‘Muppets’ movie holds something for young, old

by Dani Norton

Staff writer

It’s time to start the music! It’s time to light the lights! “The Muppets” are back and, despite being away for so long, they are as Muppet-y as ever. Singing, dancing and a boat load of celebrity cameos will keep you entertained throughout.

The film holds something for new and old audiences alike, although with all of the references to Muppets of yesteryear, younger viewers may be missing out on what makes the movie so great.

“The Muppets” stars Jason Segel and Amy Adams, except that it doesn’t.

Adams revisits her “Enchanted” charm, perfectly embodying a small town girl with a penchant for funky musical numbers, and Segel is surprisingly wholesome.

In fact, those familiar with his past work may find themselves questioning Segel’s sincerity as he sings and dances his way across town. It is so odd to watch at first that it seems as if Segel is secretly trying to make a mockery out of the entire Muppet franchise.

However, he wrote the screenplay and claims that the project is very close to his heart. As the film progresses, this becomes much clearer. He and Adams make a lovely, if not forgettable, couple.

It should come as no real surprise that the Muppets are the real stars. Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and the rest of the gang carry the movie from beginning to end.

The plot is about as paper thin as it gets—a big bad oil tycoon is threatening to tear down Muppet Studios unless they can raise enough money via telethon identical to their stage show from the ’70s to keep it open—but it works well here.

The real story being told is one of old friends and togetherness, something the audience will be included in when the characters make cracks about things that happened during the height of the Muppets’ careers.

Older viewers may feel nostalgic right along with Kermit and his pals, but younger children may be left in the dark.

Younger generations will not have the same relationship with the Muppets that their parents had. One of the running jokes throughout the film is that the Muppets just aren’t famous anymore. And many children watching the film probably have no idea how true that is if they’ve never watched old episodes of “The Muppet Show” or seen any of the Muppet movies.

These characters have had little to no presence in pop culture for over a decade.

The dilapidated Muppet Studio serves as a rather depressing representation of their absence, but children may only see it as one more thing the Muppets have to fix up.

Seeing Fozzie Bear telling jokes and singing at a seedy casino in Reno with his new band The Moopets is pretty traumatizing to witness, but children won’t understand why.

It seems as if Segel wrote the screenplay with only an older generation in mind. From Kermit’s butler ’80s Robot, who serves Tab and uses his dial-up modem as a GPS, to Kermit and Miss Piggy’s toxic relationship, everything seems to imply that this was meant entirely for us, not our children.

Parents will find that some of the jokes are just juvenile enough to justify taking their first grader to see it, if only to share a piece of their own childhoods with them.

 

The cast of “The Muppets” with Jason Segel and Amy Adams. (Photo from www.muppet.wikia.com)