I didn’t know what to expect going in to The Muppets, I have seen the Muppet’s Christmas Carol and Treasure Island (I enjoyed those a great deal) but this movie is entirely original material based around the old Muppet Show on television.
Kermit the Frog and co have split up after their old studio and theatre closed down, and the land is about to be given to a ruthless oil tycoon, this devastating news forces their “number one fan” Walter (also a muppet) to bring them back together and make one million dollars to save the studio.
The movie heavily relies on nostalgia of the original TV show, and fans who grew up with it will enjoy the concept the most! Certainly when the Muppets are brought together again is when the fun begins; a landslide of self-conscious gags, such as poking fun at people who would even watch such nonsense. It even laughs at its own sporadic music numbers! (that’s something I approve of, with the little love I have for musicals)
While all of our favourite characters return in great “post-fame” scenarios (Animal at an anger management clinic, great stuff) the three new characters… Walter and his human brother Gary (… I… what even happened in that family…?) and Gary’s girlfriend Mary, were almost needless. While Walter fought for acceptance from his… weird family situation… the two humans go from in-your-face music numbers, to hiding in the background so the Muppets can get on with the story. I hate to say it, but Amy Adams did well in Enchanted, but she was just bewildering here.
The story was paper thin (perhaps deliberately so, since it makes fun of the fact!) as were the new characters, but the humour was classic and the film has a big happy vibe throughout.
Additional Marshmallows: The Muppets did indeed win an award at the 2011 Academy Awards for Best Original Song “Man or Muppet”. Competition was slim, and I know I was perplexed while watching that song!