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Muppet Wizard of Oz - Positives and Negatives

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by Mo Frackle, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    Okay, we all know the drill. In your opinion, what are the positives of MWoO? What are the negatives? (Please try not say everything about the movie was negative, unless you truly can't think of anything else).

    Positives:
    - The sets are nice, even if some of them are phony CGI/greenscreen.
    - Pepe steals the show, as always. BUT, I think that can also be a negative (see below).
    - Gonzo getting Fozzie across the log.
    - Statler and Waldorf as the "Kalida Critics"
    - Pepe calling Sam "Big Bird"
    - "Are you by any chance realted to Frank Oz?"
    - "Gallyo! Hoo Hoo!" snuck its way into the opening of the forest scene.
    - Johnny and Sal steal every scene they're in.
    - The return of some of the pirates from MTI.
    - The return of Crazy Harry (though he did appear in the background of other productions, and had bits in a few video games).
    - Possibly the first time in awhile that everyone in the Electric Mayhem had something to say.
    - Clifford and Mulch make cameos.
    - Pepe talking to Eisener on the phone.
    - David Alan Grier, Queen Latifah, and Jeffrey Tambor (need I say more?).
    - "He's not a shrimp, he's a king prawn!"
    - "But most of all, I am naked, h'okay!"
    - All of Bunsen's and Beaker's scenes.
    - Fozzie as the lion.
    - Miss Piggy as all four witches.

    Negatives:
    - Ashanti. I'm sorry. She's a beautiful gal and has a great voice, but she's no actress. Also, while she seemed to enjoy working with the Muppets, is it just me or does it seem like she doesn't have much chemistry with them?
    - Quentin Tarantino's cameo. Big Lipped Aligator moment reaches a new height.
    - The songs are only so-so.
    - Getting back to Pepe, while I love him and do think he saves much of this movie, I found myself becoming rather annoyed by him during the latter half of the movie. I felt like he was getting a little too much attention. For that matter, why is Pepe the only one of the main characters who gets funny lines? Sure, Fozzie has his usual shtick, but give Kermit and Gonzo something.
    - Could have benefited from other character getting more to do.
    - While there are some nice 'in-character' moments (mainly from the supporting characters), there seems to be a lack of the usual Muppet-style humor. Instead, there seems to be a lot more Dreamworks style humor.
    - Overall, while there are several good little moments, overall the film could have been A LOT better. While it's extremely unlikely, I would be curious to see what James Bobin and Nick Stoller could do with the Muppets in the WoO world.

    That's all I got now. Maybe I'll think of more.
  2. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Yeah pretty much. The only thing I enjoyed of MWoO was a very impressive Scooter. ;)
  3. Vincent Liu

    Vincent Liu Well-Known Member

    I'll throw "Miss Piggy as all four witches" and Pepe on the phone in negative. Gonzo's cell-phone nose joke is also negative.
  4. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah, forgot about a few in-betweens.

    - I guess I'll put the songs in here.
    - "Nothing, those are my nipples". Yeah, I know Dave Goelz suggested this gag, but I'm still not sure what to make of it. I guess I can consider it a positive. After all, it is fully in character for Gonzo and Pepe. Gonzo seeing those "buttons" as something totally normal, while Pepe feels complete dirty about what he just did. And Gonzo's line "Jeez, what a weirdo" tops it.
  5. MissMusical12

    MissMusical12 Well-Known Member

    Other than "The Witch Is In The House" I didn't really like the songs so much in Muppets Wizard of Oz, in my opinion.
  6. Muppet fan 123

    Muppet fan 123 Well-Known Member

    Positives:
    It Ended

    Negatives:
    Everything else
  7. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    Aw come on, somebodys got to have something good to say about this movie. I completely forgot about the few decent things in this movie until I rewatched it recently. I know it's not easy getting through it, but there is a possibility that if you haven't seen the flick in years and rewatch it, it might just be slightly better than you thought. Not much, though. In fact I admit that I didn't even get through the movie all the way through last time.
    Muppet fan 123 likes this.
  8. Scooterforever

    Scooterforever Active Member

    To this day I still refuse to see MWoO, so I guess I can't say much other than that I think it's an abomination. It's right up there with "It's a Very Merry Muppets Christmas" in terms of tasteless, inappropriate gags and terrible cameos by celebrities.
  9. anytimepally

    anytimepally Active Member

    This is one of my favorite scenes!

    Other things I liked:
    Johnny & Sal (hopefully, they'll come out of retirement in the future)
    Scooter was great.
    Camilla's importance to the story (also funny when the Wizard tries to temp Gonzo as a chicken)
    Pepe, except for the cell phone

    Things I didn't like:
    Statler & Waldorf. Usually, they are among the highlights of any Muppet production. Here, none of their jokes were funny.
    Fozzie's Voice
    Jeffery Tambor. Outside of having already been in Muppets from Space, I simply do not like him in anything. He's not a very good actor, and he's never funny.
    No use of Rowlf, especially after they' finally let him talk in the Very Merry Christmas Movie a few years earlier.

