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Nordling Says THE MUPPETS Is A Joyous Treat!

Nordling here.

It's funny.  I've been chewing over this review for several days now.  I already realize what's probably expected of me, considering all the love I've shown the Muppets these past couple of weeks.  If you're looking for a quick fix in regards to the quality of the film, that's pretty easy - THE MUPPETS is surely worth your time and money this weekend.  It's appropriate that THE MUPPETS opens Thanksgiving weekend, because I can't think of a better film to see that takes stock in all the good things we have, and in all the joys that come from just living life as best as you can.  But for me, THE MUPPETS is just a confirmation of a long-held belief that I've felt since I was a child, and that I know for a fact is the way to live my life.

We live in a cynical world.  So cynical.  And I thought they couldn't get more cynical than the 1990s, with O.J. Simpson, the various D.C. sex scandals going all the way up to the President of the United States, and the general malaise my generation felt at the time.  Just look at the music - "Here we are now, entertain us" isn't a rallying cry, it's a declaration that we have nothing to prove anymore, nothing to teach, nothing to say.  We are here to enjoy the party while the world burns, nothing more.  And although that line comes from a great song by a great band, it was, to me, always something of a warning - if we don't watch it, we could become as cynical as the world around us, and nothing matters.

So when the Muppets perform "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in the film, and barbershop it up, with Jack Black screaming, "You're ruining the song!", it feels like a genuine catharsis.  They take all the malaise and angst and turn it into something silly, and in doing so, make a statement that life is to be lived, experienced, and not something that should just be absorbed in disdain and cynicism.  It's joyous in the way the Muppets take that song and make it their own, at least for the few minutes it's onscreen.  I think Kurt Cobain would have approved, and even if he wouldn't, so what?  It's no accident that Dave Grohl shows up in the Muppets as well, and it's perfectly fine.

THE MUPPETS is a great movie.  It's great because its message is true - that life is a grand, wondrous thing, and should be celebrated.  That friends and family are better than gold.  That there is more joy than despair out in the world, even if it's sometimes difficult to see.  And THE MUPPETS says to me, more than anything else, that we don't yearn for simpler times, or simpler entertainments.  It's not just nostalgia that makes THE MUPPETS great - it's the fact that bringing joy and laughter to other people is probably the greatest gift a person can give themselves, and these guys have been gone far too long.

You all know the plot by now - the Muppets, with the help of Gary (Jason Segel), Mary (Amy Adams), and new Muppet Walter (voiced by Peter Linz), must put on a telethon to raise $10 million to keep their studio from being torn down due to the evil machinations of Tex Richman (Chris Cooper).  To put on a show, Kermit must bring all the Muppets back together - they parted many years ago when the audience lost interest - but in a world gone cynical, do the Muppets even matter anymore?

I love how the film embraces being a musical.  It commits to each and every number, including a hilarious rap by Cooper describing just how evil he is, and Cooper sells it perfectly.  The opening song, "Life's A Happy Song", is one of those melodies that traps itself in your head and never lets go.  "Pictures In My Head" has Kermit waxing rhapsodic about his former Muppet-mates and the life they had together, and "Man Or Muppet" is a duet by Gary and Walter that might be the best musical representation on geekdom that I've ever heard.  The songs, written by Bret McKenzie (FLIGHT OF THE CONCHORDS), are infinitely charming and work to move the plot forward, and never drag the film down.

I love how the story works on multiple levels, but anyone who has ever seen THE MUPPET SHOW or the first three films shouldn't be surprised by that.  When kids and adults are laughing together, for entirely different reasons, it's part of why the Muppets have worked so well over the years.  They're the gift that keeps on giving.  The script, by Jason Segel and Nicolas Stoller, is witty, funny without being crude (even the fart shoes are a commentary in their way), and in the end, you can tell just how happy that these guys are writing a script for a new Muppet movie.  James Bobin keeps the film moving - it's really something that Bobin keeps the Muppet-less opening going and holds our interest, even when we're waiting for the gang to arrive - and the comic pacing of the film is terrific.  The film has confidence and doesn't take a single false step.

