1. Welcome to the Muppet Central Forum!
    You are viewing our forum as a guest. Join our free community to post topics and start private conversations. Please contact us if you need help with registration or your account login.

  2. Sesame Street Season 48
    Sesame Street's 48th season officially began Monday August 6 on PBS. After you see the new episodes, post here and let us know your thoughts.

    Dismiss Notice

Very Merry Muppet Christmas reairs on NBC December 6th

Discussion in 'Muppet Appearances' started by Aaron, Nov 21, 2003.

  1. Chilly Down

    Chilly Down Well-Known Member

    The pop culture references don't bother me. The original Flintstones cartoon was loaded with pop culture references, and it's still considered a classic. How many times did the Warner Bros. characters make references to WWII (which was going on while those cartoons were being made)? Even the Muppets (Sesame included) have parodied everything from Star Wars to Placido Domingo.

    The problem is not, IMHO, that there were pop culture references. The problem is that most of them just weren't all that funny.
  2. Beebers

    Beebers Well-Known Member

    Yes, but you don't hang the entire creative hat on such weak references, which was done throughout this movie. WW II was not a weak reference; people still know what it is. The T.V. shows didn't depend for their lives on the pop culture references, they had other things going on as well.
  3. Chilly Down

    Chilly Down Well-Known Member

    When I was a kid, I had no idea what the references to war rations, etc. were all about. But the cartoons were still funny for me.

    Similarly, I don't think it's really necessary to understand what all the references in VMC were specifically about. Even if Scrubs gets canceled and no one remembers it in a few years, the essential story point/gag -- that Piggy's just an extra in a hospital show, but she thinks she's an important guest star -- will make sense.

    The Moulin Scrooge gag is much more specific, but I don't think Moulin Rouge is a flash in the pan. I think that's a movie that many people will remember 10+ years from now.

    Nothing against you, Beebers. I even agree with your basic assertion that the gags themselves weren't very funny. We're basically just nitpicking the semantics of it at this point -- because that's what Muppet fans do. ;)
  4. AndyWan Kenobi

    AndyWan Kenobi Well-Known Member

    I thought Muppet fans just liked the Muppets... ;)
  5. Gonzo14

    Gonzo14 Well-Known Member

    i concur
  6. AndyWan Kenobi

    AndyWan Kenobi Well-Known Member

    Sorry to say, but I don't think anyone's going to be able to help you with this. Since the movie is available on dvd, and since I'm sure we all want to support the Henson company, I don't think people are going to tell you about bootlegs online. Sorry...

    Check your listings for repeat showings, if you're just looking to see it...
  7. jorwick

    jorwick New Member

    I've been out of the loop.. when was this done?

    I set the PVR to record this thinking it may be fun to watch with my two year old boy who is the reason I am out of the loop (no I didn't expect he would understand it, but he like to watch the characters)

    Maybe I am just a little old fashioned, but the idea of the Muppet theater having a topless dancing license seems a bit inappropriate. Just as Kermit's approval of getting the license is a little too tacit. Maybe Kermit the Frog has a dark underside and he frequents such places, holds dreams of running one, etc, but I don't think that is a side of Kermit my children need to know about. A couple more comments from Pepe was all it took for me to decide I didn't want to see my favorite characters from childhood cheapened and degraded in this way. Its billed as a children's show and its content should be appropriate. I don't really disapprove of the lifestyles, etc portrayed in this film, but the references are from an adults world, and contrary to what seems to be popular belief, children are NOT little adults. There is an appropriate time to introduce such concepts to them, but not in a show billed as a family christmas special.

    I certainly hope that this was done on ED TV's watch and none of the Henson kids had anything to do with it. If they did, perhaps they have been living in New York too long and don't know what passes for decent family entertainment in the rest of the country. It seems sad that the Muppets have been hijacked to try and push a political agenda (Whoopi Goldberg as a dispassionate, uncaring God -- In a Christmas special no less!)

    Maybe it got better, but I couldn't give it more than the 15 minutes I gave it. Thank god there are still wonderful Muppets things My kids can watch, though unfortunately I am going to have to preview them from now on...


    GREG O REE New Member

    Previewing before the little ones watch is always a good idea. I watched the movie last year and taped it this year. I cut out commercials and any scenes I consider questionable for my kids (our youngest is two). Yes, I hope we can get some more new Muppet productions that don't require this practice - but that is just where we are right now. Post Jim Henson projects have been pretty decent with the exception of this movie and a few Muppets Tonights bits (that I also edited for family viewing - Bay of Pigswatch, for example).

