by Alan Mowbray
The Muppets have not seen the big screen since 1999's Muppets from Space, so Jim Henson's lovable creatures were long overdue to return to the cineplex.
In The Muppets, a fan named Walter (voiced by Peter Linz, It's A Big Big World) is on a backlot tour at the old Muppet Studios while on vacation in Los Angeles with his brother, Gary (Jason Segel, How I Met Your Mother), and Mary, Gary's girlfriend (Amy Adams, Julie & Julia).
No longer in business, the Muppets have all moved on—scattering to the ends of the earth to pursue their dreams, leaving the studio to slowly rot in disrepair. After sneaking off during the tour to take a closer, unauthorized look at Kermit the Frog's former office, Walter is almost discovered by ornery, disagreeable old Muppet characters Stadtler and Waldorf as they conduct the surreptitious presale of Muppet Studios to oilman Tex Richman (Chris Cooper, The Bourne Supremacy) who, unbeknownst to them, has discovered oil under the property and plans to tear the studio to the ground and drill.
After Walter informs Gary and Mary of the plot, they decide to go find Kermit and tell him of the impending sale. Kermit decides that if they can put on one more show and raise $10 million, they could make enough money to save Muppet Studios. All they have to do is round up the rest of the Muppets. The Great Gonzo is the CEO of Gonzo's Royal Flush, where they make toilets. Fozzie Bear performs in a Reno casino with a group of Muppet impersonators called the Moopets. Animal works at a celeb anger management center. On the other side of the pond, Miss Piggy is a plus-size fashion editor for Vogue Paris a la The Devil Wears Prada.
Can they pull together a show in time to save the old theater? Hilarity ensues. We've all grown up with The Muppet Show or its reruns. We know what to expect. This is classic Muppets, and it doesn't disappoint. Yes, the humor is corny. Yes, there are Muppets flying through the air, crashing into things, explosions, comic fighting and general goofiness. If you're looking for serious, you won't find a drop of it anywhere in this tale.
Rated PG for some mild rude humor, The Muppets is a good movie. It has a message about love and friendship, and loyalty and belonging—even if you're a little different. Watch The Muppets. With your kids. Make popcorn. Have fun.
The 3-Disc "Wocka-Wocka Value Pack" features "The Longest Blooper Reel Ever Made (In Muppet History," "A Hasty Examination of the Making of Disney's The Muppets" and popular theatrical spoof trailers.
Content Watch: The Muppets contains the mildest of questionable language. There is some mild name calling. A hippie-looking Muppet says "Life is full of highs." The kidnapping of a celebrity to host the Muppets' telethon is played up for laughs.
Alan Mowbray is a husband, father of two children and technical writer for an Orlando, Fla., area software company. Visit his blog by clicking here.