Movies

Reason Writers at the Movies: Peter Suderman Reviews The Muppets

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Statler & Waldorf: great Americans.

For those who follow politics and Hollywood, 2011 has been a year of misleading movie titles. The Debt wasn't about the federal debt. Contagion wasn't about the Eurozone crisis. And The Muppets isn't about Congress. Instead, it's about a gang of singing, dancing puppets with much better approval ratings. Peter Suderman reviews their latest big-screen adventure in today's Washington Times:

Leave it to a scruffy orange puppet named Fozzie Bear to make fart shoes funny.

In the hands—well, feet—of an ordinary comedian, shoes strapped to whoopee cushions would be the height of comedic desperation. But Fozzie is no ordinary comedian. He's a Muppet, one of the beloved gang of world-famous puppets created by Jim Henson, and a co-star of "The Muppets."

The enduring genius of the Muppets is that, at their best, they take childlike humor and make it charming, lovable and funny. That's why they're still making Muppet movies after all these years, and why kids and adults still show up to see them.

Face it: We all love the Muppets. And after their latest cinematic outing, lots of people are going to love them even more.

Whole thing here

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  1. My idea for the next movie? The Muppets do Animal Farm. It’s genius! Miss Piggy is Snowball, or something. I don’t know, I haven’t really fleshed it out. Get off my back.

    1. I once read a science-fiction novel in which a character watches a Muppet Show hosted by George Orwell, featuring a reenactment of the Room 101 scene from 1984.

      1. Well, aparently I can’t come up with an original thought. (Hollywood, here I come!) But it’s nice to know I’m not the only one thought the Muppets needed a little more edge.

        1. (Or correctly spell apparently.)

  2. If you don’t love the muppets, you are either not human or a philistine

    1. Meanwhile, outside the Land Of False Dichotomies, people recognize that the Muppets crew has done some good stuff, and some bad stuff. I can look back with general fondness, but, I dunno, I’ve moved on.

      To ponies! 😀

    2. It’s a pretty good litmus test for whether someone is a decent person or not.

    3. Yeah, anyone who hates the Muppets lacks a soul.

      Team Gonzo for the win!

    4. I fucking hate the fucking Muppets. That fucking cunt Miss Piggy can fucking suck my dick. Yeah, that’s right! I called her a cunt! That’s an actual word with a definition! So fuck you.

    5. I detest the Muppets, so I guess that makes me both of those things. I did use to watch the Muppet show years ago, but I was even stupider then. And that stupid Star Wars/Muppet character – that troll like thing that mentored Luke and said things like “Feel the force, you must!” and “Stupid bastard, you are!” and who sounded exactly like Miss Piggy – Yoda, that’s his name – God I hated that friggin character. And here’s some sacrilege, I detested and still detest Star Wars. It’s idiocy for idiots. Remember that Christmas Special called A Star Wars Christmas? That actually encapsulated the reality of what Star Wars was. This idea that Lucas was some sort of visionary and Star Wars was some sort of profound achievement is just stupid.

      1. Wait, you hate Star Wars AND the Muppets?

        Well, sir, I shall not be taking anything you say about artistic value or entertainment seriously again. And I hope that you are near the top of the list for a new soul transplant.

  3. Jim dying of strep throat was a fucking travesty for all of us. The Muppets are still funny, but when Jim died, they lost that extra something that made them so great.

    “They don’t look like Presbyterians to me.”

    1. I agree, it hasn’t been the same since Kermit’s voice croaked.

    2. I met a puppeter (no, seriously, he worked in film in Albuquerque. He claimed to be the one who operated the bad guys hand when it was blown off in The Spectre) who related that one of the reasons Jim died was because he was raised as a Christian Scientists and was reluctant to get medical treatment.

    3. Amen. Jim was a god, the greatest entertainer what ever lived. When he died, he took the great with him.

      1. I got nuthin’.

  4. Is Kurt Loder sick? Or is Peter just trying to branch out into film criticism?

    1. He’s been doing reviews for the Wash. Times for a while now.

  5. I hope this doesn’t prey on my nostalgia like so many have before.

    Ever watch an episode of “Dukes of Hazard” as an adult… horrible, awful TV. I thought it was the coolest damn show on the air when it aired.

    I don’t think this one will, just sayin’. Still gonna take the rug-rats to it anyhow.

    1. Ever watch an episode of “Dukes of Hazard” as an adult… horrible, awful TV. I thought it was the coolest damn show on the air when it aired.

