Dec 122011

The Muppets have always been one of things I’ve put in the category of “Good.” As one of those kids who grew up on the combo platter of Sesame Street, The Muppet Show (and Muppet Babies) the creations of Jim Henson hold a special place in my heart. One that until recently I considered that affection somewhat unique. Which is an odd position to hold now that I think about it, but there you have it. With the release of Jason Segel’s The Muppets I’ve finally realized just how beloved The Muppets are to my generation.

Let’s just lay the cards on the table, I have a blinding love for this movie. I know people were skeptical when it was announced Jason Segal was making a Muppet Movie, but i don’t think people realized the level of obsession Segal has with puppetry — and hearing him describe it, creepy is the right word. Jason Segel set out to make a love letter to the work Jim Henson and company did and The Muppets delivers on that in spades. I However, it accomplishes this not just through sentimental touches –the several prominent inclusions of Henson’s picture I found highly moving, and Rainbow Connection was beautiful — but by being funny. traveling by map, and the power of montage were the sort of sly fourth-wall breaking jokes that the Muppets have always traded in, and the reveal of Walter’s human counterpart brought the house down in the theater I saw it in. And while none of the cameos rose to the brilliance of Steve Martin in the Muppet Movie:

Jack Black delivered strong work as the shanghaied special celebrity guest, and I loved Dave Grohl’s understated appearance. Even Frank Oz’s dreaded fart shoes joke was completely natural and felt very Fozzy.

If there’s anything about The Muppets that rings false, it’s the notion that the telethon would ever be a failure. The box office success of the film proves that you just have to say Muppets and people my age will say

Really in the end, all I need to say about The Muppets is that I went to see it with my parents and at the end of the movie they both left the theater saying it was the best movie they’d seen in years. It’s pure Muppets, and therefore Good.

Nov 042009

Google’s main page informs me that today is the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street. In honor of that momentous occasion, I present this retrospective from their 35th anniversary. Sadly I couldn’t find a good clip of just the opening.

And one more for good measure: