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August 26, 2011

The Return of The Muppets

Joe Charlebois

The Muppets return this fall with an all new movie for young and old alike. Release of the ninth Muppet movie Thanksgiving weekend comes nearly six years after the last theatrical release and 32 years since the first.


The return to a typical plot line instead of being trite is rather a welcome touch. This film should provide a new generation – outside of Sesame Street characters – with their first glimpse of the late Jim Henson’s magic.


The two lead stars, played by Amy Adams (Julie & Julia) and Jason Segal (How I Met Your Mother), are a young couple who come to the aid of the Muppets in their quest to save their studio from an evil oil baron played by Chris Cooper (Bourne Identity).


I realize that the movie is not coming out until November, and I am sure that my children will be less enthusiastic about its arrival than I will, but Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Animal and the rest were my “must see TV.” They provided the perfect weekly escape.


The Walt Disney Company, which purchased the Muppets in 2004, has this as their first Muppet theatrical release. Hopefully this is the start of something good with Disney as keeping Kermit in a box on the shelf spreads no joy.


It would be fantastic if Disney were to reintroduce The Muppet Show to television. This is what is missing from today’s television. Television needs a good comedy/variety show that both parent and child can enjoy equally.


The Muppet Show previously had an extended run from 1976 to 1981. It was a five-year run of comedy sketches involving Jim Henson’s characters and a weekly guest star.


I understand that it aired in a different time. It was a time when knobs still existed on television sets and some remote controls had a wire attached. There is no innocent slapstick style comedy show that can compare to the magic that this show had.


It's time to play the music

It's time to light the lights…

It is time to light the lights again.


Currently as a marketing companion, Disney has released a musical CD entitled The Green Album. This is a release of Muppet songs from the past that includes “It’s Not Easy Being Green,” “Rainbow Connection,” and the Muppet Show Theme. The songs are new interpretations of the old with today’s alternative artists doing the covers.


The songs are relatively good renditions of Muppet music, with “Rainbow Connection” done by Weezer and Hayley Williams standing out among the rest. It is definitely worth a listen.


It's time to put on makeup

It's time to dress up right

It's time to raise the curtain on the Muppet Show tonight.


Let’s hope that Disney unpacks the crates for good and reintroduces the next generation to Kermit and Company.


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