The Muppets (2011) Directed by James Bobin. With Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Peter Linz, Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson, Rashida Jones and Jack Black.
There comes a time in your life when you look back and realise you’ve moved on from the things you held dear as a child. Sometimes you revisit these things, only to find they aren’t as good as you remember to the point where you almost wish you’d left those cherished memories alone to exist through the rose tinted spectacles with which you’d always viewed them. This is not one of those experiences.
For anyone around up in the ’70’s and ’80’s, The Muppets was prime-time viewing for all the family – a lively and colourful Saturday evening variety show that aimed to please a wide demographic and became a huge franchise, spawning spin-offs and merchandising that charmed its way into our popular culture. In truth, The Muppets have never really been away, they’ve just been dangling in the background. What this film aims to do, is bring them back to the fore once again by targeting the affections of adults and children alike. It’s with great satisfaction that I can say the film succeeds brilliantly.
Not only does it re-introduce the characters to a new generation of kids, it plays as a beautifully made piece of nostalgia for those who remember it fondly the first time around. For anyone familiar with the structure of films, there are knowing nods in which characters utter lines like ‘cue the montage scene‘, or make remarks about exposition -almost as if the film itself is the Muppets putting on one of their own elaborate stage productions. Actors Jason Segel and Amy Adams add an impossibly happy charm, that, coupled with lively song and dance routines, add to the film’s optimistic feel-good factor. It’s time to play the music, it’s time to light the lights, it’s time to get excited for the Muppet Show tonight. Jim Henson would be proud, don’t miss it! 4/5