Our muppetlicious reviewer, A Womanly Muppet, gladly took up the challenge to take on our long lost furry friends.
Here’s what she had to say!

Ask yourself … Would you rather spend Thanksgiving with your family? Answering questions about whether or why you have that girlfriend/kid/job and why you don’t call more often? Or would you rather spend it with your long-lost childhood friends? Laughing, singing, dancing, remembering how awesome it is being a kid. Exactly! So ditch that turkey and get yourself to the nearest big screen this holiday weekend to see the new Muppet movie. You will leave the theater humming the new songs, Ma Nah Ma Nah-ing at the most inopportune (and in-appropriate) times, integrate “Maniacal laugh! Maniacal laugh!” into your daily vocabulary and run home to preorder the soundtrack from iTunes, so that the sing-along fest can go on forever.
Eh … okay, so maybe that’s just me. Yeah, I am a Muppet fan. But really, if you grew up watching The Muppet Show in its original run in the late- seventies and early-eighties or later in syndication, how could you not be?

Sadly, we’ve all waited a long time for this movie. Just like we, the Muppets seemed to stumble through their early adolescence and the past 20 years were filled with awkwardness and embarrassment. We could only imagine the unimaginative studio pitches of the 1990s Muppet movies (“Picture this: Kermit the Frog as … Bob Cratchit!” and “Pirate Muppets!”). We were shocked when catching a few moments of Muppets Tonight (which aired from 1996 – 1998), and seeing Statler and Waldorf in a retirement home. In 1999 we didn’t even bother going to the theater to see Muppets in Space. And we missed the 2005 Muppet variation on the Wizard of Oz completely, only to learn about its existence years later, while flipping channels. We did not linger long … The Muppets had lost its main audience. And frankly, this Muppet fan had lost hope that one of the best shows on earth could be resurrected again. They had changed and morphed so much that we did notrecognize the friends we found in them anymore.

Cue Jason Segal (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, How I Met Your Mother) and Nicholas Stoller (Get Him To The Greek, Yes Men). And a Disney studio that for once called off its research and marketing department and let the creatives make the movie they wanted, focus groups and merchandise revenue be damned (although Segal did admit in an interview that at an earlier meeting a Disney exec did ask which part of the script would make a good theme-park ride).
The movie introduces us to Walter (Peter Linz, voice), who really is just the personification of every Muppet-fan. Walter grew up in a human family watching The Muppet Show with his human brother and best bud Gary (Segal) and dreaming of going to Hollywood to see the Muppet Studios. Tagging along on the anniversary trip of Gary and Mary (Amy Adams), Walter finally fulfills his dream to tour the Muppet studio, only to find it in shambles and in danger of destruction by the villain of the movie, Tex Richman (Chris Cooper). Of course, the only way to save the studio is to assemble the gang once more and to put on a show.
From the very beginning, the movie captures you with all that was awesome about The Muppet Show and the early Muppet movies. It’s cheery, colorful, up-beat and feel-good, but all the smiley faces and sweetness is cut with pokes, gags and muppety silliness , preventing it from feeling insincere or gimmicky (with one exception, more on that later). It is pretty clear who Segal, and Stoller had in mind for an audience when they wrote this movie. This is a Muppet movie made by fans, for fans old and … new. The original Muppet fans get to hear the music from their youth … albeit Muppified. Prepare to hear Nirvana like you never heard it before and see and hear Segal rock out to an eighties rock-ballads, including eighties rock-balled-hand-gestures. The pint to Fozzie-sized Muppet fans, are catered with what is without a doubt the best version of Cee Lo Green’s famous tune (don’t worry, it’s a PG-rated movie).

The only time a musical number fell flat was during the rap-number, performed by Chris Cooper, the villain of the movie. Where every other song-and-dance number had the audience cracking up and tapping along, when this song started it became quiet as the unimaginative and uninspiring performance painfully moved along. You could almost hear the echo of the Disney research and marketing department execs. It’s a sorry excuse for rap and I am sure Segal and Stoller could’ve called upon a number of rap artists and producers, many of an age which makes them bound to be Muppet fans, to assist him with this number and give it some street-cred. But that is but a minor WTF?!-moment in an otherwise amazing, funny, heartfelt and Muppety movie, where the Muppets take center stage and do what they do best: put on a show! Waka Waka Waka!!!!
Oh….and yes, you can go see this movie with your kids. Even if they suffered through a Muppet-deprived childhood – unless you are as awesome a parent as my brother who bought the entire Muppet Show series on DVD for his kids – and don’t know any of the characters, they will love the movie. But take them the second time. The first time, rally up your best and most Muppety friends, don the pink and pearls in honor of Miss Piggy (or put on that Animal t-shirt) go see The Muppets. You’ll exit the theater singing the new tunes as you all remember those awesome nights your feet started wiggling when it was time to play the music and light the lights.

http://disney.go.com/muppets/

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