I've always been a Kermit guy.  Yeah, easy choice, but there it is.  Kermit for me represents boundless optimism and happiness, and it's what I've strived to live all my life.  Jim Henson taught me how to read.  I imagine he taught many of you reading this.  SESAME STREET is a cultural touchstone for many of us, and we moved to THE MUPPET SHOW and the films because we responded to that joy and optimism and humor.  Even when life seems bleak, "Mah-na Mah-na" still never fails to put a smile on my face, or Lew Zealand's fish toss, or Fozzie's bad jokes, Gonzo's... Gonzoness... even Sam the Eagle's disdain for everything poked fun at how ridiculous it was to dislike everything.  Statler and Waldorf are probably the ancestors to everything we do on the Internet nowadays, but they have so much more wit and joy, even when they constantly tear the other Muppets down.  Miss Piggy loves her frog, even through difficult times, and it's telling that the generation that got used to the idea of these two in love has been the most accepting of other people's lifestyles.  Love is what it is, and the Muppets know that better than anybody.

I've rambled on long enough.  THE MUPPETS is easily one of my favorite films of the year, and I'm so thankful that Jason Segel helped bring them back.  Frank Oz recently disparaged the project, and while I understand that it's hard letting go of something you've been associated with your entire life, sometimes the best thing is to let other voices in.  I think people will be surprised by how much Segel, Stoller, McKenzie, and Bobin got right, and it's not simply through the filter of nostalgia.  They completely get what makes the Muppets intrinsically work - again, that boundless optimism, and that famous mantra from THE MUPPET MOVIE:

"Life's like a movie

Write your own ending

Keep believing

Keep pretending

We have done what we've set out to do

Thanks to the lovers, the dreamers,

and you."

Nordling, out.

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 21, 2011, 12:52 p.m. CST

    Nice review, Nordling

    by Mattman

    I'm sold.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Sniff...

    by KiwiMetal

    Rainbow Connection from the original still brings a little tear to my eyes even today. I hope this really does bring back the feeling of the originals - even just a little bit will be fine with me.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 12:54 p.m. CST

    Is it wrong that I seem to want to see this one more than my kids?

    by darthderp

    If so, too goddamn bad, folks. Muh na, muh, na.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 12:55 p.m. CST

    Frank Oz is really bitter

    by Sequitur

    His non- Muppet films, while very good at times, were usually marred by cost overruns, friction during production and low box office. He had a chance to step up to the plate after Henson died and said No... Now he sees the mistake he made and is bitter.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 12:56 p.m. CST

    Can't wait to see it this weekend.

    by eric haislar

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Speaking of Rainbow Connection...

    by darthderp

    There's a youtube video out there of Aaron Lewis, from Staind, doing an unplugged version of that song - I shit you not. He even imitates Kermit, and brings the house down. Best part is that he gives it the song this big buildup - one of those This Song Made Me Want To Be A Singer things - starts playing it, and everyone goes nuts. It's better than it sounds.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 12:58 p.m. CST

    Not out in the UK 'til Feb.

    by notspock2

    This must be corrected.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Yeah, I'll bet it is.

    by Mickster_Island

    Eye roll caused by years of internet-induced self-indulgent bitterness. Maybe. Just maybe I'll find that rainbow connection and be yanked from the gloomy Borg-like life of an early 21st century boy.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 12:59 p.m. CST

    Loved it

    by No Deuces

    Thank you nordling for the Houston screening. I am cynical and a movie snob. I loved this film.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 1:01 p.m. CST

    Nordling, great review....

    by TheGr81SLASH

    I planned on seeing this weekend, but now more than ever, I HAVE to see it. Your review totally sold it to me. Thanks!!

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 1:06 p.m. CST

    I just can't get past the voices.

    by matthooper8

    They aren't close to the elder Henson. When you grow up with someone doing the voice and it changes completely, it just feels wrong. I worked 15 years as a voice analysis tech in D.C. so maybe I just have an ear for voices, but still, is it just me?

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 1:09 p.m. CST

    But is it good? This review is almost as empty as Harry's!

    by Ricardo

    I'll pass. But... what happened to Frank Oz? Is he not in the movie?

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 1:13 p.m. CST

    sequitur

    by Jarados

    That's not even remotely accurate. Frank Oz willingly volunteered to step up to the plate and usher the Muppets back in and was hired by Disney to do so. He was only FIRED by the Walt Disney Corporation when they thought Jason Segel would make them more money. Frank Oz has every reason to be bitter but not because of anything he did...

