Let’s Talk About Movies: The Muppets

It’s the last issue of the semester and, luckily, we have one of the most enjoyable films on which to end the semester. “The Muppets” stumbles a few times but the majority of the film is a lovingly, crafted, touching tribute to the original series.

The story opens with brothers Gary (Jason Segel) and Walter (voiced by Peter Linz). The two shared an all-American childhood except for one major difference: Walter is a muppet. After a chance rental of an old Muppet’s video, Walter falls in love with the Muppets.

Fast forward to the present day, Gary has been in a steady relationship with his girlfriend, Mary (Amy Adams), for nearly 10 years and to celebrate their 10th anniversary, the two travel to Los Angeles. Gary invites Walter, much to the chagrin of Mary, and the three set off to the big city.

While on a tour of the now run-down Muppets Studio, Walter accidentally overhears Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) planning, the purchase and subsequent destruction of the studio in order to reach the oil reserve located beneath the studio. After sharing the news with Gary, the brothers decide they must tell Kermit so that he might stop the sale.

The acting and musical numbers in this movie were absolutely superb with only a few minor exceptions. True to Muppet form, celebrity cameos laced the movie bringing together numerous big names from the present and previous generations. Honestly, the lack of a Steve Martin cameo shocked me a bit, as he teamed up with Kermit for one of the most memorable moments in entertainment history.

The humor remained the same from the show in all its wonderfully wacky glory. However, I am not sure how much the humor holds up for people in the generations following mine. This notion hits upon one of the main thematic elements of the movie. Is the wholesome nature of the Muppets’ humor lost on the new generations raised on raunchy garbage films?

I sincerely hope not. The ability to make an audience laugh without resorting to vulgarity is a rare talent and The Muppets excel in spades. The worst thing you’ll see in “The Muppets” is muppet-on-muppet violence (which somehow earned the movie a PG rating).

Regardless, if you enjoy good things, you’ll find plenty to like in “The Muppets.” Between Gonzo (voiced by Dave Goelz) destroying his successful plumbing company in the Muppet’s reunion bid and Miss Piggy (voiced by Eric Jacobson) becoming a successful magazine mogul, laughs abound.

While humor highlights the movie, at its core, “The Muppets” is about one of the oldest life lessons: be yourself. A moral that has never gone out of style, “The Muppets” reinvigorated the idea with their own unique style.

This is a movie I think the late Jim Henson would love; it honors the Muppets tradition while blazing a new path in the franchise. “The Muppets” rarely missteps during its nearly 100-minute runtime and the loving care of the entire crew to make the movie correctly permeates from screen. See the movie, and then see it again. You won’t regret it.

Final Grade: A

MPAA Rating: PG