which subsequently lead to the aquisition by Disney in 2004, if I'm not mistaken). Regardless, the studio's eagerness to have the film be a summer hit for them affected production and development quite a bit. In my view nether Disney for Columbia really understood what to do with the franchise.

  • March 22, 2009, 1:48 a.m. CST

    As someone who grew up with the Muppets

    by Dingbatty

    from the 70's on, I'm well aware of the boundary pushing of Henson et al (especially in the product spots he did before I was born), and the edginess of The Muppet Show, and the soulfulness that Sesame Street used to exude (later to be found in Fraggle Rock). But...perhaps innuendo wasn't an accurate enough term. Whitmire has had Kermit act downright perverted, or disgusting, on various appearances. Perhaps cute innuendo works with some of the other characters, but Kermit shouldn't be going above and beyond. The gentle, affable, and sensitive side of Henson I meant to be exemplified by Kermit, the nucleus of the group, not necessarily every character.

  • March 22, 2009, 2:09 a.m. CST

    A good example is that appearance that

    by Dingbatty

    Henson made on Arsenio. Arsenio kept trying to persuade Henson to have Kermit say something sexual but Jim refused (but he did give in with Rowlf, to assuage Arsenio's inappropriate goading). A blogger describes the interview in detail:<p>http://tinyurl.com/beingblue<p>I wish I could find a youtube video, but could only find this later -- and one of his last -- appearances<p>http://tinyurl.com/34f6v3

  • March 22, 2009, 11:44 a.m. CST

    Old performers/characters

    by BizarroJerry

    While part of me does hate to hear the "wrong" voices coming out of classic characters, I think it would be a shame to just have those characters fade away forever. I like the attempt to keep these characters alive and kicking. I wonder if the continued success of Sesame Street has helped keep the characters, alive, too. I don't even think they appear on it, but it may help.

  • March 22, 2009, 12:51 p.m. CST

    for those concerned about attitude

    by necgray

    Go check out the Capone interview with Paul Rudd and Segel. He talks about not wanting the film to come off as cynical, that he wants it to be genuine.

  • March 22, 2009, 12:56 p.m. CST

    FeralAngel, it's easy dismissal

    by necgray

    See, this is the exact same kind of thing Fireproof would do. Be a dick about the Muppets and then act "reasonable" about it when I confronted him. <p> Yeah, you DID strike a nerve. The same nerve that gets struck anytime anyone around here has something they dearly love trashed or dismissed. When I talked shit about The Dark Knight script I got flamed worse than Sergeant Howie. It comes with the territory. I love the Muppets, I'm excited for the Segel script, and you're in here trying to knock the film AND the characters for irrelevant reasons.

  • March 22, 2009, 1:03 p.m. CST

    Also FeralAngel, re: Disney and MFS

    by necgray

    Disney's not responsible for Muppet From Space, no. But they ARE responsible for the mostly atrocious TV movies and direct-to-DVD crap. Which are ALL aimed at children. Which is what kills me about Disney owning the rights. They think Muppets = children's entertainment. Hopefully Segel's script is reminding them otherwise. <p> This is why your argument about "kids don't care" is irrelevant. You're thinking like Disney. In fact, you sould like a Disney sycophant. Which is fine, but at least admit it. And then go watch "The Frog Princess" with its FIRST BLACK PRINCESS, HOLY SHIT!!! Take that, Song of the South!

  • March 22, 2009, 2:50 p.m. CST

    I want this movie

    by baaba_pappa

    Now

  • March 22, 2009, 4:41 p.m. CST

    I don't know about this

    by Emperor_was_a_jerk

    Sounds like a "fan fiction" version of the Muppets.

  • March 22, 2009, 9:06 p.m. CST

    Got one word for you, Necgray: ELMO

    by FeralAngel

    Whine all you want about Disney's direct-to-DVD stuff (I don't care for most of it myself) - but it's far more bearable than that little red dickwad and his ear-raping voice. Bet the Disney DVDs sell a shitload more than anything the Muppets ever did, too. Which is no doubt why you sound bitter, Muppet sycophant that you are.

