Two Things About “The Muppets” – Part Two

Published: December 16, 2011
Categories: Feature, Your Two Cents

Click here for part one!

Recently I asked YOU, the readers of this website, to share your thoughts on The Muppets in easily digestible form, by naming one thing you liked about it and one thing you didn’t. I got a lot of responses — so many that this is the second installment (which is why it’s called “Part Two!”).

Looking over everyone’s Things now, a few frequently repeated thoughts stand out. A lot of people had problems with Tex Richman, his motivation or lack thereof, and his song.  And a lot of people wished their favorite characters had more screen time.  Over on the “Things I Liked” side, most people love the musical numbers, especially “Life’s a Happy Song” and “Man or Muppet.” So it’s nice that we can all agree on a few things.

But what am I doing just telling you about it? See for yourself!

Ain't no flour in a hundred dollar bill!Shane Keating:
One thing I liked: Hearing the voices of the classic Muppeteers. Richard, Frank and Jim all in old footage and Jerry as the announcer. Plus, seeing Jim in Kermit’s office and on the light poles was perfect.

One thing I didn’t like: I’d have to say the sing-along lyrics for Tex Richman’s rap. If they only appeared on screen for a short time or if the characters reacted to them being there, they might have been funny. But otherwise, there was no reason for them.

Noah Ginex:
One thing I liked:  Matt Vogel.

One thing I didn’t like: the fact that the movie was like a slightly longer Robot Chicken episode.

Staci Rosen
I LIKED: That the Janice Moopet is heard in the background saying “for realies” instead of the real Janice’s “fer surrrre” at one point in the movie.

I DIDN’T LIKE: Several of the songs felt like stubs of songs. The sing-along lyrics during the rap were distracting.

Weston Long:
Good Thing: SO HARD to narrow it down… But the scene I found myself enjoying the most from my theater seat is “We Built This City” while everyone is cleaning up the theater. The Muppets are all together again, having fun and getting stuff accomplished the way they have so many times before. I know there were some complaints about this number, but I think it was done perfectly. I don’t know if I would have enjoyed it as much if the Muppets provided the vocals.

Not-So-Good-Thing: This is a very miniscule thing, seeing as I loved this movie so much, but after all of the hype, I would have loved to hear Thog say something.

Jason Highley:
Like: The opening scenes with Walter and Gary growing up

Didn’t like: The scene with Kermit and piggy in Paris

Quinn Rollins:
Liked: I thought the new characters of both Walter and 80’s Robot were both very funny, and nice, clever additions to the Muppet troupe.  I hope we see more of them.  I want toys.

Didn’t Like: I didn’t like Tex Richman’s rap number.  As a villain song, musically, or with the sing-along subtitles.  It just didn’t work for me.

Motion Picture Gems (probably not his/her real name):
Liked: The musical numbers.

Didn’t Like: Some celebrity cameos went by too quick.

Tanner Taylor:
One thing I like about the film is the music. 3 days after seeing the film I am still humming “Life’s a Happy Song,” “Man or Muppet,” and “Pictures in My Head”.

One thing I did not like about the film is that a lot of seen shown in the trailers and behind the scenes photos were cut out. Hopefully there will be a Blu-ray extended cut.

Yossi Horowitz:
Like: There’s a single, continuous shot, in which Kermit, who is not only a puppet but an arm-rod puppet, moves a lit match over to a candle, lights the candle, and blows out the match.

Didn’t like: Jason Segel doesn’t seem like the franchise-running type. He’s fulfilled his dream, and it’s possible that he’s now already said everything that he has to say about the Muppets. Maybe no one else can fill his shoes.

David Pierce:
I liked: Walter! In fact, I love him!

I didn’t like: Chris Cooper’s rap.

Okey, on my count this time!Scott Champion:
Like: So much to like/love, but the one thing that stands out was Steve Whitmire’s performance of Kermit.  There’s gotta be some award he could be nominated for somewhere out there.

Didn’t Like: Gonzo was hardly in the film, Pepe even less, and Rizzo was non-existent.  I know there are a lot of characters in the film, but Gonzo could have had more screen time.  But that’s such a minor complaint.  I trust that Gonzo, Pepe and Rizzo will get more screen time on the next movie.  And yes, I already assume there will be a next movie.

Dee Baughman:
Loved Human Walter.

