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Is there an overrated/underrated Muppet production?

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by minor muppetz, Jun 19, 2010.

  1. JJandJanice

    JJandJanice Well-Known Member

    I enjoyed Muppet Christmas Carol a lot, so even though I'll put that in as my vote for "most overratted" don't take it as I hate it. If there was a Muppet project I would give the "hate" nod to, it would probably be Wizard of Oz, which is a shame since I'm a fan of the Wizard of Oz and a HUGE fan of the Muppets.

    As for underratted, I guess my vote would go to "It's A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie" (ok so I went with two christmas themed ones). I thought it was pretty well done for what it was, and that's a "made for TV movie."
  2. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    Overrated: The Muppet Christmas Carol - This is the first film that the Muppets seem to be guest starring in the picture. Not even the ghosts or the townspeople are traditional Muppet characters. Jim and Frank knew that was the real magic of having Muppets in cinema was location shooting rather than the modified sound stages needed for television shoots. This causes the human actors to appear even more shoehorned into the puppety world of a television special. The subject matter required such a look and the result is beautiful, however I wish some of the somber bits had been diffused and more Fozzie, Electric Mayhem and general Muppet madness had been included. By the way, Michael Caine was the perfect choice for Scrooge.

    Underrated: Little Muppet Monsters - Yes, it was a train wreck, but the animated segments were the same quality as the acclaimed Muppet Babies. This show had so much potential for crazy fun and definitely had that 80's MTV VJ style down pat, yet it was never given the opportunity to grow. The ingredients were all there. It just needed a little better writing and direction.
    Drtooth and CensoredAlso like this.
  3. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    To this day, I'll never understand why Jim thought it was that bad. I liked the idea of Muppets hosting cartoons, especially the animated version of Pigs in Space. Too bad they couldn't pull a Star Trek and get the actual puppeteers to do the voice work for it.

    But the concept was done much better with better animation for the also underrated Dog City. I feel that went the extra step LMM didn't take, having the Muppet characters directly interact with the cartoon characters. Plus, better writing and animation over all.
    jvcarroll likes this.
  4. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    I know a ton of people who are in love with this movie and I'm glad they have it in their life...but I'm just not one of them, lol. It's a nice kid's movie, but it does not feel like a Muppet movie. It feels too childish to make me want to watch it at Christmas (Even Bear in the Big Blue House's Christmas special had more mature emotion for me). The Muppets felt forced into the characters and, with the exception of Michael Caine, the humans were just bland and forgettable.

    As far as underrated, I can't think of too many. The ones that deserve the praise generally tend to get it and the ones that don't, well they deserve that as well, lol.
  5. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Well, that's the problem with getting out of a show early on, because things usually tend to get better as time progresses, especially second seasons. I for one can't stand early Seinfelds before George became an insane jerk that had an outburst an episode.

    Too bad most of the audience felt the same way about MT. They really got into a groove the last season, especially during the last episodes. It really stinks they couldn't get the show to that quality earlier. They were clearly trying to do too many things, not much of which stuck, and too much of it fell flat early on.

    THANK YOU! Yeah. Those other humans were pretty much the focus of the movie at numerous points. I can forgive the Ghosts being new characters (especially Christmas Present), but they really should have made Scrooge's nephew (and his wife) a Muppet. Otherwise, those scenes he's in are useless. You don't really need the "we're making fun of Scrooge at a party" sequence... like I said before, Mickey's Christmas Carol didn't, and they had Donald Duck as the Nephew. That would have been funny. It just pads out time, like Belle's number.
    LouisTheOtter likes this.
  6. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Actually the townspeople are a mix of humans and Muppets, some traditional.The townspeople consisted of such characters as Pops, Droop, Lew Zealand, Sprocket, certain members of Geri and the Attrics, Link Hogthrob, Bobby Benson and his baby band, JP Grosse, George, and Boppity.
    Borples likes this.
  7. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    Sigh. Yes, I know some classic characters were peppered into the mix, but for the most part they were puppet and people extras. :sigh:
  8. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    They really went overkill on the other humans. Too bad they couldn't get any name actors (or even interesting ones) to balance the project out. Only actor I didn't like in MTI was Jim Hawkins.
    jvcarroll likes this.
  9. LouisTheOtter

    LouisTheOtter Well-Known Member

    Underrated: The Muppets Go To The Movies (we really need a special like this to keep the Muppets in the public eye before the next movie is released), The Jim Henson Hour (especially Dog City and its eventual animated spin-off), Muppets Tonight (which occasionally had bigger laughs than TMS, from where I sat), Muppets From Space (yes, it could have been better but I still enjoyed it), It's A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (featuring one of the best Whitmire Kermit performances and a lot of awesome Muppet Theatre moments), and Letters To Santa (with one of the best modern-day Muppet songs, "I Wish I Could Be Santa Claus," and some great classic Muppet nuttiness including Rudman as Scooter).

