Thank you Jason Segel. Thank you Disney. Thank you for bringing one of the most beloved franchises in the history of both television and movies back to life. In an era when so few truly family friendly movies exist, the return of The Muppets is a breath of fresh air.
This new installment in the Muppets franchise isn’t exactly the most original work. It lifts very liberally from most of the previous movies in the Muppets franchise. And it goes without saying that it goes way over the top with its glut of blatantly Broadway style musical numbers. Sure the other Muppets movies have musical numbers. But not to the extent of this one. All of that aside, star and co-writer Jason Segel is to be commended for his role in bringing this beloved franchise back to life. Segel has stated that he grew up with Jim Henson’s characters. That would explain the constant references to the previous Muppets movies. Considering that, Segel and co. can be forgiven for essentially rehashing said movies and tossing them into a big pot for this flick. It could be argued that making so many references to the other Muppets movies might even go so far as to raise interest in them, and bring that much more interest in the Muppets mong this new generation.
For the issues that The Muppets has, there’s also plenty of good in it. The most obvious of the movie’s positive aspects is in the statement of The Muppets’ relevance in today’s cultural world.. The story presents that Muppets in a world in which they are no longer relevant, or so they think. That is until Walter and his brother, Gary (played by Jason segel) try to get the gang back together. It’s not the first time that’s been done in a Muppets movie. In the real world, of course, the Muppets have always been relevant. There has really never been a time when the Muppets haven’t been relevant. Now thanks to this new movie, Kermit, Miss PIggy, Animal, Rolf, and all the rest will likely be even more relevant than ever. It’s kept these beloved characters alive for a whole new generation. And with any luck, this new generation will carry the Muppets torch lit for the generation that follows it. More than likely, as the movie’s ending shows, there’s little rason to worry about that. Suffice to say that while this new incarnation of The Muppets isn’t overly original, Jim Henson would still be proud of it if he were with us