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 1:14 p.m. CST

    As far as the voices....

    by Jobacca

    Its just something you have to get used to. As much as the newer voices might be jarring,does anyone actually think Kermit should have died with Henson? Or that Fozzie and Piggy shouldnt have been in the movie because Frank Oz didnt want to do the voices anymore? Obviously,whenever possible,every effort should be made to get the original V.O. artist back,but the show must go on......

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 1:17 p.m. CST

    Eric Jacobson is the new Frank Oz....

    by Jobacca

    In that he has been doing Oz's characters since 2000. And he does a fantastic job,IMHO.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 1:19 p.m. CST

    Frank Oz says Kermit wouldn't live in a mansion

    by bah

    Yet the original movie is about trying to become rich and famous. And succeeding.

  • Waldorf: "But he hasn't written one!" Statler: "I know - that's what I love about it!"

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 1:20 p.m. CST

    matthooper8

    by chuckmoose

    The new voices really bother me as well, but I will do my best to accept them for what they are and enjoy the movie. I am really looking forward to it this weekend!

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 1:21 p.m. CST

    I saw a screening last week

    by bowiebot3000

    Nordling is spot on. My girlfriend had an awful week leading up to the screening and she didn't want to go because she was feeling crappy. I told her, "if there is one thing that can fix that, it's the Muppets." We both left the screening feeling fantastic. She wasn't even very familiar with the Muppets and loved every minute of it. Siegel and co. have perfectly captured the essence of the Muppets. My favorite film so far this year.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 1:30 p.m. CST

    kermit isn't about boundless optimism at all

    by zom-bot.com

    kermit is the perpetual underdog. he has low self esteem, and seems to be unsure of everything and very timid. he's henpecked and uncomfortable in his own green skin much of the time. what he does represent is the 'everyman' who feels this way, like life has given them the short end of the stick and that it's so much bigger than he is, he doesn't know his place in it. kermit is the eternal question of 'what is my point in life- why do i exist?' BUT like the american everyman, he always toughens up, pulls through, becomes a leader when it gets as bad as it can get- realizes his own potential and the power of teamwork and friendship. that's optimism, but it's not boundless optimism. he has the same arc in pretty much every movie- but that's why we love him. kermit is US.

  • I remember reading in the revised 'Art of Animation' that came out in 1991, that after 'Beauty and the Beast' was finished, they screened it for the remaining old-timers. The younger generation was eager to hear praise and adulations, and all they got was: "eh, it's kind of like what we did." I was too young to see the first Muppet Movie in theaters, but I have fleeting memories of seeing 'The Muppets Take Manhattan' at a theater in El Cajon, CA, when it came out. I think what was missing from the films done after Henson died, was the earlier films were about following your dreams and not giving up. After Henson's passing, the Muppets were like those once-famous artists, just hocking products or doing adaptation.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Agreed, zombot

    by bah

    I thought Nord was talking about a different Kermit. On the show, he's actually kind of an asshole, though it's because he's an overworked manager.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 1:43 p.m. CST

    yeah i forgot- kermit doesn't handle stress well- at first

    by zom-bot.com

    he flips his shit, hops around and waves his appendages quite a bit. always tends to flip out around the 3rd or 4th time his buttons get pushed. one thing that has always been consitant about kermit is that they still get his tense mouth right. i wonder how many muppets they've made of him but they always make his tense mouth-corners right. it's essential to his character that keeps his stress inside until the boiling point

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 1:47 p.m. CST

    I would love to know how often they rebuild each Muppet

    by eric haislar

    What do they do with the old ones. How long does a Muppet last before they need to rebuild it again.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 1:49 p.m. CST

    zombot

    by fat_rancor_keeper

    i concur

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 1:52 p.m. CST

    Kermit is my boy as well...

    by ZodNotGod

    I grew up watching Seaseme Street, even had a box of 45 (rpms) records from the various characters singing songs.... That show, far better than Mr Rogers ever was, is a must watch for the wee ones and is a sacred institution as far as I'm concerned. Love the first two original films, like the third one. The rest were...ok, amusing, nothing more. Glad to hear this is a return to form.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 1:53 p.m. CST

    THat underscores my mantra for years....

    by ZodNotGod

    PUPPETS ARE NOT FUNNY.....THE MUPPETS ARE VERY FUNNY.....

