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Your Thoughts: "The Muppets" Theatrical Film

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by Phillip, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    I have been watching The Muppets "under" whatever else I've been doing on my computer for several months now--not every night, but just as the background noise of my life, and I have to make a couple of comments about things that I haven't mentioned before. The main thing I want to talk about is the next-to-last act in the telethon--Rainbow Connection.

    I stand in awe of the job that Steve (and whoever else who helped) did with Kermit in the Rainbow Connection song. He has never been more deserving of my jaw-dropping praise. We've seen Kermit play the banjo before, but this was an amazing job. Kermit not only holds the banjo, but his hands are in the right position(s), and his right hand moves up and down the frets as it should. In the part of the song where Kermit "picks" the strings, the hand movement is exceptional. And throughout the song, Kermit is gently moving his foot, sometimes in time with the music. It is an amazing feat of puppetry to make him look so effortlessly perfect. And the wealth of emotion that is visible on their faces is so satisfying. When Kermit sings, "I've heard it too many times to ignore it," Piggy is just gazing at him in adoration, and he is looking at her with an expression that appears to my biased eye both sheepish and happy. When he asks her to stay, he is vocally and physically humble, beseeching her with his pollywog eyes. I also like the way that Kermit and Piggy handled their first on-screen kiss--it is affectionate and believable, with mouth movement in sync--and I like the way they BOTH make the "kissy" noise. Unlike many other screen kisses that we haven't quite gotten to see, this one is unmistakably mutual.

    Scooter is completely charming as he sings with his hands clasped. Mr. I-don't-go-on-stage (oh--ha HA!) is out there singing his little heart out, and looking adorable and all-grown-up.

    Floyd--another of my favorite red-heads--is hip and smooth and the cool as menthol when he gives Animal the drumsticks and ankles away. I always knew beneath that too-cool-to-care exterior that Floyd was a complete softie. How like him to know and understand exactly what Animal wanted and needed.

    Lastly, Animal's almost, um, climactic surge into the music is about as feel-good as it gets, and his arm movement here is truly awesome. I could watch this one act all night (and have!)

    Just wanted to share some stuff that made me smile.

    Ru
  2. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Oh, and I'm also realllly enjoying Kermit's smug snickering when Miss Piggy trounces Miss Poogy. There's a definite aspect of, 'That my girl!" in his attitude, although he manages to fall back into the "Abyss of Noncommitment" (Is that near the Slough of Despond? Or the Bog of Eternal Stench?) as soon as she is safely back in her dressing room.

    He does eventually get his act together, but it is divine watching Piggy shine him on in every conceivable way until he does. Knowing that she loves him so, it must have been very difficult for her to pretend indifference, but she was right to protect herself. It all paid off in the end. Also, how sweet is it that Kermit keeps Piggy's picture in a drawer marked "Beauty Rings"?

    When you get a moment, watch the scene where Piggy rallies the troops, but don't watch Piggy--watch the reactions of the others! Teeth is grinning to beat the band, Gonzo seems hopeful and Scooter perks right up.

    Here were a few of the touches that I felt put the cap on Piggy's character. When she comes back to the muppets, she re-dons her long, glamorous gloves instead of the short gloves she wears in Paris. It is subtle, but the attention to detail just screams "The diva is back!" Piggy's back-seat driving during the wild ride to the studio is so wonderfully in character. The last thing--and I just love her for this--is that, even when confronting Kermit at the house about the legalities/ethical issues of kidnapping a celebrity, Piggy entreats Kermit, "Come on, Kermit! Don't let these guys down now." We all know she could have said, "Don't let these guys down again," but she doesn't.

    I like Kermit waving his arms about his head when yelling for Scooter right when they get to the theater. I like Kermit, all tuxed and spiffed, getting briefed by Scooter with his hand on his hip. I like Kermit's continued politeness to Veronica despite her lack of finesse in dealing with him. I also lack the way that Kermit just absorbs everyone else's disappointment and apparent lack of interest with aplomb (Fozzie is hurt, but proud, Gonzo is distant but secretly yearning), but balks at facing Piggy's scathing disdain until goaded into it by the others.