    Anyone know why the video/DVD is rated PG and the tv movie is G?

    Overall, I enjoyed IVAMMCM. It has some really funny scenes and it was great to see some of the older characters back. Hoping to see more Clifford and Bobo in the future though. The message was appropriate and I will forgive them for Whoopi portraying "the boss."

    Peace! Merry Christmas, everyone!
  9. Amazing Mumford

    Amazing Mumford Well-Known Member

    Just my opinion...

    A number of people obviously thought this special had too much adult humor, but Henson can't please everybody. If they make a purely kiddie movie, they'll alienate many adult fans. The classic Muppets are not Sesame Street and the target audience isn't pre-school kids.

    Were some of the jokes inappropriate for kids? Sure. But, how many of those jokes went over kids heads? Probably a good share of them.

    Also, it's JUST a Muppet movie--it really won't scar children for life. A generation from now, if there's large numbers of young adults becoming cage dancers because they saw Scooter do it on a Muppet movie, then I guess I'm wrong.

    I really think they tried to make this movie for the hardcore, longtime Muppet fans--who are overwhelmingly adult. That's why they loaded it with inside jokes (i.e. Doc Hopper's frog legs) and brought back the classic set and characters.

    It's extremely difficult to make movies that appeal to both kids and adults. Jim Henson happened to be very good at it. Unfortunately, the people running JHC apparently don't have the same touch. So, they sometimes have to choose between (A) pleasing longtime fans and (B) entertaining the little ones. They chose option A for IAVMMCM.

    That being said, I didn't particularly enjoy the movie. Among other things, the tone was too dark and the jokes weren't all that funny. However, I respect them for attempting to make the Muppet enjoyable again for adults as well as children.

    Oh, and does Whoopi playing God really have to be a political "agenda'? I think it was just to get a cheap chuckle because she's the opposite of how most people picture God. Nothing more.
  10. Beebers

    Beebers Well-Known Member

    Those parts of the movie probably threw a lot of people. They were lifted directly from Frank Capra's "It's A Wonderful Life", in which a suicidal Harry Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) is shown by an angel what his hometown would have become had he never been born. (A den of iniquity.) Kermit decides he should never have been born and is shown how things would have turned out without him, hence all those rather nasty scenes.

    It's part of what I was trying to say earlier, that the movie is nothing but a crazy-quilt pastiche of poorly-done borrowing rather than an original script.

    Jim Henson wanted to entertain adults, not just kids. This did not entertain any adults I know, and was not appropriate for young kids.
  11. petrieboy

    petrieboy Well-Known Member

    "Henson can't please everybody. If they make a purely kiddie movie, they'll alienate many adult fans. The classic Muppets are not Sesame Street and the target audience isn't pre-school kids."

    Wrong. Henson CAN please everybody. "The Muppet Movie" and "The Muppet Show" appeal to children and adults, with a sweet spirit, wicked creativity and good writing- nothing "kiddie" about them, and nothing vulgar or questionable either. Roger Ebert has always said that any good "children's" film will be just as enjoyable for adults, or else it's not that good. No one here wants Sesame Street, and no one is looking for pre-school entertainment. There's a wide open field between that and IAVMMCM that could have been explored. This was a sell-out project through and through. And I'm a sell-out for purchasing the dvd, just to complete my Muppet collection.
    I suggest that those who were offended and want the "true" Muppets to return, write to fanmail@henson.com and voice their concerns.
  12. rexcrk

    rexcrk Well-Known Member

    Actually, I found myself laughing out loud at the part where Howard grabs Kermit's butt and says "Love that tushy!" and I loved the part with Kermit at Club Dot and Sam the Eagle is swinging glow sticks around, Beaker is the bouncer, Scooter in the cage, Bunsen as the door manager, Johnny selling drinks, Statler and Waldorf not buying drinks for "the ladies", it was great! :D
  13. Skeeter Muppet

    Skeeter Muppet Well-Known Member

    It's not gonna happen. There's no way that the Muppets can go back to the way they used to be.

    Unless you know of some way to ressurect the dead.

  14. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    True. JHC didnt start doing 'remakes of classic stories' as features until post JH.

    Anyways, glad they reshowed this. If Muppet Movie is a full course, this is just an appetizer and should be viewed as such. I actually now find it more enthralling to see more of a edgy/inappropriate side, given most the fans seem to be the older nostalgia crowd.