Didn’t like that there was no little funny after the credits rolled.  (OK, there really wasn’t much I disliked, but we stayed to the end in hopes that there’d be some Gonzo with his trumpet or something.)

Carter (age 7):
Liked:  The music, especially “Life’s a Happy Song.” I’ve been singing it a lot.

Didn’t Like: There’s not as much science.  I wanted more Bunsen and Beaker, because we like science.

Steven Brandon:
GOOD: I think it’s the best Kermit that Steve Whitmire has ever done. Tone, personality, puppet work — he was great.

BAD: I thought the plot had all been done and seemed very TV movie, not THEATRICAL Movie.  The gang has split up and we have to get them back – we saw that in The Muppets Take Manhattan.  An evil human wants to destroy the theatre so we’ll put on a show – we saw that in A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie.

Alan Schecter:
One thing I liked:  References to The Muppet Movie (Mad Mad Mooney’s, The Standard Rich and Famous Contract, “The Rainbow Connection,” etc.)

One thing I didn’t like: The setting in the 50’s esque town.

D.W. McKim:
Liked: I had the hardest time narrowing down the list of things I loved to one, but it finally hit me today after a 14-hour-repeat-play of the soundtrack that the songs/music was one of the best elements.  I don’t remember any Muppet production that made me both laugh and cry as much throughout the show and the songs were a huge part of that.  Many songs cause me to tear up every single time I hear them:  “Pictures in My Head”, “Rainbow Connection”, “Man Or Muppet”, “Me Party” and “Life’s a Happy Song” … a song I would ordinarily DESPISE with every fiber of my being due to the premise of the song being totally opposite to real life experience but the Muppets’ performances (especially in the irresistible finale) redeemed it for me (somewhat).

I Didn’t Like: Empty Arches!  Once the trailer images surfaced, and the fans saw those empty arches in the Muppet Show Theme, we were all wondering (a) if they would REALLY be empty in the actual movie, and if so, why, or (b) what would ultimately end up IN those arches that the trailers were “obviously” saving as a special surprise that they weren’t  spoiling.  But then…the arches were really truly empty in the movie itself.  It just looked horribly awful and took away from my enjoyment of seeing what was sure to be the only ever big-screen version of the classic television series theme.  In the full cast shot, I could have even excused two empty arches as a sign that Bobo and Deadly should have ordinarily been there, but I really hated these images and i’m kind of hoping that if an Extended Special Director’s Cut Version of the movie comes out on home video that these shots get fixed.

Josh Folsom:
One thing I liked: The whole thing.

One thing I didn’t like: It ended.

Darrin Grantner:
One thing I liked: Jim Parsons’s awesome surprise cameo.

One thing I didn’t like: Not enough Pepe.

Sarah Grace:
One thing I liked: The reveal of Beauregard in the closet as the Muppets were cleaning up the Muppet Theater. Having him be clueless and biding his time just stuck in a room full of mops and brooms makes total sense, and his appearance is just one of many examples of how this movie fantastically spotlighted the less well-known characters, even if it was just for a quick gag.

One thing I didn’t like: The songs were too short and sometimes erratic. I feel like Tex’s rap was literally forty seconds long, although I am aware the full version is on the soundtrack. “Me Party” also seemed too short. Bottom line, some of the numbers seemed to be closer to a Sesame Street scene in length, rather than a musical number in a feature film.

My favorite part of the new movie had to be Rowlf’s retrieval story bit.

Least fav…. No Rizzo!

Cameron Garrity:
One thing I liked: The hammock scene in the Muppet Theater.  It was a really sweet moment between Kermit and Fozzie.  It was also nice to see they never fixed the hole in the ceiling left by the rainbow at the end of The Muppet Movie.

One thing I didn’t like: The cut version of Tex Richman’s song.  Fans were deprived of some major plot exposition, as well as an epic, Charles Grodin-esque operatic solo.

Lucas Ervin:
I loved: When all the Muppets held hands before walking onstage to sing “The Rainbow Connection”

I didn’t love: That the fake awards show and Kermit & Piggy’s breakup were taken out of the final cut.

Anthony Strand:
One thing I liked – [Most of] the songs! “Life’s a Happy Song” and “Pictures in my Head” are especially terrific. The latter makes me tear up every single time I hear the “Could we do it all again? Make ’em laugh like we did then?” line. It’s been a million years since we got Muppet music this good, and it makes me incredibly happy.

