Jason Segel and his creative partner Nick Stoller were the perfect choices to create a rebirth of a pop culture icon in The Muppets. Evidenced by their collaboration on Forgetting Sarah Marshall, where puppetry was a central aspect, capturing the Muppet world for a new generation was in good hands with Segel and Stoller.
Now that The Muppets has arrived, the proof is in the proverbial pudding. The Muppets is pure bliss. Whether a Muppets fan or not, what is not to absolutely adore about Segel and Stoller’s film? It is not simply one great return for the legendary characters -- The Muppets is one of the best films of the year.
By introducing a new Muppet, Walter, as Segel’s onscreen brother and treating the Muppets like a cultural holy grail, Segel and Stoller have simultaneously created a background and a landscape for a new Muppet world that is up-to-date, while still staying true to what made the Muppets great in the first place.
In The Muppets, Walter, Segel and his onscreen girlfriend Amy Adams head to Hollywood to visit the legendary Muppets Theater. Once they get there they discover it is completely run down, is being pursued for purchase by an oil baron for the black gold that sits below it on Hollywood Boulevard, and the Muppets themselves are scattered across the globe. Walter, Adams and Segel seek out Kermit (Walter’s favorite) to see what they can do to 1) save the theater and 2) get the gang back together.
Flight of the Conchords creator James Bobin is The Muppets director and as such he provides a perfect palette for the film to succeed on a multitude of fronts. Bobin, Stoller and Segel are a dream team and Muppets fans should thank their lucky stars that the beloved franchise is in their hands. The film is astounding and a joy on so many levels. Don't miss our interview with Walter, Miss Piggy and Kermit!
A delightful surprise as well is the Muppet world worthy performance by Amy Adams. She is game for all the hijinx, hilarity and heartfelt emotion that is all part of any great Muppet experience and is explosively shown in Disney’s 2011 The Muppets. She sings like an angel and knows when to push the performance and when to pull back and let the puppeteers work their magic.
The Muppets features old songs and new, both utilized with perfection. There is a hysterical barbershop quartet version of Smells Like Teen Spirit, a tear-jerking rendition of The Rainbow Connection and new tracks that should get Oscar attention including Pictures in My Head as sung by Kermit and Man or Muppet delivered by Segel and Walter.
It seems as if the entire Muppet universe made it onto the set for an appearance, both big and small. Many are utilized during those amazing musical numbers. Whoever your favorite Muppet is, they have their moment in the spotlight in The Muppets. There is another aspect for which to tribute the creators of The Muppets. In the span of a movie, they manage to hit all the right notes, figuratively and literally. Nothing is left out from what you would want from a 2011 film about those beloved characters.
Whether a full-blown fan, someone who grew up with The Muppets, or even the moviegoer seeking an “among the best” quality of movie in the past year, the Thanksgiving arrival of Segel and Stoller’s The Muppets is more than something for which to give absolute thanks.