  • March 22, 2009, 9:11 p.m. CST

    The script is probably fake anyway.

    by FeralAngel

    Sounds too stupid, even for Segal. But not too stupid for modern-day Muppets, unfortunately.

  • March 22, 2009, 11:08 p.m. CST

    Got one word for you, FeralAngel: And?

    by necgray

    What does Elmo have to do with our discussion of non-Sesame Street Muppets? Is there any mention in the script review of Elmo making an appearance in the movie? No. So what's your point, exactly? <p> And for the record, I don't give a rat's ass how many DVDs Disney has sold featuring the Muppets. What does that have to do with being excited about this script review and the potential movie that will come from it? What is the point of your naysaying? What are you hoping to accomplish? It's a bizarre argument you make: "kids don't care about the Muppets" yet "Disney DVDs sell a shitload more than anything the Muppets ever did". So which is it? DO kids care and make their parents buy the Disney DVDs or don't they?

  • March 23, 2009, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Given that Segal's latest film underperformed...

    by FeralAngel

    ...over the weekend, according to Variety, the dude might be well advised to stop talking about Muppets altogether. Apparently they're boxoffice poison, even if they don't actually appear in a film. Hee heee. Actually, the truth is probably that people are getting a little tired of Segal making the same lameass comedy over and over, full of limpdick fratboy humor, and just changing the titles to make them seem fresh. And that's why the film opened so weakly....nahh, it's the Muppets. That appearance with Jimmy Fallon and the two old man puppets with the wrong voices was downright embarrassing. People probably thought, good god, I'm not spending 10 bucks to watch the work of a guy who gets hot over puppets, how lame is that? (I can already hear Necgray's forehead vein pounding. LOLOL!)

  • March 25, 2009, 2:34 p.m. CST

    ShiftyEyedDog2

    by FleshMachine

    "boring"? that says more about you than that great clip.

  • June 12, 2009, 2:14 p.m. CST

    Post-Henson

    by Coleberg

    I ADORE The Muppet Christmas Carol. Not as a muppet film, but as a film. The wit, the charm, the warmth of the muppets are there with wonderful music, the great story of Dickens and great acting of Michael Caine and the other humans. The thing is that the humans and Muppets in the film are on pretty level footing: even though Scrooge is played by a human there are still only a grand total of four human adults (and some kids playing, but let's forget them). I can understand disappointment if you went into it expecting it to be about Kermit and Miss Piggy, because it wasn't. Nor was Muppet Treasure Island. But MCC reaches so many different emotions, perhaps more than it could have with a muppet scrooge or with pre-known ghosts guiding him. The focus wasn't on making a good muppet movie, but a good movie, and I believe they wildly succeeded. Muppet Treasure Island, after 15 minutes of very uneven tone, shifts into full blown muppet silliness with songs like Cabin Fever and Professional Pirate. Again, the human contribution to the story is significant. Perhaps this is why I hated A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie: All the humans were overacting wildly, it's in fact the only muppet movie I turned off. The story was unappealing, the atmosphere was stiff and the cameos were many and pointless, rather than the brilliance of, say, John Cleese and Peter Ustinov in Caper or the magnitude of Michael Caine's performance in Carol. My favourite muppet film as a Muppet Film is The Great Muppet Caper: I find The Muppets Take Manhattan and even (don't kill me here) The Muppet Movie to be bland, fine for kids but with little to offer to a full family viewing it. The Great Muppet Caper is so incredibly funny that anyone can enjoy it, not mellowing at any point from the utter hilarity of the script and characters. I fear this sounds too similar in premise and style to Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (with an even more egotistic name to boot) for me to be able to enjoy it. Still, I eagerly await more chances to see the felt friends of childhood restored.

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