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"The Muppets" isn't the Muppets

Discussion in 'Muppet Headlines' started by Reevz1977, Jun 29, 2012.

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Do you think "The Muppets" was the Muppets?

  1. Yes

    84.3%
  2. No

    7.8%
  3. Not sure

    7.8%

  1. MrBloogarFoobly

    MrBloogarFoobly Well-Known Member

    No, I agree Whitmire has done an AMAZING job with Kermit. Big flippers to fill, if you'll pardon the expression. And I have no problem with a depressed Kermit. Makes him a well-rounded, full-blooded character. It's more about the writing of Kermit as an inspirational speaker, rather than a level-headed, sometimes a little on-edge but tolerant and chivalrous, joke-cracking frog. But that might come later. He's definitely more Kermit than he has been in a long time (again, no fault of Whitmire, who is simply amazing.)

    @Beauregard: They've been doing that since the movie came out. Kermit saying "it's just a movie; we've been together the whole time. I live in a swamp, not a mansion," etc, etc.

    As for Walter. I understand his purpose in The Muppets film, but I really don't think he's necessary from here on in. Peter Linz is an INCREDIBLE performer, and I think he should stick with the team. But Walter... how can I say this? He's just not an interesting enough character to keep around. His arc is done. His function - introducing the world to the Muppets again - is complete. This is a personal preference, I know. I just don't care for Walter that much, especially with some really great Muppet characters being sidetracked in his favor.
  2. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    Walter is likely here to stay since he's the first new main Muppet under Disney ownership. Maybe that accounts for his first name. :fanatic:

    His seamless integration into the cast is amazing and he'll develop beyond this picture over time. He's a entire generation's introduction into the Muppets so it's crucial for him to stick around. Lots of kids would be upset if he left. There's always room for new Muppets. It's not an either/or proposition.

    I love Walter. I think he's fantastic!
    Pinkflower7783 likes this.
  3. Rugby

    Rugby Member

    Don't take my comments too seriously. They're just off the cuff observations to contribute to the discussion.

    You know, I totally missed the whole Walter/Walt Disney thing. *woosh* plane goes over head......

    Walter kind of seems like the new Scooter a little bit, doesn't he? Scooter has put in his time. It's time for the newbie to do the dirty work now. Ha.

    Whatever I may have said about the movie, I still really enjoyed it! And I believe I did give positive comments for anything I may have said that could be taken as a negative. I still stand by my Whoopi comment though. No polarizing figures connected to the muppets please. Everybody isn't liberal and you shouldn't have to be a liberal to enjoy the muppets. If we can't agree on that, then I don't know what to tell you. Peace.
  4. Rugby

    Rugby Member

    Just one more nitpick and then I'm done. And I'm wondering if anybody else agrees. I think Animal needs to go back to where he doesn't articulate his words so clearly. I think that's why the current Animal just isn't doing it for me. Bring the animal back in Animal I say. :halo:
  5. dwmckim

    dwmckim Well-Known Member

    Indeed. No polarizing figures should work with the Muppets. No matter if they're actually talented performers and their views on things outside of the project in question isn't given any kind of platform in the production. Even if they're Academy Award winners, it shouldn't matter.

    For that matter, let's just scrub all the episodes of The Muppet Show with any kind of "polarizing figures" from any future dvd releases or tv broadcasts. Does anyone ever need to see the episodes with Lena Horne, Candice Bergen, Rudolph Nureyev, Elton John, Alice Cooper, Liberache, Harry Belafonte (even if that was Jim Henson's favorite episode), Carol Channing, Joan Baez, Glenda Jackson, Paul Simon, Tony Randell, or Linda Ronstadt ever again? In fact you know what REALLY needs to happen again? The old system of blacklisting performers, that's what! A degenerate like Will Lee should never have been allowed to play Mr. Hooper. Or any of those other "undesirables" that made up the bulk of the human cast of Sesame in its formative years.

    Polarizing figures? They shouldn't even be allowed to use polar fleece to build Muppets with!

    And what about that Jim Henson fella? Too much of a granola-chewin', environmentalist peacenik to have his name associated with the Muppets. Let's dub over all his old performances with Steve Whitmire's voice.
  6. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    I don't even know what to make of this conversation anymore...:S
  7. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    <------ What he said.

    The Muppets have welcomed a wide spectrum of performers into their fold, both as puppeteers and guest stars. Sesame Street has hosted guests of all parts of the political spectrum and they've attended inauguration festivities and other political events. Of course they don't really endorse candidates even though Kermit seemingly gave a nod to Obama in the last presidential election. That's debatable, I guess. :)

    Whoopi has been a great supporter of the Muppets for many years and she's never inserted her politics into any of their productions. In fact, the Muppets themselves have lobbied congress on behalf of the arts, public education and the environment. These are usually liberal causes that were also very important to Jim Henson. :jim:

    I do think that Whoopi is a little over-exposed when it comes to the Muppets, but who cares? I don't always agree with what she says, but I think she's a great role model who never takes herself too seriously. We could all take a cue from her about that. ;)
  8. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    How the heck does a celebrities point of view or politics have anything to do with The Muppets and make them look bad?? As much as I also think Whoopi has been overly used with them I think she has great chemistry with the muppets and always brought fun entertainment when she was with them. I personally don't really care what her views on life or politics are or any celebrity for that matter.