    That's all I can think of for now. I haven't seen it in a while.
  10. Vincent Liu

    Vincent Liu Well-Known Member

    Don't forget the unisex penguins:zany:! I loved that.
  11. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    Muppet Wizard of Oz is not really just a bunch of scenes thinly stitched together. Some scenes worked, others didn't. Middling it the perfect word for what happened. They either needed to invest more money in it or scale it back and create a more traditional television special. The mushy in-between just seems uncomfortable for audience and performer alike.

    It needed music. Real music.

    To be honest, I think Brian Henson would have done a better job directing this piece. He's proven himself in both tv and film. He would have been a perfect fit.

    Ashanti's role should have been recast or at least she should have taken part in some workshops with the Muppeteers. I'm not saying that they should have used American Idol's cast-offs, but even they could have done a better job. 11th hour recasts are not uncommon and there was no lack of talent or interest.

    The computer graphics were just lazy. Beautiful puppets or miniatures could have been constructed at a fraction of the cost.

    I loved Miss Piggy's biker witch and minions. She was wasted on this film. This is one case when the project could have actually used more Miss Piggy!

    Mo is right. Kermit and Gonzo aren't given anything funny to do or say. Well, except for that nipples line that seems to have come out of Goelz' desperation to have something strange and interesting for Gonzo speak. That's actually my favorite line in the movie! Kermit takes on this bland Mickey Mouse icon sort of role instead of the funny frog I grew up with. It makes no sense.

    Those were just a few thoughts off the top of my head.
    Muppet fan 123 likes this.
  12. rexcrk

    rexcrk Active Member

    Wizard of Oz is probably my least-watched of all the Muppet movies... that's not to say I didn't like it, but just not as much as some of their other stuff.

    I gotta say that probably the stand-out thing for this movie was Scooter's performance! The performer (Ricky Boyd right?) did such an impressive job I thought.

    And I loooooved Johnny and Sal in this, how come they're not around anymore?! If it's because Brian doesn't perform anymore they coud always recast Sal.
  13. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    Yep, that was Rickey Boyd.

    And yes, the lack of Johnny and Sal is because of the lack of Brian Henson. I suppose they could recast Sal. Maybe Tyler Bunch would be a good fit?
    jvcarroll and beatnikchick300 like this.
  14. CaseytheMuppet

    CaseytheMuppet Well-Known Member

    Well, I can't say it's my favorite, but I still like it.
  15. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    Sorry I can't give any positives to this film whatsoever! I'd rather watch MFS if I had to choose between the two and even that's stretching it. Only thing MWO makes me wanna do is use it for target practice. At least with MFS they weren't playing storybook characaters.
    heralde and Muppet fan 123 like this.
  16. DannyRWW

    DannyRWW Well-Known Member

    I don't know I feel that the whole Ashanti thing and her character kind of dragged down the whole movie...not that Dorothy had to be a muppet......but she kind of overwhlemed the Muppets like she was saying Look at me I'm a star ignore the muppets...and that kind of ruined it for me...I mean take a look at Muppet Treasure Island...again not my favorite Muppet movie but the human lead seemed more passive and Tim Curry is practically a muppet anyways...in bits and pieces there are things I like about the movie...Piggy as the Withc of the west is funny..and I like how she is disolved by using regular water (the actual disolving is disturbing though).......I also like Pepe in this....his little snide side remarks work well because lets face it we all feel a little snarky about this movie...a pepe commentary track for this would be fun " An d this is where I almost walked because of lameness, okay. But they offered me more monies...so I stayed."
  17. DannyRWW

    DannyRWW Well-Known Member

    oh and I think Queen Latifah desreves a better Muppet Cameo than this
  18. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    There's so much to take in here that I might as well go the route not taken.

    Why the heck did they do Muppet Wizard of Oz, another tale told too many times by too many people, when they had much better scripts and concepts in the wings? At best this was going to be below MCC and MTI in quality, and it was a huge step back in the wrong direction, after the Muppets re-established themselves with MFS and VMX. While I think MFS was completely flawed, it at least was a step in the right direction of not having the franchise be entirely based on classic retellings. The Muppets certainly didn't need another project where they're second and third to humans playing the top roles in these stories. Even then, Micheal Cain and Tim Curry can actually act.

    Basically everything in this movie that made it suck outweighed the positives. I don't really think the gambit of having Piggy as the bad guy worked that well. It made the film even more unbalanced.
  19. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    All in all this movie was A BIG EPIC FAIL!!!!
    heralde likes this.
  20. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    Personally, I wouldn't call it a big epic fail. Mostly an epic fail, yes. But after rewatching it recently, I did notice that there were a few things that weren't that bad. Specifically, certain character moments.


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