Obsession Check-In: MUPPETS

Fri 11/11/2011

As if in answer to my last blog post, The Pinkerton Diaries became available for pre-order last night. Alone III looks to be everything I could have ever hoped for, including all of the remaining Songs From the Black Hole and demo versions of Susanne (my favorite Weezer song) and many other great Weezer tunes. I'm so thrilled that the book is hardback and 237 pages. I can't wait to sink my teeth into it. That'll be my reward for finishing Basewood... (if I can finish Basewood by the time it comes out, on December 12th!)

Anyway, the THIRD thing that I am really pumped about these days is the new Muppet Movie which is being released on November 23rd.

If you were to compare the Muppets to Star Wars, The Muppet Movie would be A New Hope, The Muppets Take Manhattan would be The Empire Strikes Back and The Great Muppet Caper would be Return of the Jedi. There have been other Muppet movies, just as there have been other Star Wars movies, but none of these sequels/prequels have ever been as satisfying as the classic trilogies.

When they announced a new Muppet movie, I was nervous. Even just looking at the poster above, I cringe a little. Listen Disney, as a Muppet fan, I could care less about Jason Segel or Amy Adams being in this movie. They are not the "star power" that's going to make me go see the movie, it's THE MUPPETS. If you look at the poster for The Muppet Movie it doesn't have a big picture of Steve Martin or Dom Delouise or any of the other humans that are in the movie, because it's not about them! It's about THE MUPPETS. I'm worried that Kermit the Frog is going to be some secondary supporting character to Jason Segel, when it should be the other way around.

All the trailers I have seen reaffirm this fear, and so I was preparing to go into this movie with very low expectations. But then this summer, I was talking to Aaron about the new Tintin movie. He was saying how excited he was about it, and I replied that I thought the trailers looked awful and that he should probably go in with low expectations. Aaron got really mad and threw that idea back in my face. "No!" he said, "It should not be that hard to make a good Tintin movie. I DESERVE to have high expectations!"

This was such a bold statement, it really made me think. And now I have adopted a similar stance for this new Muppet movie. Really, it should not be that hard to make a great Muppet movie. There are three great films to draw inspiration from - all the ingredients are there!

I watched this interview with Jason Segel where he describes bursting into tears at the first table-read of the movie, when Steve Whitmire pulled out the Kermit the Frog muppet. I'm pretty sure this is how any Muppet super-fan would react. And as Segel seems to be the one in charge of this project, it gives me hope that it might actually live up to my new, high expectations.

8 comments on this entry

Please elaborate on your muppet movie classification! I would naturally expect Muppets Take Manhattan to be aligned with Return of the Jedi, not Empire Strikes Back, since it is the third in the series, and it contains muppet babies (akin to Ewoks).

Jason Nov15

I stand corrected! I always thought The Great Muppet Caper was the third movie, but you are right, it was the second. Talk about a mixed metaphor! Thanks for the correction, Jason.

Alec Nov15

I see! I only know it was the third because it was the first time I saw a movie on a VIDEOTAPE. I remember it fondly.

Jason Nov15

Optimism is always a great thing, but expectation can have great meaning, especially with movies. You know how your friends raved about a movie and then you see it and think it was alright or if they pan a movie you and then you think it wasn't that bad?
I am a Muppet fan as well (Henson: Stuffed and Unstrung was great), but after Treasure Island I will keep myself in check.

Jessica Nov17

I know what you mean, Jessica. I feel like the movies I enjoy the most are the ones I know NOTHING about when I go in (ie no preconceived notions or expectations). I guess maybe it's impossible to do that with a franchise. You are kind of forced to bring a series of expectations based on your previous experiences... I guess the bottom line is that I just really want to enjoy this movie!

Alec Nov17

I thought it was pretty good. It wasn't terrible.

I took my five year old son, and he had lots of laughs. I had mixed feelings about some aspects of it. Can't wait to hear what you think.

Andy Nov27

Sadly, our local theater didn't get it. Claire and I have plans to see it in New York next weekend. I'll definitely post once I have seen it!

Alec Nov27

P.S. I saw this movie and I LOVED it. I thought it was very cleverly written to appeal to both new fans as well as old die-hard fans. The opening number reminded me of the opening to The Great Muppet Caper, the road trip was reminiscent of The Muppet Movie and the whole "putting on a show" theme was straight out of The Muppets Take Manhattan. And there were tons and tons of cameos, as in ALL the good muppet movies. Now the real trick will be to make a sequel to this film that is original, but still a good movie...

If nothing else, I'm hoping the success of this film will boost the Muppets' popularity, so that Disney will get seasons 4 and 5 of The Muppet Show onto DVD.

Alec Dec07

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