    All I care about is seeing celebrities having just as much fun being with the Muppets as I am watching them.
  9. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    Well you don't have to worry as Jason Segal isn't being involved in the next movie in anyway shape or form. Jason himself said all his intent was to bring The Muppets back to how he remembered them. He had no intentions of ever making it seem like he was taking over the franchise or trying to become the next Jim Henson.

    But you still need to give Jason credit for getting the movie made cause Disney certainly wasn't doing anything with them.
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    And on the opposite end of the spectrum, how dare the Muppets welcome conservatives like Jon Voight, Ben Stein, not to mention Barbara and Laura Bush both appearing on Sesame Street.

    NO ONE should be off the table because someone doesn't agree with their politics. And quite honestly, NO guest star ever used a Muppet Project as a springboard for their political beliefs.

    Heck, Kelsey Grammar is so die hard a Republican, he made an entire channel devoted to his views. Does that mean I want Sideshow Bob removed from The Simpsons? Shell no! I still admire the guy, and LOVE his work.

    Don't deny Whoopi from being with the Muppets because you don't personally gel with her views. I wouldn't deny any right wing celebrities for the same reason. Except crazy ex-rocker Ted Nugent. Aw, heck... he was able to make fun of himself well on The Simpsons... so never mind that.
  11. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    The problem is that the Muppet cast is eclectic. Once you start getting rid of someone for this or that, you're left with nothing but singing accountants ... or you would, had they not been fired for being boring.
    Sam the Eagle is conservative (and not the evil conservatism of BP Richfield, neither) and despises the very hippie-ish Electric Mayhem. Both think the other are really, really wrong. However, they are BOTH still employed by Kermit the Frog. Conformity and the Muppets just don't gel.
    LOL, well, the only one I remember is the shrub joke in VMX. :p
    I forgot his name, but that comedian on that countries of the world-type episode of the MUppet show was highly offensive and the worst of the bunch, IMHO. If guys like him can come on the show, there should be no nay-sayers when Whoopie shows up.
    jvcarroll likes this.
  12. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    That's not what I meant when I said that but whatever. :S
  13. Rugby

    Rugby Member

    Wow. Hardy what I said. I think to say you went off on a tagent is an understatement. Seems to me there is no room for differences of opinions with you. I'm merely participating in discussion, but you feel the need to attack. Good job.
  14. jvcarroll

    jvcarroll Well-Known Member

    I too thought you stated that the Muppets should refrain from using any political or polarizing figures because the liberal ones, like Whoopi, offend you. DW was colorfully demonstrating the rich history of the Muppets in that context. Much of entertainment skews liberal and a lot of actors tend to be vocal about their beliefs. The vetting process you propose would be nearly impossible. Heck, I don't appreciate much of what Mel Gibson has done and said in the press or his very violent religious film, but I'd welcome his working with the Muppets. Above all, the Muppets are about funny and there's no doubt that would be hilarious! :laugh:
    Pinkflower7783 likes this.
  15. Pinkflower7783

    Pinkflower7783 Well-Known Member

    The Muppets are all about laughs and having fun anyways. Why must politics be brought into this in the first place? :confused:
    SSLFan likes this.
  16. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    Where the heck have I been while this thread was raging? (In school, at the hospital, at the funeral home--so sue me.) This was a lovely, thoughtful conversation to drop in on and I have a few things to add--scattershot, I'm afraid, and I was reading so fast and so much that I may make a point someone else has made, or that I have made in some other thread, but anywho....