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 1:54 p.m. CST

    The new kid is excellent...

    by ZodNotGod

    I've heard Fozie and Piggy in the latest promos and they sound like Frankie...had no idea it was a new guy.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 2:07 p.m. CST

    I'll be watching Muppet Christmas Carol this weekend

    by bah

    This will be the kids' introduction to the Christmas Carol story.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 2:08 p.m. CST

    Quick - someone accuse Choppah of being a PLANT for public libraries!

    by ClayMatthews

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 2:12 p.m. CST

    choppah

    by eric haislar

    How big is Rowlf's role in this one? Does he talk again or is he still silent? He was always my fav Muppet and I have missed him from the recent Muppet outings.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 2:13 p.m. CST

    Just watched Muppet Christmas Carol Yesterday

    by eric haislar

    I still found it fun and enjoyable. The music is wonderful.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Can't WAIT to see this

    by NightArrows

    If you speak ill of the Muppets, then you truly are a soulless monster destined to die crusty and alone.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 2:17 p.m. CST

    well at least this thread makes a change

    by emeraldboy

    we all hate movies blather...or this movie will suck nonsense this site always does.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 2:19 p.m. CST

    choppah

    by eric haislar

    Good to hear, he is back in the fold and just as funny as ever.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Silent Rowlf is a rumor

    by bah

    He's had minimal speech in most of the post-Henson films, but he has spoken in various other appearances and specials. Including closing out the recent OK Go video.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 2:23 p.m. CST

    Muppets aside, Michael Caine is my favorite Scrooge

    by bah

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Nordling, a serious question

    by slappy magoo

    What would you say is the age-appropriateness of the movie? I've got a 3 year old daughter. She knows a bit about the Muppets (I'm trying), and she's not big on loud noises or scares. She's seen exactly one movie in a theater in her life, this summer's Winnie the Pooh. Not much about the movie itself fretted her at the time but a: the volume of the trailers made her look at the time like she was watching war crime films from the 40s, and b: since then, at home on video, she doesn't want to watch it because Tigger dressed like the Backson and frightening Piglet scares her. I can't win. With that, can you (or anyone privy to preview screenings) say if there's anything in the movie that might freak out a delicate 3 year old? Thanks in advance for any potential answers/feedback. She's a great kid, and I'm hoping in time she'll get more in the swing of movies, but I don't want to do the "throw-her-in-the-deep-end-so-she'll-learn-to-swim" thing when it comes to movies. Or, for that matter, swimming.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 2:33 p.m. CST

    when jim henson died

    by emeraldboy

    my heart broke. it was just shocking. my late dad couldnt get his name right and he said that guy you like hanson is dead. hanson, and I think my late mother corrected him and said henson. I think i said no couldnt be. where do you read that and my mother got me the irish times and read it there. and I couldnt believe it. what made it all the more painful was seeing it on newsround. henson rarely made guest appearances so seeing him on blue peter made it all the more special. and hear he was gone was just devastating. over the past 5 years i experienced family loss. but in entertainment the loss of henson was huge.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 2:37 p.m. CST

    That "Headless Kermit" logo really doesn't work for me.

    by TheWrathOfSean

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 2:40 p.m. CST

    did they ever explain why kermit the FROG has a frilled neck?

    by zom-bot.com

    like that of the gills of a water salamander or one of those lizards that puff theirs up?

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 2:41 p.m. CST

    and i'm NOT being critcal- i've always wondered since i was a kid

    by zom-bot.com

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 2:42 p.m. CST

    emeraldboy

    by eric haislar

    I remember Henson dying like it was yesterday. I was 8. I remember watching the news just heart broken. I still have a image of this little black girl holding Kermit and crying, burned into my mind. Henson Memorial which you can find on you-tube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Zzfdlxjx4Y) is just as sad today as it was back then. When all the Muppeteers perform "just one person" i still get choked up every time i see it.