One thing I didn’t like – The more I think about it, the less I like how focused the movie is on Gary/Mary/Walter. I enjoy well enough the scenes before they get to Kermit’s house, but after that – every time the movie cuts back to Gary & Mary, it drags something awful. I get that it’s a generic old-fashioned romance by design, but it just comes across as mostly bland. At least Nicky Holiday was hilarious.

BJ Wanlund:
The thing I liked was the self-referential humor and inside jokes for us Muppet fans to get.

But the thing I REALLY disliked was the villain, Chris Cooper. I felt he was far too obvious of a villain, his motives were way obvious, his means were fairly devious, and it didn’t help that his big musical number so totally did not work for me.

David Lu:
I liked that 80s Robot has the potential to become a new one-note background character in the vein of Lew Zealand.

I dislike that Mary was nothing but a wet blanket, something to smush the dreams of the male characters.

Max Stein:
One thing I liked about the movie was Mad Man Mooney’s and Sons, and Sweetums running after the gang just like in the Muppet Movie.

One thing I didn’t like is that Janice didn’t get enough lines, and when she did speak, she didn’t really sound like herself.

David Hosay:
Liked (LOVED): The music.

Didn’t like: No Bean Bunny.

Michael Verdi:
What I didn’t like about the movie is that Pepe didn’t have a lot of lines. He happens to be one of my favorites, next to Kermit, Walter, and Gonzo. Pepe is always the funny one that can get away with saying or flirting that other Muppets couldn’t get away with. I really wished Pepe was more involved in the movie.

What I like about the movie is that all of us fans could relate to Walter. He’s sweet and is the biggest Muppet Fan just like all of us. He pretty much related with me and made me feel like I have a best friend that’s a Muppet. You don’t see this too often in a movie where a character just relates so much like no other movie character has ever related to you before. Walter basically now has a place in my heart and hope to see more of him in the future.

Lucas Ross:
Favorite thing: Seeing Kermit behind the “O” right before the show.

Least favorite thing: That it wasn’t another hour long.

Brock Eastman:

Disliked:  How in the Hugga Wugga did they miss the opportunity for an awesome new Electric Mayhem song during the theater cleanup?

Chase Beecher:
One thing I liked: Beau is still in the closet since The Muppet Show, clueless as ever.

One thing I didn’t like: We don’t hear Janice talk about her love for public nudity.

Joe Hennes:
Something I loved: The moment during “Man or Muppet” when Walter is playing the piano and makes eye contact with the audience as he sings, “I’m a very manly Muppet”.  It’s a cute moment in a great song, but it also reminds us that although Walter looks like a stuffed animal, he’s still a dude.  A manly dude.

Something I hated: The Swedish Chef’s twirly kicky thing during the kung-fu parody.  It’s possibly the only moment in the film when the puppet looks completely CGI’ed.  And they had done such a good job at using clever puppetry tricks up until then!  No twirly kicky thing is worth that.

Michal Richardson:
I dislike the treatment of Miss Piggy’s independence.  The frog may be her great love, but fame and adulation come in a close second.  The prim Chanel number – not to mention the hackneyed “I am WOMAN!” battle cry – doesn’t suit her.  (See what I did there?)  Miss Piggy promotes her own peculiar brand of feminism; pursuing Kermit figures into this, but a headline declaring that Piggy (at Kermit’s behest, no less) has agreed to stay out of the limelight does not.

I love how, as “Mahna Mahna” sounds its last flourish over the credits, Jason Segel gazes down, so thoroughly content, at the Snowths posing affectionately with him.  He somehow looks both like a man whose entire life has led inexorably up to this moment, and like a kid who, even now, can’t believe his good fortune.

One thing I liked: The inclusion of Uncle Deadly! He’s so often overlooked that I was very happy to see him be a featured villain.

One thing I didn’t like: It was a little too fourth-wall-breaking for me. Not bad but by the time Mary and Gary mentioned that they travelled by map near the end I just sort of rolled my eyes. I think for me it was just one joke too many on the subject.

One thing I didn’t like is that we didn’t get to see Jason Segel’s penis.

Tina Stannert:
At one point in the movie, I thought The Muppets were going to sing “Just One Person.” I am thankful they did not. I would have been a blubbering mess on the floor.

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by Ryan Roe –

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