    I keep seeing new things--the mark of a true classic!
  3. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    A few other thoughts:

    When Gary said to Walter, "Please, Walter. You're my hero", did anybody else almost want Gary to say, "You're on my watch"?

    During the scene prior to Kermit's and Piggy's 'make-up' (the "I need you" scene"), at one point in the background Quongo can be seen putting his finger in his ear and then tasting his finger (gross). Fozzie then says to Quongo, "Don't do that!".
    DrDientes and jvcarroll like this.
  4. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Here I am again, with more to think about. Feel free to add you own stuff!--Surely I am not the ONLY obsessed fan who keeps finding new things to think/talk/write about. (Thank you, Mo, for jumping back in!) And once again, I'm going deep because that's pretty much where I live with this stuff.

    I have been thinking A LOT about what The Muppets implies about what happened after Piggy left. I can really picture the painfully slow, steady decline, with everyone who loves Kermit eventually drifting away because they cannot help him any more.

    When he let Piggy get away--drove her away, really--with the argument, then it sealed his fate (and everyone else's) and there was really nothing anyone could do to bring him out of his funk if he wouldn't fix it himself. And without him (whom everyone depended on), the entire cast and crew fell apart. I suppose Fozzie was the last to leave, never losing hope that he might not have to go if only...if only....

    I can picture Scooter trying to tell him--gently but firmly--that he had to take another job to pay the bills, wanting with all his heart for Kermit to rouse himself out of his stupor and say, "No--don't go. We'll...we'll pull it back together. It will be fine." Or even better, "I'll go get her."

    I can picture Floyd trying to explain about what happens to an artist when their woman isn't there to cheer them on, but everything falling on deaf aural organs. I think Floyd might have eventually lost his temper over Kermit's stubbornness, but Dr. Teeth would be there to turn him gently away and shake his head, recognizing the futility of trying to enlighten someone who isn't willing to be enlightened.

    What a sad thing to have happened! It hurts my heart to think about it! But how wonderful that everything was restored. I can easily picture the smiling, beaming faces of everyone when they see Kermit walking through their newly-recovered backstage holding tight to Piggy's hand, looking sheepish and embarrassed but absolutely owning it, and owning the delight on their faces at his happiness.

    I can see Piggy's radiant contentment at finally being acknowledged as the love of his life in front of everyone. As I have pointed out before, his friends usually helped Piggy in her efforts to ensnare him because they somehow understood that he needed her--whether he wanted to or not! (Shades of Darcy and Elizabeth for all you Jane Austen fans.) Notice how invested each individual character is throughout The Muppets in whether or not Kermit will try to get Piggy back. Although they are glad to come back to do the show, they know that nothing will change, that nothing will last if Piggy isn't there to ground Kermit.

    They are all watching Kermit as he gathers up his gumption to go and talk to Piggy--they have been waiting for this moment!--but they know, like Kermit knows, that it may not be enough, that Piggy might leave again anyway. She was not the needy, clingy Piggy they knew before. They are all realizing that she no longer needs Kermit the way he now needs her, but they are hopeful that she still wants him, because she came, after all, to help. But no one knows--not even Piggy--whether she has come to help him get the theater back only to leave again or whether she will decide to stay.

    I think how miserable Kermit must have been--unable to perform and entertain, unwilling to go back to the Swamp (and face everyone's knowingness about why he is unhappy), not able to really live in the house she made them, but unable to part with it or abandon it. Hoping and expecting for a long, long time that she might come home on her own and reclaim the house and reclaim him without him having to actually do anything--like apologies and acknowledge how he felt. Hoping that she might just walk through the door at any time--!! But she never did. How many days do you suppose he waited before realizing it wasn't going to happen. Not ever.

    Bless his little heart. (You all know--I think, that I'm Southern, so you probably know what that really means.) The more I see this movie, the more I realize what a nuanced performance and a nuanced script we really got. I know that many people have complained that Kermit seemed sad and morose and felt that they contradicted the Kermit that they had always known. But in this story, Kermit simply could not be the frog he had always been, because he had lost everything he wanted and wasn't sure he could get it back. When the idea of the show looms....well, Kermit had been wooing Piggy with the lure of stardom as long as he had known her. And it must have been in the back of his little froggy brain that she might come back for the show if she wouldn't come back for him--which is exactly what happened. I can almost forgive him for still trying to woo her by using the show. "We need you," "It seems that everybody expects us to do a duet..." but I love Piggy for not having any of it--none!

    Okay, I think I'm done for a bit. Anybody else want to jump in? The water's deep but it feels very comfy....
    Duke Remington and DrDientes like this.
  5. charlietheowl

    charlietheowl Well-Known Member

    Interesting take. I'd imagine that a lot of his friends had different approaches to try to get Kermit back to work and such. Like you said, I'd imagine Fozzie was the last person hanging on, and even then he probably didn't want to leave at all. Rowlf probably felt really bad as well, but knew that this was something that Kermit had to decide on his own, and therefore left him to his own devices. He would always be willing to listen and provide advice; however, Kermit had to be the one approaching him.

    The one character who found this extremely hard to deal with (even though he wasn't in the movie) was probably Robin. He left the swamp to spend time with his uncle and his friends in the theater, and then all that went away. Knowing that his uncle was sad, and that he couldn't do anything about it probably made him feel awful. I'm sure that Rowlf and Fozzie and Gonzo tried to take care of Robin to the best of their abilities, but it wasn't going to be the same for him.
  6. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    Wow. Those are some really deep thoughts. And I do really wonder what Robin was going through during all of this. I'm wondering when exactly he left (or was taken away?). We all know why Robin wasn't included in the movie (other than a brief glimpse towards the end). It just would have made the plot more confusing than it already was. Whatever the case, you just can't help but wonder what Robin's side of the story was. Or the others, for that matter.
    Vincent Liu and jvcarroll like this.
  7. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    Robin needs a better agent!
    Mo Frackle likes this.
  8. Vincent Liu

    Vincent Liu Well-Known Member

    Robin doesn't have an agent.

    About the version of Rainbow Connection in this movie, Miss Piggy's voice seems too perfect, without the straining on the high notes like in Never Before, Never Again. Kermit voice seems he might cry at any time.
  9. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    I've been under a gruesome amount of work-related stress lately. Xanax keeps me from chewing myself to shreds from inside, but it also makes me feel tired and apathetic and wonky. (Hence the lack of decent writing and art outta me lately.)

    Today as a pick-me-up I watched The Muppets again, and it did make me feel much better. What a warm, fuzzy (furry, fleecy, feathery, foamy, flocking-y) film! But when I'm on meds my mind goes in odd directions, and I found myself wondering why the Muppet theater and IP would have defaulted to Tex Richman. Lew Lord was the one who had the Standard Rich-and-Famous Contact written up. Wouldn't all that have gone back to him/his company instead? What made Richman the "heir"?

    I know, I'm probably overthinking this, or my brain cells are scrambled and I'm missing something obvious. But then, while watching the film I was also looking for seams in puppet faces. I just came into possession of a few yards of antron fleece (WAHOO!) and after a little experimenting to get a feel for it, I can see why some seams, like the one on Walter's lower jaw, tends to be visible while others don't show. Yeah, I can get all left-brained like this and still enjoy the movie. I'm weird that way.
  10. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    I might be wrong, but my understanding was that Tex Richman had a deal to buy the theater, (I'm assuming he already put the money in escrow, waiting for the deal to go through) but the Muppets had been given the theater with a defeasible fee ownership. This means the real estate with the theater was probably deeded to them with a defeasance clause, which means that something either must or must not happen for it to change. It this case, the clause must have been, "So long as it is used as the Muppet Theater and for no other purpose." But if they don't act on it, they the sale can go through. What isn't clear then is who--exactly--gets the money. (Sorry--real estate broker in me peeping out--we're always intersted in who gets the money! LOL!)