  • Seriously, they freaked me out, and today they freak my kids out.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 2:51 p.m. CST

    or giant Animal?

    by bah

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 2:54 p.m. CST

    a couple of months later after jims death

    by emeraldboy

    RTE showed the muppets celebrate jim henson. and that moment when frank oz as fozzy bear reads the letter out from a kid saying how sorry he was to hear of jim death. and fozzy says but jims dead. and they all take in a collective in take of breath. is simply one of the tear inducing moments you are every likely to see. what talent ll of those performers had.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 2:55 p.m. CST

    the thing more terrifying than piggy's eyes in that movie-

    by zom-bot.com

    is the man-sized ms.piggy speed roller skating in muppets take manhattan.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Jim Dying...

    by NightArrows

    ...hit me hard as a kid. And I remember vividly that scene emeraldboy speaks of where they read that child's letter. Treating children like adults, while letting them be kids was a specialty of Jim Henson and Co. I remember when Mr. Hooper died on Sesame Street, that was a crushing blow for me as a wee child and led to discussions of life and death with my parents.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 3:03 p.m. CST

    erichaislar

    by Jordan

    I remember some special where they said that each Muppet lasts a few weeks to a few months depending on how much they were used. I don't know what happens to them when they are worn out.

  • I assume its Henson Jnr doing Kermit and I always thought he did not sound right at all. This is not an issue in the film?!

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 3:13 p.m. CST

    I am seriously considering seeing this opening night...

    by Shut the Fuck up Donny

    I just wanted this to be good so badly...and by all accounts it looks like it is. So far, it's getting nothing but praise over at RT. I'm just waiting for that troll Armond White to give it a negative review.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Quantize, Golez is still doing voices, so some of the original characters are intact.

    by Shut the Fuck up Donny

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Err., Goelz.

    by Shut the Fuck up Donny

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 3:18 p.m. CST

    no...i don't believe you...

    by gk1

    PLANT

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Armond White

    by NightArrows

    Armond White is a waste of space on this earth. He's contradictory, he's a troll, he's a blight on a profession that is already suspect. He will no-doubt go into his usual bag of tricks for this one. Fuck him, fuck his "views" and fuck his pathetic drive to stir the pot.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 3:20 p.m. CST

    the one thing that bugs me about this movie, potentially-

    by zom-bot.com

    is that it uses the TIRED 'we have to put on a show to save the theater from being sold/demolished/etc' premise from every movie of it's kind. hopefully the muppets are sharp enough to make fun of that genre of movie within the very movie.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Henson Jr never did Kermit

    by bah

    It's been Steve Whitmire pretty much since Henson died.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Not to mention there is no Henson Jr

    by bah

    His sons are Brian and John

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 3:25 p.m. CST

    I didn't know Bret Mackenzie wrote the songs. That's a major WIN!

    by Royston Lodge

    I thought I was pumped to see this movie BEFORE! Now I simply cannot friggin' wait!

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 4:36 p.m. CST

    Wow. Well said, Can't wait.

    by la te ral us

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 4:54 p.m. CST

    Piggy loves her frog, but does HE love HER?

    by FeralAngel

    That's the question the Muppet people have dragged their feet about for about a million years now, and they keep changing the answer, and generally pissing people off about it. Now Jason Segel is doing it - saw him this morning on Kelly Ripa with that zombie Jerry Seinfeld, and it's "oh, Miss Piggy forces Kermit to do this and that" and jesus, THAT crap again. To me, the Muppets have always been a bit childish, in a bad way - never got into the so-called hilarity of the chickens and penguins and things blowing up - but yeah, the frog/pig romance always said to me, as you mentioned, Nordling, that love is love and that to me was a mature statement, something that went beyond felt and foam rubber. But after seeing Kelly this morning, forget it. I'm seeing Arthur Christmas. Nice review, though, Nordling. You're a damn good writer.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 5:10 p.m. CST

    You can't live without them

    by Dr_Willoway

    When my first crush told me to take a hike before I even worked up the nerve to tell her I like her, it was Fozzi and Kermit singing 'You can't live with them, you can't live without them' that got me through it.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 5:11 p.m. CST

    OK, I know it was Rolf, not Fozzie

    by Dr_Willoway

    my bad.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Wow, great great review.

    by ChaunceyGardiner

    Nordling - sir, I hope you get credit where credit is due. Cause this was up there with the best of the best in my opinion. Why film opinion is written. Awesome.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 6 p.m. CST

    Not quite a mop, not quite a puppet

    by Reasonaxe

    But mannnnn heheheheheheh

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 7:28 p.m. CST

    Fuckin' LOVED this movie

    by HughJass

    I can be a real asshole, but I'll be damned if The Muppets didn't make me feel all good inside when I saw it last week. And holy fuck did the Flight of Conchords guy did a good job with the musical numbers. I wanna watch this movie again in a meadow full of fuckin' unicorns and angels.

