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Your Thoughts: It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by Phillip, Nov 29, 2002.

  1. BoomShaKaLaKa

    BoomShaKaLaKa Member

    There was something missing for much of this movie. It took a second viewing to notice it, and it's not true in every scene, but it's true in many of them -- especially scenes with Kermit.

    So what was missing?

    VISIBLE ARM RODS. They were there in some scenes, but in MANY scenes where they SHOULD have been visible, they weren't. It was obvious they were still being operated that way, but the arm rods had apparently been removed in post-production. We've heard that the Creature Shop has been delving into the world of CGI, and they were credited on this show. Is it possible this was a chance for them to hone their skills on an in-house project?

    OK, so maybe no one else would even care about something like that, but it was neat to me from a puppeteering standpoint.

    Also - to those who say the human actors overdid it like in children's shows -- i agree on some of the characters (Matthew Lillard's, for instance), but disagree on the main one -- Joan Cusack. She was exactly in the same tone as the Muppets themselves.

    And can I say that for some reason, the scene where Bitterman gives Piggy a double slap to the head is hilarious? Not sure why -- but the way Piggy just takes it ... then the almost deadpan reaction. Good job, Eric.
  2. jeremyactor

    jeremyactor Well-Known Member



    I came home from college Wednesday night, and set my TV to record on Thursday by accident. So I thought I'd record it at home. I set it on the wrong channel at home! GOD DOESN'T WANT ME TO SEE THIS MOVIE!

    I will trade anyone a tape of Muppets Tonight if they will give me copy of the movie (I will buy it eventually, but I want to see if they release it on DVD before I buy a VHS)

    contact me at wilc0088@umn.edu

  3. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    It's great that VMM provided little specialized fan nuggets for everyone. If your a Muppet webmaster/avid poster that fan website comment was too much. I knew Byron would appreciate JAnice big return, as well Jamie with Scooter. And Kevin...MAN! Fozzie WAS the main star of the film(besides Kermit) How cool is that? Luke, all I gotta say is get ready for the most penguins youve seen in a decade plus. And my goodness, my two personal favorites Beaker and Pepe literally stole the show. I knew Pepe would, he always has in the last few years...but Beaker! My goodness, if this doesnt propel his popularity I dont know what will.

    What as missing? 4 words: Jerry Nelson and Kevin Clash. Not sure if Clash was listed, but I didnt see *any* of his characters. Heck, I wouldnt even minded seeing Elmo at this point. I absolutely love Clifford and cant begin to figure out why people dont like him. Even Poodlepants was pretty good in his cameo.

    Finally...so what if VMM didnt get 'American Idol final episode' ratings? A less than blockbuster nielsen isnt grounds to be ho hum...this is a brave new step in the right direction.

    Sadly at the mall I was amazed I wasnt able to find nary a single Muppet item. Hopefully it was because it was all bought up, heh.

    Anyways, good to see there was a little something for everyone in it.
  4. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member


    It wasn't a smash hit as a movie, but it was for the Muppets. My post was a reaction to the strange claim (by another member) that it performed poorly. I pretty much agree with you. I did have competition though. The Brady fan base is sizeable enough to pose some threat, but the Muppets won. Think if Fox just re-ran a Simpsons or Malcolm episode. The special would have done even better.

    I think you misunderstood the remark I made about future movies. I meant that such Christmas special are often re-run each year. NBC will probably do the same. Not with this sort of press, promotion or timeslot, but it will likely air next year. They get more mileage out of it that way. This year their expensive production might have just got into the black, but next year it will definitely all be in the green.

    Result: Muppet Special = Good Investment
    and that's a good thing for the Muppets!
  5. ryhoyarbie

    ryhoyarbie Well-Known Member

    did anybody catch gonzo telling camila to come on when bobo came to tell everyone to come outside and sing christmas songs? a lot of people have been wondering for a good number of years now where camila has been since she hasn't apeared with gonzo in a good number of years....

    and if you can catch it just right, when piggy falls down and hits ugenes tuba, you can hear floyd laugh.......

    so if anybody taped the movie you can go back and see what i'm talking about it....