    Seriously, though. The only part of the movie that just doesn't make sense to me--at all--no matter how I think about it, is when Fozzie bangs his head against the scoreboard with the money total. It just doesn't make any sense--none, that they would have so little money and such small corresponding pledges to the changed decimal point. The other thing--doesn't ANYONE have any small change? Piggy went out on the town earlier in the week--she was getting dressed for it when she say "Me Party." She must have been making a hefty salary at Vogue--and she flew to the states (first class, no doubt) in a hurry. She must have some money--at least a dollar. What about Gonzo's money? Even if he blew up the plumbing business, he must have some money in the bank? The scoreboard doesn't just contradict one thing in the moeny--it contradicts everything. I don't understand at all why they put that scene in. (Mutters in bewilderment)
  11. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    Because if all that happened it would've lost the essence of the film. I learned not to look too much into the film because then I would've enjoyed it less.
  12. Beauregard

    Beauregard Well-Known Member

    I think there is a part in the novelization (not read it, but I'm sure I remember it being discussed) that said that Gonzo offered to buy it, but had blown up all his money, and that Piggy offered as well but that they didn't want to "owe" each other so much. Something like that.

    I kinda loved the scene where Fozzie changes the scoreboard (although it IS annoying) because even I, who loooove the Muppets, still haven't bought the DVD. Would people have gone ahead and pledged or not?
  13. Slackbot

    Slackbot Well-Known Member

    Ahh, that makes sense. It would also explain why Richman waited this long to try to destroy the theater, even though he had been itching for revenge for decades; any earlier and the Muppets would still have a legal claim to the theater. But the very second that claim expired, he was gonna pounce. Ironically, if he'd waited until the Muppets had actually lost the rights, he would have been able to buy the theater and IP without the interference of the little guy who ran screaming out of his "business conference."

    (As for watching "who gets the money"--I work at the Atlanta office of the US SEC, so that is a very familiar theme to me!)

    The scoreboard...well, yeah, that was kind of a weakness. It doesn't really bug me, though. I imagine that while rewriting the script they saw that this scene was really heavy, and it needed a comedy beat here that would not come off as irrelevant, so they stuck in an ambiguous gag about the tally screen. When I first watched it I assumed that Fozzie broke it with his noggin, then comically assumed he'd somehow fixed it. I suppose we'll never know unless we locate that first pledge and find out whether it was 25 dollars or 25 cents.

    I have the novelization. When Gonzo learned of the situation, he said that, no problem, he was super rich...right after he'd blown up the building, with all his money in it, oops. And I don't recall Piggy offering to buy the theater.
  14. antsamthompson9

    antsamthompson9 Well-Known Member

    Are you reading this, James Bobin and Nick Stoller? Pepe and Rizzo need more screen time in the next movie!
  15. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    They probably won't buy who says it won't hurt to try. Lol.
  16. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    I think James Bobin has said that other Muppets will get more screen time in the next one. This most likely will include Rizzo and Pepe, and possibly Robin and Bean Bunny, among others. TM just wanted to mainly focus on the Muppets from TMS.
  17. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    Steve has said he really misses performing Rizzo but since he's taken over as Kermit he doesn't get to a whole lot anymore. Hopefully this next one will let Steve perform not just Kermit but also Rizzo.
    Mo Frackle likes this.
  18. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    I also really hope Steve's able to do Rizzo in the next one. And I'd love to see Gonzo and Rizzo paired again. Interesting that Rizzo still received credit in "The Muppets", despite having no dialogue. Maybe they were counting the interview he gave with Gonzo? Or maybe Steve performed him in "Life's a Happy Song".

    I'd also love to see other characters from JHH and MT, even if they do very short cameos. Fitting all of these characters into a movie may be a bit tough, but having the Muppets do a new TV series could probably allow more apperances by both the classic and 'forgotten' Muppets. As the sole founder of the unofficial and totally made-up organization "No Muppet Left Behind", I really think that as many Muppets as possible should still be seen.
  19. CaseytheMuppet

    CaseytheMuppet Well-Known Member

    I wish they would make a new Clueless Morgan. I loved that guy. Er, goat.
  20. Mo Frackle

    Mo Frackle Well-Known Member

    Oh yeah, Clueless was great. Though it's unlikely we'll get Polly back for awhile (or Leon the Lizard, Clifford, Craniac, or Carter the butler) with Kevin being so busy on Sesame.


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