YouTube Cinema: The Muppet Movie (1979)

Patriotism swells in the heart of the American bear.

muppets01.pngFROM JASON’S HENSON HERO WORSHIP — Just let me brag for a minute. I have The Muppet Movie soundtrack on vinyl. Yes, I grew up listening to this masterpiece in glorious lo-fi bliss and I’ll challenge anyone in a Muppets lyrics showdown.

muppets02.pngIt’s a good thing that this music rocks, because the plot of The Muppet Movie is completely incidental. The entire film is just an excuse to lead from one variety show-style musical number to the next, giving a sketchy origin story for each of the main Muppets.

muppets03.pngBoiling it down: Kermit treks across the United States on his way to Hollywood to become a movie star, meeting fellow Muppets along the way. He gathers his posse one at a time, with a frog-legs lovin’ restauranter named Doc Hopper hunting him.

muppets04.pngNot only do we have the immortal Rainbow Connection, but when Kermit meets Fozzie they sing Moving Right Along, which I remember singing in second grade music class. As a married guy, the absolute best thing about The Muppet Movie is the Kermit/Rowlf duet I Hope That Something Better Comes Along:

You can’t live with ’em, you can’t live without ’em.
There’s somethin’ irresistabullish about ’em.
We grin and bear it ’cause the nights are long.
I hope that somethin’ better comes along.

muppets05.pngThere’s also substantial star power here. Not only do we have Jim Henson and Frank Oz, but the movie is chock-full of 70s celebs: Mel Brooks, Milton Berle, Dom DeLuise, Telly Savalas, Bob Hope, Elliott Gould, Steve Martin, Richard Pryor, and Orson Welles.

Behind the scenes, directors John Landis (Three Amigos, Animal House, Ferris Beuller’s Day Off) and Tim Burton (Edward Scissorhands, Beetle Juice, Batman) were both puppeteers.

I’ll admit The Muppet Movie doesn’t hold up 29 years after its release, except on a very nostalgic level. But if you don’t like it, you’re not my friend. Either get with Gonzo (clearly the best Muppet) or get off my Internets.

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3 Responses to YouTube Cinema: The Muppet Movie (1979)

  1. Noah Ginex says:

    Find me documentation that says Tim Burton was anywhere on that set.

    And I accept your lyrics challenge.

  2. Noah Ginex says:

    And, almost a year later, (Thanks, Google Alerts), I stand corrected.

    I just saw a showing of this in Chicago at a Henson Film Festival, and the cropping was all off, so there were hands and heads and cranes everywhere. It was glorious.

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