    Overrated: The Muppets Take Manhattan (parts of it were downright depressing, the Kermit-Piggy wedding never really worked for me, and don't get me started on the Muppet Babies), Muppet Babies (I TOLD you not to get me started!), and The Muppet Christmas Carol (too many humans in pivotal roles, as others have noted, and the whole thing seemed really dark for a Muppet movie).
    jvcarroll likes this.
  10. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Some parts were downright depressing and that's why I love it, because it had an incredible ability to tug at my heartstrings like very few movies have.

    But agree to disagree. :)
  11. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    Criticism of MTM may be unpopular among fans, and there are some great moments in it, but I found it too cloying and pandering in ways not seen in any Muppet production before or since. The brilliantly crafted Muppet Babies segment felt shoehorned in the picture in an attempt to launch the cartoon franchise and the marriage portion kind of jumps the shark. It's one of those things like Charlie Brown finally kicking the football that's never supposed to get a payoff. I truly believe this is one reason the public felt the Muppets were done and it took last year's movie to set things right. The rat sequence, Saying Goodbye and seeing the Muppets in NYC are all priceless moments. Nonetheless, it will always remain my least favorite of the original trilogy. (ducks and hides)

    I enjoyed MCC, but nothing beats seeing the Muppets cheerily singing Christmas tunes with John Denver in this fan's opinion.

    I do think the television specials are underrated. VMX shines brightest when the Muppets are on screen (without the mugging of David Arquette). This was a special for the grown ups who watched the Muppet Show in their childhood. I can appreciate that some fans were unsettled by the mature subject matter. It touched me. I wonder how LTS would have turned out if it hadn't been so rushed into production.
    LouisTheOtter likes this.
  12. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    I'll agree that there is a bit of that. But it doesn't ruin the movie for me. The writing is quality and that's what matters.

    All I can say, as a grown up who watched the Muppets in my childhood, is that this special gave me nightmares, lol. There was nothing mature in that special, just weakly written shock value. If I want something mature for grown ups I'll watch MTM. ;)

    But again, to each their own. :)
  13. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    It's funny you say that because I feel MTM is the Muppet film most aimed at kids. However, the music is wonderful! Oscar or not, no modern Muppet film has come close to the quality of the soundtracks from the original trilogy.

    VMX is a very important picture in the Muppets' universe because it shows how far they can go before stepping over the line. Some feel they step over it, but I don't see it that way considering that Miss Piggy's persona was originally based on a trucker transvestite.

    To each their own. Personally, KSY depressed me because, save a few brief moments, it kiddified something I hold so dear. The particular balance of maturity and humor of the Muppet Show gang is why I cherish them above Sesame and Fraggles. There were times when Rowlf went blue by slipping the B word into a conversation, Miss Piggy flirted with a practically naked, towel-clad dancer and Gonzo normalized his poultry fetish all under the direction of Jim Henson. Of course, that's not all they're about, but they used to not shy away from such extremes either. I like my Muppet humor robust like the old days.
  14. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    There's so many jokes in MTM that I didn't get at all when I was a child and I'm amazed at how much it didn't underestimate its audience. The Muppets were about mature adult humor from the beginning, long before VMX. They went that far and took those steps long ago. And VMX was an unsubtle, adolescent attempt to appear grown up.

    We're not going to agree so I guess it's best to move on to something we will agree with, hehe:

    MTM absolutely did deserve the Oscar for its soundtrack. At least they've finally gotten some of that recognition, even if it's for a different song. :)
  15. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    We're all fans here and have a million different perspectives. I feel completely differently. The only thing I missed from VMX was more songs! ;)
  16. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't want it any other way. :)
  17. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    In the end, the only Muppet/Henson productions I have little interest to watch again are KSY, EIG and MirrorMask. I guess that's actually a good thing considering the wide catalog of works! I'm not the greatest fan of Muppet Babies or MFS, but they hold enough entertainment value to me to experience on rare occasions.
  18. Muppet Master

    Muppet Master Well-Known Member

    • The Muppet Christmas Carol
    • Muppet Babies
    • The Muppets (2011)
    • It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie
    • Muppets Tonight
    • The Great Muppet Caper
    miss kermie likes this.
  19. LaRanaRene

    LaRanaRene Well-Known Member

    Muppets 2011 was definitely overrated. MMW should have gotten way more appreciation. Plus the title is terrible.
    panmanthe2nd likes this.
  20. Ladywarrior

    Ladywarrior Well-Known Member

    Muppet Babies *hides from angry fans*
    miss kermie and jvcarroll like this.

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