A Big ‘Thank You’ To Jason Segal For The New Muppets Movie
Although I used to love the Muppet Show as a kid, I wasn’t sure if I should go see this latest Muppet movie in the theatre. I just had my doubts that another ‘new’ Muppet movie would pay the proper homage to the old Muppet Show. Well let me tell you, I decided to check it out over the weekend and….two thumbs up! (I would give it more thumbs if I had them).
The Muppets sort of played a role in my childhood. I often stayed at my grandparents house on Saturday nights as a kid, the same night the Muppet show was on. Grandma and Grandpa had no choice but to rock out with the Muppets for a half hour (one of the greatest half hours of my young life). I loved that show, and Grandma and Grandpa at least pretended they did too.
The old Muppet movies were also great, like the original Muppet Movie (with Dom DeLuise and a ton of classic celebrity cameos) and some others that come to mind like The Muppets Take Manhattan. I have to admit, I never gave any of the newer Muppet movies a chance (post 1990). With titles like Muppet Treasure Island and Muppets from Space, I just figured the old Muppet magic was dead, along with creator Jim Henson.
Enter Jason Segal into the picture. An actor, screenwriter and, some may not realize, a puppeteer. I think the guy is an excellent comedian and have enjoyed just about every role he’s ever played (from Marshall in How I Met Your Mother to everything he’s done on the big screen) but naturally had my doubts about revitalizing the muppets.
Segal, who is my age and also loved the Muppets as a kid, approached Disney a few years ago about bringing the Muppets back (the right way) in a feature film. They gave him the go-ahead to write the screenplay and produce it. The end result? Brilliant. I recommend this movie to anyone who also loved the old Muppet Show.
Segal pays due respect to Henson and his original concept by making this movie without those post 1990 Muppet movies in mind. I loved that this new film picks up only where Henson left off. Without giving away too much, the old gang attempts to reasemble itself and put on one more show for a new generation that has no idea who they are. Irrelevant and rusty, they still end up winning back admiration and fame.
I also love how Segal remains true to some original ideas, such as numerous celebrity cameos, the Muppets’ introspection of making a movie (within a movie), the character’s history and relationships with one another, the return of some classic Muppet songs (such as Rainbow Connection and Mahna Mahna). Seriously, if you’re an old Muppet fan, you need to see this movie!