When it comes to the world of Jim Henson’s Muppets, there are two camps: those who love the fresh, anarchic world the Muppets embody and those who’s gnarled, warped souls prevent them from recognizing how awesome the Muppets really are. The fact that Fox News, the home of the most gnarled, warped souls the US has to offer went against the 2011 Muppet movie only backs up my point.
Sorry to tip my hand so early, but I love the Muppets. They helped bridge the gap children’s programming like Henson’s own Sesame Street and adult programming. Sesame Street hoped to be educational and fun, and while adults could watch it with their children without wanting to give themselves an ice pick lobotomy, they were hardly the target audience. Much of this stems from Sesame Street’s need to teach a lesson and promote the values most needed for socially developing children. The Muppet Show, and the Muppets in general, had no such ambitions. As their theme song indicated, they were just there to put on a show. They wanted to entertain you, and if everything fell apart along the way– if sets collapsed, hosts refused to play along, or jokes fell flat–well, that was just part of the charm. They were anarchy personified in fuzzy, felt forms.
No matter how much good-natured, show runner Kermit tried to keep everything from descending into pure chaos, madness was usually the order of the day. When one enters the world of the Muppets, the line between child humor and adult humor is erased (or blown up if Crazy Harry has his way), and it’s the reason their popularity endures.
Until November of 2011, Disney had allowed the Muppets to lie dormant, gathering dust, because they had no idea what to with the property (except for a 3-D show at Disney World). However, Jud Apatow regular and How I Met Your Mother star Jason Segal, who’d loved the Muppets since childhood, revived the dormant property with the incredibly charming, loving, and nostalgic film, The Muppets. Mixing the “let’s put on a show” mentality that personified the best of the Muppets’ films with absurdist, fourth wall shattering humor, it put the Muppets back on Disney’s radar, and even though Segal would no longer be involved, a sequel was a given. Director James Bobin, best known for assisting Sasha Baron Cohen with the creation of Da Ali G Show and the characters that went along with it, made his feature film directing debut with The Muppets, and now he’s back, along with screenwriter Nicholas Stoller (not Jason Segal, alas), and musician Bret Mackenzie (best known as 1/2 of the duo Flight of the Conchords) with Muppets Most Wanted.
Even though it’s not set to hit theatres until next year, we have a trailer. Check it out below:
Normally, when I discuss a trailer, I attempt to dissect the plot the trailer is presenting and whether or not the film looks like it will work. Attempting to do that to a Muppet movie seems like an exercise in soul-crushing futility. All I see is Modern Family’s Ty Burrell as a mustachioed, French police officer, Tina Fey as an angry Russian prison guard, and Scooter singing Maroon 5’s “Moves Like Jagger” while backed by a penguin chorus.
We also seem to have Ricky Gervais, Sean Combs, a Muppet trek through the desert, and general ensuing insanity.
A trip to Wikipedia tells me the film’s about a Muppet European tour gone wrong, when it is discovered Kermit is a near-exact replica of a criminal mastermind called Constantine. But you won’t get that from the trailer, and let’s be honest here, why are you wanting to know the plot of a Muppet movie? The plot’s really just there for a series of gags and celebrity cameos, and that’s the way it should be.
Mistaken identities and hilarity no doubt ensues, but anarchy will probably be the reigning motif. Though hearing that this is a caper picture brings forth images of The Great Muppet Caper, the weakest of the original Muppet films, I remain optimistic that the film will keep both the Muppet’s humor and “anything goes” sensibility and ensure a great time is had by all. Time will tell, but I like to think it will be inspirational, celebrational, and Muppetational.
So, what do you think guys? Are you excited for another outing with the Muppets? Are you soulless wonders who cannot stand them? Let us know in the comments!