THE MUPPETS

BY CHRISTOPHER HASKELL
DECEMBER 8, 2011

Charming and nostalgic, Jason Segel’s “The Muppets” brings all the old characters and gags back to life, blending them nicely with a new story and plenty of unique personalities. The film reaches new levels of inspiration. All the old Muppets are getting back together for one last show to save the Muppets Studio from the evil oil-hungry Tex Richman (Chris Cooper). Also inspiring is the culmination of writer and actor Jason Segel’s dream of making a Muppet movie. Segel’s story plays out quite literally in the film, though it happens through the character Walter, who is a muppet but not a Muppet (with a capital “M”).

The new characters sometimes read paper-thin, specifically Jason Segel and Amy Adams. And the entire film lacks the majestic feel for which I had hoped. However, there are enough award-worthy songs, including my favorites: “Life’s A Happy Song,” “Pictures In My Head”, and the return of “The Rainbow Connection” and heart-warming moments to make the film enjoyable. There are plenty of laughs to be had, with the film poking fun at itself with “traveling by map.” Or constantly being self-aware. But there are also genuinely touching moments, like during the Hollywood Boulevard number. The film has something for all ages, bringing in a new generation that has never even heard of “The Muppet Show” while staying true to Jim Henson’s original ideas and honoring him well.

RELEASE DATE
November 4, 2011

DIRECTOR
James Bobin

WRITTEN BY
Jason Segel
Nicholas Stoller

BASED ON
The Muppets
by Jim Henson

STUDIO
Walt Disney Pictures

PG
(for some mild rude humor)

ADVENTURE
COMEDY
FAMILY
MUSICAL

103 minutes

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Don Burgess

COMPOSER
Christophe Beck

EDITOR
James Thomas

CAST
Jason Segel
Amy Adams
Chris Cooper
Rashida Jones
Jack Black
Zach Galifianakis
Jim Parsons
Ken Jeong
Alan Arkin
Bill Cobbs
Eddie Pepitone
Kristen Schaal
Eddie “Piolín” Sotelo
Donald Glover
Sarah Silverman

PRODUCED BY
David Hoberman
Todd Lieberman

BUDGET
$45 million

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