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Muppets Most Wanted: What went wrong?

Discussion in 'Classic Muppets' started by dwayne1115, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    That's a good point--suspending disbelief vs diminishing the characters.

    I'd be disappointed if he stayed having amnesia by the end. ;)

    MTM is a different kind of Muppet movie, no doubt. If you stumbled upon it on TV, in a random non-Muppets scene, you'd probably think it was a grown up '80s comedy. I appreciate that they had enough faith in the Muppets to have them pull off both the gentle social commentary and angsty drama. They were never in an environment that felt that real in tone again. You know, Jenny talks to Kermit like he's a real person. Whereas Tina Fey hams it up like a cartoon villain (or a latter day SNL cast member :p).
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2015
  2. Ladywarrior

    Ladywarrior Well-Known Member

    I still say the muppets acted a bit too selfish in MMW. I mean... they all seemed so focused on what THEY wanted, not on what people would enjoy seeing. I mean a four hour drum solo? sending REAL bulls through a theater? Now if the bulls had been muppet bulls it would have been really funny. I know gonzo is a maniac sometimes but it felt... weird.
    and I know the mayhem sometimes does weird things but I can't really picture them wanting animal to have a four hour drum roll. I am pretty sure one of them would talk animal out of it.
     
    heralde likes this.
  3. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Regarding the Kermit/Constantine thing....

    Characters think Kermit is Constantine when he appears to have the mole, while they think Constantine is Kermit when the mole is covered. Most characters don't see a resemblance otherwise. I wonder how Constantine figured out the resemblance (or was it Dominique who figured it out?). Even at the wedding, when the Muppets see two Kermit's, they don't seem to know the other Kermit is Constantine until he removes the make-up to them.

    But Nadya seems aware. Maybe it's because of all her Kermit pictures, but when Kermit is in the gulag, she asks him if he's not Constantine why he has the mole. As if Constantine is the only frog who can have a mole. And what if Kermit suddenly grew an actual mole on his face?

    Also, when Sam and Jean Pierre find Kermit and Fozzie at the wedding, Sam identifies Kermit as Constantine, even though his fake mole was covered in make-up. He didn't seem to think Constantine was Kermit when he questioned him earlier, didn't seem to be aware of the resemblance (and never talks about Constantine beforehand), and of course had no idea Constantine was involved with the Muppets.

    Also interesting how we never officially hear whether Dominic's last name really is pronounced Badguy or Badghee. When Nadya reads a newspaper article on the Muppets and mentions Dominic, she pronounces it as it's written. Wouldn't it have been funny if she had pronounced the last name the way he had told the Muppets it was, or if Kermit "corrected" her. Also, how come Constantine wasn't in that group picture, while Dominic was? Dominic was just the tour manager, he didn't perform on stage during the tour, and everyone thought Constantine was Kermit, so surely he should have been there.
     
  4. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    They didn't "make my dreams come true." LOL! ;)

    But seriously, there's no excuse for such poor animation or for the shrill voice artistry.
     
  5. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Well I won't make excuses for the animation (apart from, "Duh, it was the '80s!" :p). Ironically though, my father, of all people, was always praising the show for its episodes that paid tribute to classic art and animation, lol.
     
  6. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    I won't give the animation a pass considering higher quality 80's programs like Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Smufs and Ducktales. However, I commend their blending of film footage, the original songs and the initial character design. But the program really watered down the brand and is a key reason why TM was necessary.
     
  7. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Technically Alvin and Ducktales did have better motion. I'm not sold on Smurfs though. Character wise they were all great shows, of course.

    There we will never agree, lol. MFS is why TM was necessary.
     
  8. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    I guess one could debate anything, but that's a fact in the world of product development, branding and marketing and that's what drives the entertainment industry.
     
  9. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Can I just say this discussion makes me long for another bad MWOO style classic retelling? At least we can be in agreement about what makes a movie suck then.

    Seriously, I don't want to say some of the complaints sound...off... but I'm getting hints of foolish nitpickiness. Yeah, I get the whole "this is the worstest movie ever because the Muppets were stupid/selfish" bit... however

    I HATE the whole "the movie was bad because my favorite character wasn't in it" logic. That just breaks my brain. Lips's biggest role ever was in GMC and he was never seen again except for a brief cameo in the Disney World special. We then went 3 whole movies where the entire band was shoved into the background. One they didn't even perform. Their spot in VMX was cut because a bunch of busybodies whined about Snoop Dogg who has since been in a certain kid's movie as a talking snail. One of the few good things I can say about MWOO was that they had 2 numbers. Like the two only measurably decent songs in that musical crapfest. they didn't really sing much but they were at least there.

    I agree. Sucks they couldn't fit any EM numbers in the last 2 films, but at least they weren't reduced to one word cameos. And remember, we loved those one word cameos. They were the greatest thing to us back before we got permanent recasts.

    Seriously. Bring on the Simpsons cast off writer scribed, stunt casted human, overused story retelling that will excite and entertain no one. That's certainly what we would have gotten. Hip and Edgy Muppets far more disrespectful than the ones used in a parody cliche plot.
     