  6. murgatoad

    murgatoad Well-Known Member

    NBC's regular lineup does far better than the Muppet film did in that same timeslot. FWIW. And what won NBC's the night's ratings was "Law and Order". But if you all think this was a smash hit...again, suit yourselves.
  7. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Everything performed under the norm last night. It was the busiest shopping day of the year. In some time zones (Houston) the special began at 7pm. Most people are shopping, watching sports on cable, traveling and spending time on family outings. Anything else in that timeslot would have underperformed from last week's ratings I think.

    Just a thought from the ol' frogboy. Just don't get the constant pessimism, but it is interesting. :)
  8. ChellisPal

    ChellisPal Well-Known Member


    why are you so down on this movie, fine there were small problems but the general feeling was good about this film. almost every post you have is negative about it,
    whats the vendetta?

    Sorry all, just curious, he was ripping into it b4 he saw it, check my old thread from last week.
  9. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    Re: Luke

    Hey Jamie,

    Yeah i didn't misunderstand you - i was also posting specifically about the viewing figures but looking back didn't point that out specifically ! (oops). I haven't seen the entire movie yet to comment on the quality of the movie but yeah my comment on the ratings stand - i think they were above average for the Muppets and nothing to worry about but it wouldn't be totally impossible for them to get a few points more at some point in the future so maybe not smash hit status just yet. It's true they did have some competition with the Brady's but if they were to have had an airdate further into December (although personally i like that as it gives them higher status) on a night the networks were competing for, things could have been trickier - it was probably deliberate they moved them to a fairly slow night to get the kind of ratings they did.

    The comment on future movies was just me spinning off at a tangent and wasn't really aimed at you or what you said. I agree with you about it being rerun and a good investment for both the Muppets and NBC - i was just commenting on how this will affect whether any more new Muppet holiday movies will be commisioned by NBC.

    I agree with you on the 'strange claim' - i don't know what ratings other people here expected the Muppets to pick up in their first real TV outing in years but i don't think Henson or NBC were expecting anything of 'Friends' or 'Fraiser' proportions - they did just fine ........ i mean i agree with Murgatoad that they could have picked up a few more points on account of the really heavy promotion but it wouldn't have been a drastic increase.
  10. bzahlong

    bzahlong Member

    I taped the movie last night, and just got done with it a few minutes ago.

    Seeing the Muppets in the Theater again was really great. As much as I enjoyed Muppets Tonight, it didn't have the same warm and cozy (and nostalgic, now) feeling that the theater set from the Muppet Show had. I felt that the set design people did a great job for the movie.

    As far as all the talk about Fozzie and Miss Piggy's voice, I have to admit until I read this thread, I didn't realize it wasn't Frank Oz. An excellent job by the muppeteering cast.

    As far as the movie goes, I liked the story, would've loved more songs, and a longer production number. Otherwise I have no complaints, and hope this is a brave new beginning for the the Henson Company and the Muppets.

  11. Crazy Harry

    Crazy Harry Well-Known Member

    Re: Me thoughts

    Not to undermind your opinion Byron, (that's Nate's job) but you might want consider the fact that this movie was probably in prodution for months while Kilborne was filmed on the same day it aired.
  12. sarah_yzma

    sarah_yzma Well-Known Member


    I loved the movie in fact i recorded it and am watching it again right now...i agree that fozzie is a little overdone almost in his voice, but other than that pretty much perfect. I don't think they went too far. I was watching it with my little brother, and he usually picks up on that stuff,but he didn't. He thought Pepe just wanted to cuddle or something innocent. If they would have left in that scene whatever it was it probably would have went too far.

    My fave character by far is pepe! i would love to see him shake his bon bons add that to the list of characters we want to see in the palisides collection! i love it where he says this is good news unless you are a sexy banker than it sucks! that cracks me up!
  13. Natalie

    Natalie Well-Known Member

    Hey welcome!

    We sure are getting a lot of new members since the movie!

    Yeah, Pepe was awesome in the movie, even though he may have been kinda "bad" at some parts, but that's part of his personality. I loved how he failed when pretending to be Fozzie, "wocka wocka hokay"! That was hilarious
  14. Janice & Mokey's Man

    Janice & Mokey's Man Well-Known Member

    Re: Re: Me thoughts

    I realized that after I posted about it...but, uh, "thanks" anyway...

    (I guess...)