  • Nov. 21, 2011, 10:06 p.m. CST

    kamaji

    by DrMorbius

    Just an FYI ... ."the Muppets were like those once-famous artists, just hocking products or doing adaptation." The word you should have used is ... hawking, not hocking. Hawking is selling wares, Hock means to pawn them.

  • When those Muppet Studios shorts starting hitting a couple of years ago (Bohemian Rhapsody, Beaker's 'Mi, Mi, Mi' song, etc.) that was the first, and very strong, sign that the Muppets were being resuscitated the right way. Just pure craziness that I'm sure had Jim Henson smiling down from heaven. Those shorts went away after the movie started filming, but I'm crossing my fingers that they will start appearing on a regular basis again. Or even better, a new Muppet Show on television. Can't wait for the movie!

  • Nov. 22, 2011, 12:04 a.m. CST

    The "new" Kermit

    by MrHooper

    How many decades does Steve Whitmire have to do Kermit before people stop referring to him as "new"? The guy's been performing as Kermit for 19 years now, and he's now done more theatrical movies as Kermit than Henson did. (Without even counting his stint as Baby Kermit in TMTM). There is no person on Earth who is more right for that job. Just deal with it...

  • It was a good moment in a movie filled with funny stuff.

  • Nov. 22, 2011, 1:17 a.m. CST

    This is a date movie and a kids movie

    by thelordofhell

    Take your date and your date's kids and you will definately get some nookie points for it. It's a date movie because there are real romantic nods with Segel/Adams and Kermit/Piggy in this. It's a kids movie because muppets are everywhere. This movie rocks it.

  • Nov. 22, 2011, 6:24 a.m. CST

    A must see

    by Dalius

    The muppets (and friends) lend their support to the UK Telethon "Children in Need", Nov 2011 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Px4k1F8GY4

  • Nov. 22, 2011, 6:27 a.m. CST

    It's not the same since Henson died....and the Muppetts went Disney

    by BoyNamedSue

    Am I the only one here who thinks Disney is just too corny/lame and pretty much ruins every property it acquires? Disney is like a tacky beauty queen pageant....floaty!I'm still waiting for them to ruin Marvel!

  • Nov. 22, 2011, 7:23 a.m. CST

    Sly stallone and stage entertainment present...

    by emeraldboy

    Rocky the musical in hamburg. in 2012. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wm8K6tl3GsM&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.empireonline.com%2Fnews%2Fstory.asp%3FNID%3D32535&feature=player_embedded

  • Nov. 22, 2011, 8:15 a.m. CST

    One of the best scenes in any movie...

    by ZodNotGod

    Is from the original flick when Kermit and Rolf are singing at the Piano. Such a catchy song, very true to boot...awesome...love my muppets.

  • Nov. 22, 2011, 8:16 a.m. CST

    when jim henson was 25 years old...

    by emeraldboy

    he started what was called his red book.... http://www.henson.com/jimsredbook/

  • Nov. 22, 2011, 8:25 a.m. CST

    a number of years ago...

    by emeraldboy

    a thought struck me. isn't incredible how all of this came from the mind and imagination of one man. i read street gang and when henson was in washington for the filming of sam and friends, someone noted that there was nothing henson couldnt not do with a piece of felt and sewing machine. he would literally take a piece of felt, sit down at the sewing machine and come up with something. this was what was magical about henson, to see him create something out of nothing.

  • Nov. 22, 2011, 10:40 a.m. CST

    have they ever admitted Henson died of AIDS?

    by abe

  • - they are recent bits- unrelated to 'manhattan' at all- i don't know why they are on the disk other than they felt the need to have some bonus material. they are god-awful. unfunny. loud and annoying, the voices are off and even the synching of the mouth is off. there's almost no expressiveness- piggy barely moves. it looks like amateur work. if you happen to have a new copy of muppets take manhattan, check them out. must have been from a very awkward period after jim died, disney bought them and they were still seeking voice talent.

  • Nov. 22, 2011, 11:44 a.m. CST

    henson did not die of aids...

    by emeraldboy

    he was declared dead at 1.30 am wednesday may 16th 1991. he had group a streptococal pnuemonia. it was a sore throat that he got on on the day he taped on the arsenio hall show.. he did not seek medical help untill it was too late. Henson's mother was a christian scientist and he had thought about getting in a faith healer. but when he was in feverish decline he went to hospital at around 4 am he phone his publicist arthur novell and rasped that he wasnt feeling well. novell arranged to have henson picked up and brought to the hospital from henson's hotel. henson was now in organ failure and the limo driver pulled at the wrong part of the hospital. henson sent the driver on his way and walked to the three quarter way to the emergency department. in one hour henson went to double cardiac arrest and died surrounded by people he didnt know..

