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Review: The Muppets

For a while it seemed like The Muppets would be lost to time. Their last appearance was 1999's Muppets from Space, which was a far cry from their successful run on television in the 70s and the revered films from the 80s and early 90s. The lack of films since suggested that maybe Kermit, Ms. Piggy, Fozzie and the rest of the gang may not come back.

That Jim Henson's creation may not grace the silverscreen apparently also upset Jason Segel as well. With Forgetting Sarah Marshall cohort Nicholas Stoller on hand, Segel took his childhood love and poured his heart out into the script.

Brothers Gary (Jason Segel) and Walter (Peter Linz) are without a doubt the biggest Muppet fans in the world. The two are headed on a trip to Los Angeles with some big plans: Gary plans on proposing to longtime girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) and Walter's first stop is Muppet Studios. The studio has long since been abandoned, but tours are still given. Desperate to see as much as he can, Walter breaks off from the group and explores Kermit's former office. There he overhears terrible news. Tex Richman (Chris Cooper), oilman and owner of Muppet's Studio, plans to make the studio a museum are a lie. The real reason for Richman's purchase is the body of oil underneath the studio.

With this valuable piece of knowledge in their hands, Gary, Walter and Mary head off to see the only person who can fix this: Kermit the Frog.

What the trio expect to see when they get to Kermit's house and what they find is disheartening. Kermit is there alone, Ms. Piggy left for Paris years ago and the only comfort Kermit has is his outdated 80s bot and dusty framed pictures of his old friends. With help from Gary, Mary and Walter, Kermit finds a legal loophole that would return the Studio to the Muppets if they can raise ten million dollars. The only question is will the gang reunite for one last hurrah?

The mirror between the Muppets' reputation in the film and the property since it was purchased by Disney is an interesting one. It never appeared that Disney knew what to do with the comedy group, but they have a strong platform to build off of thanks to Segel and Stoller.

The Muppets haven't aged a bit in the twelve year gap between films. Kermit, Ms. Piggy, Fozzie and the rest of the crew are just as funny now as they were thirty years ago during their heyday. Paired with Bret McKenzie (Flight of the Conchords), the songs are top-notch and don't be surprised if you find yourself singing them during the car ride home.

A film truly made for the entire family.

***/****

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