The New Muppet Movie is a Wonderful, Nostalgic Adventure

Nostalgia is big these days, or maybe it’s just that the movies being made right now are being made by people who have similar nostalgic influences. The latest serious attempt at cinematic nostalgia that I saw prior to the new Muppet movie was Super 8 – an excellent film that made me want to watch The Goonies and E.T. in rapid succession.

The Muppets taps into the nostalgia factor in a major way, and as far as I’m concerned that’s a good thing. True to form, the Muppets and their human co-stars regularly break the fourth wall with self-deprecating references to the movie itself. Lots of old movie tropes are lovingly tossed about. The Muppets travel by map. At one point during their rounding up of the Muppet diaspora, it’s suggested that to hurry things along they gather the remaining Muppets by montage. At one point we’re treated to 1980′s Robot.

The music is intentionally cheesy and terrific. Jason Segal and Amy Adams are animated and delightful and capitalize fully on the melodrama – as does our villain, Tex Richman, played by Chris Cooper – a man so evil he’s incapable of laughter and has his henchmen do his maniacal laughing for him.


If the entire movie had just been the musical numbers I would have walked away happy. Fortunately it was the musical numbers plus a ridiculous amount of wit and humor and, yes, a plot built on a foundation of good ol’ fashioned nostalgia, with the Muppets putting on one last, star-studded show to save their studios.

The celebrity cameos come thick and fast, including an abducted Jack Black subjected to a barber-shop-quartet rendition of Smells Like Teen Spirit.

And it’s not in 3D. So go see it quick. This is one of the best, funniest movies I’ve seen in a long time. And it continues a long winning streak for Disney that began a few years ago with Enchanted and another fantastic performance from Amy Adams.

Original songs were written by Bret McKenzie. Jason Segal and Nick Stoller wrote the screenplay. James Bobin directed.

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