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Let’s Rush To Judgment!: ‘The Muppets’

Filed by KOSU News in Art & Life.
October 25, 2011

For people who love the Muppets, and who love the 1979 classic The Muppet Movie, the idea of a new post-Jim-Henson Muppet film is a cause for nervousness as much as for rejoicing. It’s great to see old friends, but … but … should this be happening?

The first hurdle you have to get over is that this isn’t Jim Henson as Kermit. It’s Steve Whitmire. It’s not Frank Oz as Miss Piggy and Fozzie, either. It’s Eric Jacobson, who’s been doing them for a while now. If you can’t get past the fact that these aren’t the voices you know, you won’t like the movie.

But based on this trailer, they’re getting a lot of things right. I’ve heard people say there isn’t supposed to be so much emphasis on humans in a Muppet film, and that’s a valid argument. But if you’re going to put humans with Muppets, they have picked the right humans: Jason Segal and Amy Adams. Adams is as perfect for this as she was to play a cartoon character in Enchanted, and Segel is an endlessly game goofball whose love for this material oozes from him.

I don’t like the “fart shoes” (stupid, and juvenile in the wrong way), and I’m very uneasy about the bizarro Muppets and how they’re being presented, though it’s only a brief flash in the trailer. But I do love the introduction of Beaker (“Hello, hello, hello, mee-meeee”), and there’s something about “And now, singing chickens!” that makes me feel like they get it.

I’m somewhere between “very cautiously optimistic” and “concerned but open-minded.” Thoughts? [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

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