A lesson in nostalgia

Published: Nov 26, 2011, 06:11 IST | Johnson Thomas |

This film is thematically one fan's personal journey from childhood infatuation to grown-up adoration

The Muppets

PG, Comedy/Musical

Cast: Amy Adams, Jason Segel, Chris Cooper, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy

Director: James Bobin

Rating: ***

This film is thematically one fan's personal journey from childhood infatuation to grown-up adoration. The Muppets is a professional and artistic collaboration, with Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and TV sitcom 'How I Met Your Mother'), a self-confessed Muppet lover, taking on the onus of co-scripting with Nicholas Stollier and co-starring with new Muppet Walter, in this nostalgia driven creation.

Segel in fact appears to have based the script on his own fascination with Jim Henson's puppet creations that appears to have transcended the barriers of progressive intelligence and maturity. And for those watching reruns of 'How I Met Your Mother,' this really won't come as any surprise. Segel's man-child persona in the series appears to have followed him to the big-screen too, in this seventh Muppet feature where Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and friends come right back into the spotlight.


'The Muppets' opens with a singing introduction of the newest Muppet, Walter, who happens in a sense, to be Segel's alter-ego and the Muppets' biggest fan. The opening prologue showcases shy, awkward Walter's discovery of the Muppets and their magical hues. Jason Segel's character Gary, a sort of human brother to Walter, is also shown as growing up with the Muppets. Gary and Mary (Amy Adams), his girl friend of 10 years, head to Los Angeles for a week's vacation with Walter tagging along, all eager to visit Hollywood's iconic Muppet Studios. But the studio is in disrepair, the Muppets magic has dulled to anonymity. Walter also learns about Tex Richman (Chris Cooper)'s schemes to seize the property in order to prospect for oil.


It's a quaint world, an existence where the long illustrious history of The Muppets gets due acknowledgement through montage heavy jokes and 'map' travelling. The old and familiar regains it's lost glory while the new, mirrors the age-old fascination with renewed vigour. This film rendition is fashioned as a musical with interlocking song and dance numbers, other new tunes including musical director, Bret McKenzie's ballad that asks, "Am I a man or am I a Muppet", Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" arranged like a barbershop quartet and villain Chris Cooper's contemporary rap number that elevate the sing-song narrative, striking a chord among the old fans and the new.


Celebrity cameos from the likes of Rashida Jones, Jack Black, Alan Arkin, Emily Blunt, Ken Jeong, Sarah Silverman and Zach Galifianakis add star wattage to the enthralling show. The humour is all concentrated around the Muppets' past experiences and their fans' nostalgic memories.

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