Okay folks...We've had wonderful conversations about Muppets Most Wanted's content, promotion, box-office take and the future of the characters, but I thought it might be worth setting up a separate thread to talk about our experiences in actually going to see the movie. Some of you have shared a few great stories already (I especially love Slackbot's description of the young moviegoers' reaction to the Skeeter puppet) and I thought we should have a thread to celebrate how the arrival of this movie goes far beyond what was actually up on the screen. Mrs. Otter and I were already planning to go see MMW on opening weekend and we thought it might be fun to replicate something that we did with TM2011 - set up a road trip with the Christian youth group she runs in our hometown. This time we were even blessed with a special vehicle from one of the parents, who drives the bus for our local Junior B hockey team. (So yes, it smelled a little like hockey equipment but it was still the closest we'll likely get to riding the Electric Mayhem bus.) I brought along three different Kermit plushes (bean-bag size, 12-inch-high and three-feet-high), my Fisher-Price Rowlf hand puppet, and a small Cookie Monster. ("Me know me not technically in movie, but me still hold out hope for brief cameo.") They passed through several of the hands of our eight young bus-riders (and even some of the adults) - in fact, I had to mediate between one brother and sister to see who would sit with "Big Kermit" at the theatre. (Amazingly, they wound up sharing him for an hour each!) Somewhere, there is video of me and Mrs. Otter in our matching Kermit T-shirts singing "Movin' Right Along" together as we pulled out of the church parking lot and hit the road (one of the parents had her iPhone going, shortly before her seven-year-old daughter snatched it away so she could excitedly show me the Swedish Chef "Popcorn" viral video). When we got to the theatre, located a 90-minute drive away from our town, the theatre manager (an old friend of ours) took a group picture of all 15 of us in front of the MMW poster. I may actually get that picture printed and framed after Mrs. Otter and I move into our new house in a few weeks. The kids (and adults as well) really seemed to enjoy the movie, with laughter filling the theatre (there were another 10-15 people there by my count, including a birthday party for a kid from the same town as the multiplex). At one point I could hear multiple whispers of "Ross Lynch!" - these, of course, came only a few minutes after Mrs. Otter gasped, "Hugh Bonneville from Downton Abbey!!!" On our way home, one of the youngest of our charges, a seven-year-old girl, asked me to draw Kermit for her, and when I did, she coaxed several other Muppet doodles out of me (Piggy, Fozzie, Animal, Beaker and Bunsen - the last one came after she eagerly asked me to "do the guy with the glasses and no eyes!"). She excitedly told me she wanted to put that paper up on her bedroom wall when we returned home. So, to recap - a great movie, a fun trip, and the possibility that the Muppets have a whole new generation of fans. Yeah. One of the best days I've had in a long, long time.