“It’s time to play the music, it’s time to light the lights…”
Those words mean a lot to me. The Muppets mean a lot to me. I was one of those kids that grew up with the Muppets on TV and it was a family event in our house to watch it. As I grew older, I fell in love with other works by Jim Henson and consider many of his films to be some of my favorite movies of all time. (Labyrinth, Dark Crystal, the original Muppet Movie, etc.)
So it was with great anticipation that I went to the theater to see this film. I was encouraged from all the good reviews that writers Jason Segel and Nicholas Stroller crafted a solid story and it was well-told by director James Bobin. But honestly, I was unprepared at how stunning this movie truly turned out to be.
The opening song in the movie was a montage sequence set to the song “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” by Paul Simon was my first clue that I was in for a treat. A smile crept on my face at that moment and has stayed with me long after the house lights went back up.
Jason Segel, Amy Adams and Walter did a great job making us care about the Muppets again (well, I never stopped to begin with).
What struck me most about this movie was how effortlessly it took what was great about the original movies and television shows and proved they are relevant, important, dare-I-say VITAL in today’s world. Many times during the movie, the Muppets are being told that nobody cares about them any more. That the world has moved on. My inner child and my children who sat next to me in the theater, giggled, laughed and taped our feet. We were overjoyed in the journey the characters take to try to return to glory.
The songs in the movie are hilarious and feature original tracks written by Bret McKenzie (Flight of the Concords). They seem totally appropriate for the Muppets honoring the past, but at the same time amazingly fresh and modern. One song that really caught me off guard though, was the beautiful “Pictures in My Head” sung by Kermit. “Is there more I could have said? Now they’re only pictures in my head.” I could not help but imagine that these words were coming from Jim Henson himself. The emotion was powerful enough to get me choked up.
My kids and I keep reciting our favorite lines in the movie to each other. We have downloaded the soundtrack album and they are putting on “plays” for me in the family room. This is the positive power that Jim Henson brought to the world.
Jim, we miss you. We are glad your Muppets are back – you have NO IDEA how badly the world needs them now.
A special thanks to all involved in making this movie. You did a grand job of creating the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational movie ever!
(Gonzo blows his trumpet)
ADDITIONAL NOTES: The soundtrack album is really worth picking up because it features funny dialog from the movie in addition to the songs. Also, during the track “Let’s Talk About Me” (this was Mr. Richmond’s rap number) you get to hear a segment that was cut out of the movie.
Also, I highly recommend the book called Jim Henson – The Works as a way to learn more about Jim Henson’s career.