"Are you a Muppet or a man?"
It's been 12 years since The Muppets have graced the silver screen and they have finally returned. The movie was surprisingly amazing and incredibly touching especially for anyone who grew up with The Muppets. I grew up during a time when The Muppets were pretty damn popular. During the 90s The Muppets were popular enough to have 3 films come out as well as a revival of "The Muppet Show" in the incarnation of "Muppets Tonight". I also grew up with "Muppet Babies" as well as the movies that came before I was born. Sadly, after 1999's "Muppets From Space" the franchise died out and The Muppets were relegated to TV movies and direct-to-video movies.
The movie follows Gary (Jason Segal) and his brother Walter (a Muppet played by Peter Linz) on their way to Los Angeles where Walter wants badly to go on a tour of the Muppet Studios. Along for the ride is Mary (Amy Adams) who is Gary's girlfriend, who is going to L.A. to spend her anniversary with Gary. When they get there they realize the Muppet Studio is shambles and the theater is dire need of help when Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) decides to buy the studio & theater to tear them and dig for oil. So Gary & Walter go on a trip to find Kermit (played by Steve Whitmire) and get him to get the team back together and try and get the money to buy the theater back.
The movie has tons of great jokes that really made me laugh out loud. The songs were great, the story was very interesting and it ties the movies to the original TV show. There were a lot of jokes that I honestly don't think kids would get but it had jokes for kids too. I love movies that have jokes for both adults and children. The movie wasn't without it's downfalls. The big thing I didn't like about the movie is that I think the movie didn't really need the side story of Gary & Mary. Every time they cut back to that story I felt like it took you out of what was going on in the movie. I honestly didn't care about them and their relationship, it felt like it was out of place in this movie. I think Eric Jacobson who played Fozzie and Miss Piggy (sadly replacing Frank Oz, who opting out of returning) does not do a very good job as Fozzie. He's fine as Miss Piggy, but his voice is too high for Fozzie, I cringed a few times hearing his voice. And finally, I felt Gronzo was very left out of this movie. After the movie was over and I turned to friend and said this movie needed more Gonzo.
The new added Muppet of Walter I felt worked very well. I had a feeling he would be annoying and/or not fit well but he fit well with the original Muppets. He ends the show with an interesting little bit, but nothing takes away from the "Rainbow Connection" finale that is performed by all the Muppets and really gave me chills and brought a tear to my eye. I'm a self proclaimed Muppet fan and have loved all the movies and TV shows and seeing that song performed by all the Muppets really was touching and moving.
Overall I consider this as the best movie I've seen in 2011. It's got everything I could possibly ask for in a Muppet movie and I am very pleased with what I saw.