The Muppets, and pretty much everything else to come from the Jim Henson Company, represent something truly unique within the entertainment industry. They are not only pioneers, they are masters at totally encompassing bits of fabric and giving them more personality and wit than most actors can accomplish. The Muppets themselves have had a very long and successful career, one that has entertained both kids and adults alike. After the death of Jim Henson, Things started to change. While their previous films centered around the puppets, they began taking a back seat as supporting members of the cast; the films they starred in went from original scripts to re-tellings of classic literature. In an attempt to bring things back to their past formula, Muppets From Space took on the task of telling an original story while putting The Muppets as the head of the cast. The movie had it’s funny bits, but it was one of the weaker films to come out of their career. For 12 years their presence in feature films was completely absent. In 2011, Jason Segel successfully launched The Muppets back into the spotlight they deserved.
The Muppets is a return to the origins of the film franchise. Segel, who wrote and starred in the film, proves himself a passionate and true fan by including many allusions and nods to the original film, The Muppet Movie, while updating many of the jokes and humor for a modern audience. The world has changed since we last saw the gang, both in real life and within the scope of the film. The gradual downward spiral of popularity in The Muppet franchise that started in the early 90s is certainly acknowledged, as is the fact that the connection that most older viewers have with the likes of Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog are all but lost on this younger generation. Segel doesn’t change The Muppets at all, on the contrary, this feels like a modern sequel (which, I suppose it is) to the original movie that was released in the 1970’s.
My appreciation for this movie increases with each viewing, making it easily one of my favorite movies of 2011. The Muppets present such a positive and upbeat outlook, fun musical numbers, celebrity cameos, and an excellent sense of humor that is great for any age. The skill, not only for the puppeteers (Muppeteers?) but the skill of those having to interact with the puppets, the writers and film makers. It’s a kids movie that is expertly crafted and can, and should, be enjoyed by everyone. In Short The Muppets returns the franchise to it’s originating elements that made it awesome, it updates the jokes while maintaining the essence and quality that fans have come to expect.