  10. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Between GMC and the Disney World special, Lips was also seen in MTM (at the wedding), the 30th anniversary special, and A Muppet Family Christmas (where his screen time almost equals that of GMC). Two out of three of those had him as a member of the Electric Mayhem.
     
  11. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    You're missing his point.
     
  12. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Exactly. Lips was never prominent. I could put out a big long list of how many tertiary characters were actually seen in movies and to what capacity. Wait, wasn't Lips actually in MMW?

    Then, there's Robin who was only in 4 movies (including MMW), and the only time he wasn't a one-two line cameo was when he played Tiny Tim.

    The problem is, the Muppets are loads and loads of characters. Numbers work better over the course of a TV series than in 80-90 minutes of film. That's when a smaller group works best. TMM essentially had only Kermit, Fozzie, Piggy, Gonzo and Camilla, The Electric Mayhem and Scooter, Rowlf, a very small part with Sweetums, and then Bunsen and Beaker at the end of the movie for a few minutes. But mostly Kermit, Fozzie and Piggy. Everyone else had small cameos in the theater watching the film. GMC had many more characters, and somehow they made the bigger numbers fit (but there are still a lot of faces missing). MTM went back to a smaller core cast of the main 4, the band, and Scooter (minus the new characters) with a couple others as cameos.

    And while I applaud both TM and MMW for putting as many Muppets as possible into the film, but they do come just short of being too busy. It may not seem like they had restraint, but they did. Just barely.
     
  13. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    The lack of characters wasn't my problem. Just lack of characterizations. ;)
     
  14. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    He had said that Lips wasn't seen again after Caper until Walt Disney World. I was correcting him.

    When it comes to MTM having a smaller group of main characters involved, I'm starting to wonder if that was due to GMC not doing as well as TMM at the box office. It's been said that because of that, MTM had less of the kind of humor found in GMC and more heart, I've read that Frank Oz decided on that, but I wonder if that made him decide to include less characters in the main cast. I wonder how many Muppets were among the main cast in The Cheapest Muppet Movie script.

    In the movies, the Muppets are normally the focus of their scenes. When characters just appear in the background, it's in certain group scenes or scenes that obviously have big crowds of Muppets. Most of the movies had places like these. TMM had the screening room (and the finale), GMC had the Happiness Hotel (and most of the residents joined the Muppets on stopping the enemies, in addition to riding bikes and falling off the plane), MTM had Manhattan Melodies, and MFS had the boarding house (as well as the beach, but unfortunately the human extras outnumber the Muppets there). MCC and MTI both took place in worlds where Muppets were seen among the streets, along with human extras. Meanwhile, the last two movies are like a hybrid of TMS and the movies, with the theater and world tour being used to allow for a lot of characters to appear throughout.
     
    Duke Remington likes this.
  15. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    If that's the case, they haven't been written right for years.
     
  16. Ladywarrior

    Ladywarrior Well-Known Member

    Well maybe they haven't. I wouldn't know since dr. teeth hasn't had a major speaking role since jim henson was alive.
     
  17. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    So the litmus test for you is not bothering to see the difference in quality between the first 3 films and the subsequent 3 after Henson. It takes a long time to recast a character. Not as long now, since even SW thinks of the future and has understudies. The fandom rejoiced in MFS when Dr. Teeth said "Shalom," his first line since Henson's death. Now they have full lines. Just not full songs.

    I'd say that MCC and MTI managed to have some subtly towards Kermit, and he was pretty much himself playing someone else in those films, Kermit really didn't get back his Kermitness until VMX. Hasn't quite lost it since. If anything, TM and MMW got him right, even with TM's lost all confidence Kermit.

    I really do like MFS, I really do. But I'll see you're "the Muppets were stupid and selfish in MMW" and raise you MFS Kermit.

    One of his closest friends is feeling horribly depressed and lonely. He seems much more concerned about painting the house than Gonzo. His romantic interest has a job at a strangely specific news show. Does he rally all the other Muppets to come back during the day when they randomly disappeared to support Piggy's new career? Nope. House painting and playing cards. Sure, he goes to rescue Gonzo at the end, but without zest or urgency. He can't even be bothered to do the film's commentary. Now, I know it's a Gonzo based film where newer characters had their time to shine. But you could do the entire film without Kermit and it would have been exactly the same.

    That's head canon now. Gonzo knew Constantine wasn't Kermit, but was passive aggressively ignoring it because of the lack of sympathy Kermit had when he was going through a rough patch. ;)
     
  18. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    And I've pointed that out for years. ;)

    Lol, that works! :) :concern:
     
  19. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    At the time I thought that was his first line since then, but then I found out that John Kennedy recorded his voice for Days of Swine and Roses (though he didn't get much dialogue there), and I read that Dave Goelz performed him in the Muppet Treasure Island CD-rom. I assume he talked in that, but don't know for sure (I've only watched bits and pieces of it on YouTube).
     
  20. Ladywarrior

    Ladywarrior Well-Known Member

    I don't have much of a problem with voice acting well floyds new voice makes him sound like an old man but everyone else seems pretty close to their old voices. That's one thing I don't have a complaint about in MMW.
     


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