    I'm firmly in the camp that liked VMX--it was a finely crafted film that brought many of the characters to new places. Gonzo is particularly wonderful in VMX, and if you really watch him and listen to him--especially when he doesn't actually have lines but is adlibbing, or "listening" to the other characters, well, he's bloody brilliant. Dave deserved/deserves a big, wet kissy-kissy for the way that Gonzo just anchors this story without actually being a major character. Just like in TMM, it is Gonzo's odd way of seeing things that helps Kermit focus on what he wants, and what he wants to do. I also adored the depth that was added to Fozzie's character and to his relationship with Kermit. Hmmm. Maybe I shouldn't say "added." Maybe I should say "reminded," because on TMS, you knew--you just knew that the bear and the frog were tight, were solid, and that--even if everything flopped--even when everything flopped--they could still go out for a root beer afterward and chuckle about the good stuff. When Kermit finds Fozzie hiding, certain Kermit will un-friend him or, worse yet, be disappointed in him it is just an amazing moment. All the heart you could ever want and then some, and Kermit gets to actually say some of the things we always sortof knew about their relationship but had remained largely unsaid. Think about it--Jim's Kermit implied more by his actions--his feelings for Piggy, his benevolent irritation with Gonzo, his affectionate long-suffering with Fozzie's insecurity. When Steve came along, more of those feelings got said out loud. I don't know why, exactly, but it just is. Maybe it's like Captain Kirk vs. Captain Picard. If Kirk was your captain, you could rest assured that he would kick A and take names and then--when his people and his ship were secure--he would offer the firm Federation handshake and all the help in the universe to unravel the pickle the aliens were in. With Picard, you might have some deep-seated insecurity about whether or not Picard would actually defend your rights against the aliens that wanted to eat you or take over your body, but you would see it coming a mile away because he would spend 35 minutes of each episode talking about it. If that sounds like a criticism, it's not--it's just a recognition that different people "manage" in different ways. I hope it goes without saying that Jim's Kermit was one of the first real loves of my life, but there are things I like about Steve's verbal, playful Kermit, and when that Kermit finally had an adult relationship moment and told Piggy how he felt, well--it just blew me away with her. I guess I've been waiting my whole life, in one way or another, for Kermit to declare himself, and it was worth waiting for (even though I still think they were/are married).

    I had other things to say, but they don't seem important, so I'll say just one more thing and then quit. Stuart, honey, I think that some of what you are talking about with the movie seeming like an "insider" job is that, well, it sortof was. It was made by muppet geeks for muppet geeks, with tons and tons of little marvelous in-jokes that only the fans will catch, i.e., Wayne and Wanda getting all hot and heavy with the lights out. Fans know things and what those things mean, and I can tell you that--as a fan writer (yeah, yeah--I know most of you don't read the fanfic here--but you should, once in a while!) it is an absolute thrill to throw out a little hook (an insider reference) and see if anyone catches it. It's fun when someone gets it because, hey! They got it! It's fun, as an author, when they don't get it because you get to feel very sneaky and subversive. The Muppets was just FULL of little funny muppetisms that made US laugh but might not have been as funny to non-insiders. Once again, I turn to Star Trek. (My apologies to the all the children here who were not born when the real Star Trek was on.) In Star Trek V (yes--I went there, to the worst of the entire series), at the end oft the movie when Kirk, Spock and McCoy are sort of "de-briefing" around the campfire, Spock says, "I lost a brother today." And Kirk says, "I lost a brother once." It is, in a bad movie, a touching scene, and immediately all of us Star Trek geeks are out there in the audience going, "Yes! That's right! Kirk did lose a brother once! It was in that episode where those little fried egg things were attaching people!" (Or, if you are a REAL Star Trek geek, you say, "Yes! Kirk's brother Sam died in Operation: Annihilate from being attacked by a Denevan parasite! How nice that he is empathizing!) That's where the writers knew the die-hard fans would go, but that's not where the writer's were taking us! Before we can gloat over our superior knowledge of episode trivia, Kirk smiles at Spock and says, (catch your breath!) "But I was lucky--I got him back!" (catch your breath again!) That is writing that knows its fan base. That wasn't there for the average movie-going fan--that was for us! For the fans! And all the little moments in The Muppets were like that moment--little loves notes to say, "I get you. I know you're out there. I love you, man--thanks for watching." And if the average casual fan movie-goer feels like the date of someone at a family wedding instead of like a member of the family, well...we throw a good party and they'll just have to find something to entertain themselves with.

    Ru
    (who should probably be going for a degree in pop-psy bs instead of a teaching certificate!)
    newsmanfan likes this.
  17. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Sorry to be blunt but for me that's the difference between good writing and not so good writing. The rule of TV and movies: Show don't tell. ;)
    Ruahnna likes this.
  18. RedPiggy

    RedPiggy Well-Known Member

    While normally I would agree, it got to the point where I was willing to strangle Kermit unless he'd say it out loud. :)
  19. Ruahnna

    Ruahnna Well-Known Member

    I bow to your directness. A poet friend and I have a little saying about writing poetry: Never say what you can imply, and never imply what you can allude to. There is a lovely art to understatement, and it is becoming a lost art.

    I did actually adore Kermit's more direct method of showing his appreciation of Piggy in VMX, but, oh! it was lovely, lovely, wonderful to hear him say it. I am sorry that the wording that was in the book version, which I assume came from the original script, was not actually used. Kermit says, "There's never been anyone else for me." I think they probably cut it because Piggy's response, "And you for me, Kermie" was awkwardly phrased. I much preferred her little sound of dumbfounded bliss.
    heralde likes this.
  20. heralde

    heralde Well-Known Member

    Thanks for understanding; I felt bad putting it that way, lol.
    Ruahnna likes this.


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