Thursday, December 22, 2011
Pete and I finally made it to the movies to see the new Muppet Movie! I was apprehensive at first, there has been allot of crappy Muppet stuff floating around in the last few decades. Even when we went to Disney last year, the Muppet Experience totally crapped out, not even Disney seemed to care about the Muppets. But I must take my proverbial hat off to Mr. Jason Segal - AMAZEBALLS.
Not to insult Jim Henson's son, but I think it really took a Muppet to know a Muppet. Someone who truly loved and understood what The Muppets were all about and that was Jason Segal - A life long Muppet Lover. This movie has been his brain baby for years and years and I think he delivered just what all these babies of the 70s and 80s wanted, a REAL Muppet movie. Not a remake of a pirate movie or a Christmas Carol. A real original script where the gang bands together to come out on top in the end.
Even though it's still hard to listen to Kermit because it makes my heart ache for Jim, they really tried. The jokes were back to Muppet standards, the plot was smart and the musical numbers were fun and catchy.
I think whoever was in charge of The Muppets (Don't want to outright blame Disney or Brian Henson) lost site of who the Muppets were. They tried to gear the jokes towards children and the plots were recycled. They lost what made them so special. When I was younger I didn't understand half the jokes in the original movies. I didn't know what the hell a Presbyterian was??! But they were magical. They were talking and dancing frogs and pigs!! That's all we needed. The jokes were more geared towards the parents and when I saw my Dad laugh, I wanted to laugh. It was something we could watch together and both enjoy.
After Jim Henson died the magic went with him and suddenly The Muppets were unknowns. Sure the true fans stayed loyal and still loved them, but we wanted something new and were constantly disappointed. In the last 10 years out of all the children I nannied, NONE of them knew The Muppets on their own. I had to introduce them to all of them! So Sad. They can tell me every Pokemon character, every plot to all the Star Wars Movies and recite every Harry Potter book, but they don't know who Kermit is. It's not fair, why did Star Wars get to prevail??
This day and age the world has gotten a bit rougher around the edges. Not that The Muppets aren't edgy but to an 8 year old today, they do seem babyish. The Muppets are funny without hurting feelings. They don't rely on beating the crap out of each other or hurting someone else's feelings to be funny. They are kind of like puppet Ellen DeGeneres. They just make you feel good if you give them a chance to dance!
But now, with the release of the new Muppet movie, it's like they have a whole new lease on life!! Kids were seeing the previews on TV and seeing stars like Selena Gomez in the preview (So Smart) and they were relating to it. They had no idea what The Muppet Show was but if it was good enough for Selena Gomez it was good enough for them. Grown ups began to remember why they loved the old gang so much and children started to get interested. This isn't Elmo we're talking about here, Elmo is for babies as my goobers pointed out. The Muppets are for bigger kids. They were right to know the difference between Sesame Street and The Muppets but until now I think they were one in the same to them.
The movie was a wonderful ride. It was an adorable story that paralleled exactly what was going on in real life. The Muppets were back to their old tricks and it was so great to see the set of The Muppet Show up on the big screen. We laughed at the gags, we cried at Rainbow Connection and we actually clapped at the end ( I HATE when people do that by the way).
Seeing this movie through me right back to 1987, sitting on the couch with my parents, eating burnt popcorn out of a Florida Gator plastic cup. It was like a giant hug from my past, and right now being all preggo and emotional there wasn't anything I needed more. I went right home and hugged my old Kermit doll, the one with the pilly fur and missing tongue. I missed you buddy.
I left that theatre feeling so grateful for the trip down memory lane and so thankful that my children will get to experience The Muppets the way they should be. I pray that this helps them pick up again. I pray that when I take my own goobers to Disney The Muppet Experience will not only be fixed but added to. So thank you Jason Segal for keeping the dream alive. And Thank you Jim Henson for being the amazing, genius dreamer that you were. Your Magic Lives On In Our Hearts.