  15. sarah_yzma

    sarah_yzma Well-Known Member

    wocka wocka

    yeah pepe does a good fozzie...hehe i like when pepe is painting her nails too and he is mumbling some nonesense...which can make sense in a strange way...
  16. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Welcome! It's really something how many new members have showed up in 24 hours. I wouldnt be surprise if next week shows off a tidal wave of newcomers...all of which is encouraged and welcomed. Have I had a change of heart? Lets just say Im glad I got my antenna to work to just minutes before the movie aired.

    Heh, yeah I was kind of taken aback by Pepe's selfish traitor like antics at the beginning...but you gotta remember hes got a wild passion for the ladies(as was more than evident at Muppetfest)
    And whenever ya see a Muppet try to impersonate another Muppet, that's just too much! ^_^

    Did you guys notice these two things on the Moulin Scrooge part? These are the parts I laughed my butt off at the most:

    *The massive simutaneous cell phones going off thing. I loved it as I absolutely *instert nicer word for hate* cellphones, and thought it was a nice commentray at how annoying they are, as well as how widespread like a cancer theyve become in our society.

    *Another thing, when Miss Piggy told everyone to shut up during the number...the Penguins were quacking Nirvana, I have no idea what Janice and company were yelling...but I thought it was a very very funny take on what a mess the actual Moulin Rouge film was. Again, very smart writing!
  17. Natalie

    Natalie Well-Known Member

    I'm glad we're talking about more positive things again. There were so many good bits in the movie. The other thread about this was getting too negative. New members just another indication that muppets are making a big comeback. And I think we're all glad to see you back Cory!

    VEND-O-FACE Member

    First timer

    Long time Muppet fan, first time poster.

    On the whole, I thought the show was exceptional. Like everyone has stated 14 times over, it was great to see all of the old characters back in the environment we love to see them in. Some of the voices were off, but others were surprisingly on. I had to read here to discover that Ms. Piggy and Fozzie weren't being played by Frand Oz, and usually I pride myself on being able to pick out differences in voices like that.

    To me, the only thing that really hurt the show was it's structure. I'm not sure why the writers chose to go with a non-linear narritive -- it didn't really add anything to the story, and in some cases the scenes with David Arquette and Whoppi really threw the pace of the show off. This isn't Pulp Fiction, it's the muppets for cryin' out loud.

    It may have had a negative effect on the ratings too. I heard a lecturer speak once about how the beginning of comedy television shows are structured to keep viewers. There is a rule that goes something like this: if you can get the viewer to laugh within 2 minutes of the opening they will watch for another 3 minutes. If you can get them to laugh again within this time frame, they will watch the rest of the show. Otherwise, they change channels. If memory serves me correctly (and it may not) the first five minutes was spent setting up the David Arquette's story. Question: how many minutes does it take until a muppet actually appears on screen?

    I'll conjecture that if there were a couple of really funny gags up front and they showed most of the old gang and the beginning of the film, they might have pulled in higher ratings. Just a guess though...

    I also wonder how well this movie will hold up. There were a lot of very funny references and satires of modern life and media, which means that 20 years from now nobody will get the jokes -- but it probably won't matter.

    The cinematographer deserves an Emmy. The exact duplicates of cuts from "Moulin Rouge!" had me rolling on the floor laughing.

    I'm really looking forward to the eventual DVD release, and I for one hope they choose to restore the 30 minutes cut from the TV version.
  19. sarah_yzma

    sarah_yzma Well-Known Member


    I got the cell phone thing, but i didn't get the nirvana thing...i'll watch for that...one of may favorite parts it the christmas story reference and when they replace dog with frog, that just cracks me up. me and my dad were trying to figure out what christmas specials they hadn't parodied and we couldn't think of any....oh well and then when pepe is being dragged across the stage, that was pretty good! what bugs me a tad is that everyone in the audience is either wearing black or red....not bright red either, very neutral colors. i guess not to distract from the muppets...
  20. Natalie

    Natalie Well-Known Member

    I thought the opening credits was the part with the mix of muppets and people on the street and then it went right to the muppet theater with the gang. The whole David Arquette scene didn't start for at least ten minutes into it, right? It was completely muppet oriented at first. But you're right, the pacing was off.

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