    My top ten fave things about VMC:

    1. Kermit referencing Muppet Central
    2. The Two Bossmen!
    3. Pepe
    4. Buff Beaker
    5. penguins!
    6. nite club scene
    7. return of the theatre
    8. Cirque de su l'ame(so bizarre!)
    9. Moulin Scrouge
    10. Seeing obscure and older Muppets return

    I say get the dvd, if nothign else than for the Pepe Actors Guild parody thingy.
  15. Don'tLiveonMoon

    Don'tLiveonMoon Well-Known Member

    To be honest, I wasn't that crazy about IAVMMCM. I guess it was all the adult humor in it, and I found Joan Cusack really annoying. Whoopi didn't bother me that much, though it did seem like her presence might have been making some kind of political / theological statement. I don't know. I like Whoopi, so I didn't really care, but I found the movie on the whole to be disappointing. And part of it may be that "It's A Wonderful Life" just doesn't seem like a movie you ought to remake. "A Christmas Carol" worked, and I loved that movie, but that one's been done so many times anyway that it was almost expected the Muppets would have done a version. There are scenes in IAVMMCM that I thought were really good, like the whole thing where Fozzie was on his fruitless quest, but I'd probably say it's my least favorite of the Muppet movies.
  16. Don'tLiveonMoon

    Don'tLiveonMoon Well-Known Member

    I remember noticing that last year. I thought that was pretty cool! :cool:
  17. rexcrk

    rexcrk Well-Known Member

    LOL! Is Kermit referencing Muppet Central when he makes the comment about "one of those Internet Muppet fan sites"? :)
  18. jediX

    jediX Well-Known Member

    Well, sorta. Wasn't a direct reference, but... oh well. Not worth debating either way.

    I really liked seeing Scooter back...that's probably what makes the show watchable for me now (at least the parts w/o Whoopi...I've never cared for her much)... I skip over that beginning crap with David Arquette. I really liked Scoot's comment "my Uncle used to own the theatre!"

    What was my fave part? That it ended! Just kidding... of the whole thing I liked... um...I don't know. Just that Scooter was there, I guess. I missed that guy.

    Besides, Muppets weren't exactly intended for JUST children to begin with. It saddens me they put the TMS discs in the children's section instead of the tv or comedy. As far as I'm concerned, the ONLY intended-for-children mainstream "Muppet" films or projects are Muppet Babies, toon Fraggle Rock, Little Muppet Monsters, Xmas Toy/Secret Life of Toys, Fraggle Rock (to some extent...I guess it was intended for kids at the time but it has carried over to popularity among people of our age brackets) and Tale of the Bunny Picnic (I don't consider 'Bear' Muppet whatsoever). Are any of those shows 'risqué'? No way -- they're even cleaner than the garbagey children's shows of today. I'll STILL throw in one of my Muppet Babies tapes to this day and get a decent laugh from them. Now THAT was A+ children's material.

    Bottom line -- there are enough Muppet Christmas specials and movies. I'l stick w/ my good ol' Muppet Family Christmas anyday. And I'll watch my VHS copy from the original airdate, not that sadly butchered DVD. Ahhh... memories :)

    Second bottom line -- I'm sick of all the blasted "classic tale" remakes/retellings. I've watched the three "classic" films (The Muppet Movie, Great Muppet Caper, Muppets Take Manhattan) exponentially more than the post Jim ones. Heck, I hadn't seen Muppet Christmas Carol since the theater release until this weekend when I got the DVD.

    That's my two cents... I'm out.
  19. Chilly Down

    Chilly Down Well-Known Member

    The joke was that Kermit is technically "topless" -- i.e., except for his collar, he isn't wearing anything. Just as Mickey Mouse is technically "topless." The Muppets have done jokes like that before, but I think the problem was with the execution on this one. Most people (including myself) completely missed the gag the first time around, and had the same shocked reaction you had.
  20. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter Well-Known Member

    All this debate about kids entertainment and adult entertainment reminds me of something. The other night, PBS showed a documentary on The Jack Paar Show, and one of the scenes shown was of when the Muppets did "I've Grown Accustomed to Your Face" on the show. Afterward, it was interrupted by a telethon, and one of the hosts commented.: "I didn't remember the Muppets being so crude. Yuck!"

    Hehe! Just goes to show you, the Muppets haven't changed much in the last 40 years.

Share This Page