      The first season still holds up pretty well, in my opinion. That’s when they actually filmed some of the shows in Georgia and Roscoe P. Coltrane was a corrupt cop as opposed to a slapstick goofball.

      But Daisy Duke was fine no matter which season it was.

    2. I don’t know about this movie but the orignal episodes are still awesome.
      The Muppet Show was never really considered to be a kid’s show, rather a show for parent’s that kids can watch too.

    3. I know what you’re saying. But Punky Brewster has held up pretty well at least.

    4. Eh, it drags a little bit after they reassemble the band, but it finishes strong.

      I’d put them in this order:
      1)The Great Muppet Caper
      2)The Muppet Movie
      3a) The Muppets 3b)Muppet Christmas Carol (I love the shit out of Muppet Christmas Carol)
      4) Muppets Take Manhattan
      5) Muppet Treasure Island
      6) Muppets From Space
      99) Muppet Wizard Oz… that was so fucking bad.

      1. Bev Crusher was in Muppets Take Manhattan. That’s seriously all I remember from the movie, probably because I was like 7.

  6. I’m hoping it’s more, The Muppet Movie, and less, Muppet Treasure Island.

    1. Hold your tongue there sir. MTI was a fine cinemagraphic piece. It should have won an Oscar

  7. For Jim Henson fans: check out The Storyteller series if you’ve never seen it. I adored it as a child and when I rewatched a few episodes on Netflix recently, they hadn’t lost any of their awesomeness. It seems like not enough people know about this show, and they should. It is a little spooky, a little bittersweet, and just totally captivating.

    1. It was the pinicle of Muppet awesomeness because Jim Hensen just kept getting better and better and The Storyteller was the last thing he did.

  8. I still remember the first time I watched both Labyrinth and The Dark Crystal, my personal fond childhood Jim Henson related memories. Labyrinth also made David Bowie even more awesome than I though possible, IMO.

    Jim Henson is truly a lost treasure never to be found again.

    1. The Dark Crystal is so good. That is another one you can rewatch today and still enjoy it.

      And random observation, but Groovster, if you watched those as a kid, that makes you younger than I thought.

    2. Meh, Willow is the only movie I’ve left during due to boredom.

      I walked out of Moulin Rouge too, but that was because I was getting motion sickness.

      1. Left three movies in my lifetime:

        1) Forrest Gump: Insulting, predictable, stupid
        2) Titanic: Far too long and really dull. There was a bar across the street, I left my girlfriend watching the movie twice to go have a beer and came back , never felt like I missed anything.
        3) American Beauty: Really didn’t like the underlying theme, that the Hollywood intelligentsia knows it is those of us in suburbia who are the really fucked up ones, and it is LA that is normal.

        1. american beauty is hardly unique in that respect.

          hollywood loves to, and thinks it’s all “edgy and shit” to portray suburbia that way.

          pleasantville is another great example.

    3. Just watched Labyrinth again because as a kid I thought it was pretty good, as an adult it was… pretty mediocre.

  9. Fozzie *is an ordinary (or worse) comedian, and his desperation is precisely what’s so funny about him.

    1. like Jimmy Fallon?

    2. He’s just a furry Kenny Bania.

  10. Isn’t it a little creepy for a childless married man to be hanging out at a Muppet movie?

    1. I get to sit in the press section, which is filled with childless dudes.

    2. I’d think being married would make it less creepy.

  11. I would pay $10 just to see Statler and Waldorff for an hour and half.

  12. Well I could give a shit about the muppets. I like jason segal though so I might suffer through it. But no Pete not everyone loves the muppets.

    1. I appreciate the muppets on a much deeper level than you.

  13. Obligatory Jim Henson Studios Made Farscape So Awesome Comment.

    1. Agreed. Some of the best aliens in any scifi show ever made.

  14. It is monumentally unjust that the Muppets got another movie while Fraggle Rock is still languishing in development hell.

    1. It’s cause that trash monster is too damn creepy.

  15. This thread feels paedophiliaish

    1. Light a candle, don’t curse the darkness #PositiveThinking

  16. Jim dying of strep throat was a fucking travesty for all of us

    Yeah!

    What?

  17. No mention of The Storyteller? Amazing show and the best $13 on a DVD I’ve ever spent.

  18. Well, if it weren’t for Henderson and the Muppets and Sesame Street, I suppose we wouldn’t be able to appreciate the humor of Avenue Q and its parodies.

  19. So what am I? Chopped…what’s the word…?

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