The new Muppet movie, which I am relieved to say is wonderful, is aimed squarely at three distinct audiences. First, of course, it’s for kids — today’s kids, who are vaguely aware of the Muppets but have not been given any first-rate Muppet experiences. Second, and maybe most of all, it’s…
Go read Noah Diamond’s post about The Muppets. I agree with every thing he said.
Two small additions: the most unsatisfying thing about the score were the amateur, barely-trying-to-rhyme lyrics. With so much fantastic songwriting talent out there, how did this happen? I know, the guy who wrote the songs has some kind of hipster cred because of Flight of the Concords but gah. Can you imagine how great it would have been to have a real Broadway songwriter (or team) tackle this material?
Someone else pointed out that it was awkward having Kermit as a supporting character, rather than a main character. This has been the case with every Muppet movie post-Manhattan, and I suppose it’s a way to help deemphasize the loss of Jim Henson. It always bothered me, in the same way the softening of Kermit over the years bothered me. (He used to get frustrated and stressed and yell at his friends. He didn’t do that in the ’90s films.)
Well, Kermit certainly got frustrated (even if he didn’t ever really yell) in this film. And I wonder if placing Kermit slightly off to the side was a necessity to bring him back to the center. This was a film of reintroduction. A sequel (or, dare I wish it, spin-off new Muppet Show tv series) is now free to put Kermit back in the center, right where he belongs. So I’m willing to give that a pass for this film if he’s back up front in the next.
Okay, one more small thing. Rizzo didn’t even get one real line in this film? WTF? I know he’s sort of the last of the core cast to become core cast, but if Wayne and Wanda can have lines, and if Bobo can have a role and Pepe can make a cameo, they couldn’t have found something for Rizzo to do? (I’m hoping that when the DVD arrives, we’ll have some Rizzo scenes in the extras. This film felt like it had a lot left on the cutting-room floor, which is fine by me, since it resulted in a lean, satisfying film.)