  • Nov. 22, 2011, 11:56 a.m. CST

    so Arsenio Hall's unsanitary set killed Henson?

    by zom-bot.com

    but yeah- i knew he died of a treatable illness because he chose the christian scientist route over medicine. geniuses often make very odd decisions. it was a huge loss to the world.

  • Nov. 22, 2011, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Go. See. The. Muppets.

    by tensticks

    I'm old enough to have seen the original Muppet Movie in theaters and remember the original airing of the Muppet Show on TV. I consider myself both a lifetime fan and someone who is mature, intelligent and discerning enough to detect bullshit. When I heard that Oz and other original Muppet creators/performers were critical of the script, tone, direction, and handling of the characters in this project, I had my reservations about it. Still, I was hopeful that they were wrong and that Segall & co. would get it right. I saw a sneak preview of this film last night and I can say this to Oz and company (for whom I have utmost respect...how could I NOT?): Get over it. I truly cannot see where they are coming from. This movie is the most truly "Muppetty" Muppet production in literally decades. It is FAR more of a piece with the Henson-era Muppet projects than all of the so-so literary adaptations (Treasure Island, Christmas Carol, Wizard of Oz) and other attempts to keep the Muppets alive in the last 20-odd years. The spirit of the Muppets and more importantly, the spirit of Henson inform and infuse this movie. "A Love Letter to the Muppets" is NOT an exaggeration. That's exactly what it is, and it's brilliant, and moving--yes, I cried during this movie and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Judging by the reactions of the kids in the sneak preview audience, I absolutely predict that this film WILL succeed in bringing the Muppets to the current generation, no sweat--and that it will also confound all box office predictions and unseat Twilight at number one. Bottom line: whether you grew up with the Muppets or not, go see this movie. You will love it. And that goes for Frank Oz & company too.

  • Nov. 22, 2011, 3:22 p.m. CST

    Also.

    by tensticks

    I'll also add that it's a perfect kids movie you can take a date to, and a perfect date movie you can take kids to.

  • Nov. 22, 2011, 3:54 p.m. CST

    No Muppet film has ever grossed more then 65 million

    by eric haislar

    I have a feeling this one is going to gross over a 100. Call me crazy. But I think Muppet Mania is upon us.

  • Nov. 22, 2011, 4:37 p.m. CST

    It won't unseat Twilight, tensticks...

    by FeralAngel

    ...but it may come in a decent second, from what I'm hearing. Looks like the Disney hype machine has worked.

  • Nov. 22, 2011, 8 p.m. CST

    Ditto...

    by maxjohnson1971

    To everyone that remembers being so upset about hearing that Henson died. That broke my heart. I am sooooo glad to see that The Muppets may be returning to their former glory and achieving that special mix of subversive humor and optimism that made me love them so much in the first place. Can't wait to see this!! Oh, and FUCK the Twilight movies!!

  • Nov. 23, 2011, 10:07 p.m. CST

    thanks Tensticks

    by oisin5199

    your comments gave me a pretty big smile too. We miss Jim Henson. And if this respects his legacy, then I will celebrate it. Especially if it means the film's success could have anything to do with getting that Dark Crystal sequel going.

  • Nov. 25, 2011, 11:26 a.m. CST

    Zombot

    by Stunt Vocalist 709

    Some of my favorite moments in the movie are when they have fun with movie contrivances. I think you'll enjoy them. Won't list them so as not to spoil them for you. Also, for those asking about the voices... Kermit is not the same as we remember from the '70's but is close enough that you won't mind, since everthing else about him (script and puppetry) are spot on.) There is an 'old soul' tenderness with depth kinda aspect to the new voicing that is mostly missing but pops up now and then... almost. I could get past it even though I also am a vocalphile. ( I do professional voice over work in characters and otherwise and for decades have studied the nuances of various voices. Bottom line is that you will have a good time. They nail the tone and heart of the Muppets with a story that actually has some cool twists. I really want a "Man or Muppet" T-shirt, even if I have to make one myself.