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Your Thoughts: It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas

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

  1. RobintheBrave

    RobintheBrave New Member

    "NOW... I think Jim is rolling over in his grave. This was a raunchy version of the Muppets with all those "inuendos." This was not the Muppets, this was Crank Yankers.
    Kermit is not very Kermit - like. "Porn is fine."? Not something Kermit would say, and I was really begining to appreciate Steve too. Thoughts? Am I alone on this one?"

    When did you hear Kermit say "Porn is fine"?

    Yes, I agree that the inuendos were not in good taste and not very Muppety. I didn't mind seeing NBC on Kermit's foot (I thought it was kinda funny) but I don't like this idea of making the Muppets "edgier". The Muppets became famous because they use intelligent humor that adults appreciate while remaining something kids can enjoy, too. They don't need Pepe lusting after some woman's boobs. That's the sort of thing that Jim would not have approved of.

    Still, I hope you saw all of it. The second half was much more Muppety and had some wonderful moments.
    :)

    Robin the Brave
  2. ballington

    ballington New Member

    sex and violence

    First let me just say that I am thrilled all of you are such BIG fans. I really think I may be the only Muppet fan in Jersey and the last thing I would ever want to do is really get you guys angry.

    I do remember the "Sex and Violence" pilot, and there was NO sex and violence, that was the gag. I just think the Muppets have made some really bad decisions, and this lean toward strictly adult humor is one of them. Steve does a nice job, whoever is doing Scooter, Piggy, Fozzie and all the other favs are doing fine jobs, but are they doing them justice? Remember the greats? Henson, Oz, Hunt, Nelson... God, I think if Dave Goelz were to leave, practically the LAST original, I'd have a heart attack! Did it ever occur to anyone that maybe Frank Oz and Jerry Nelson aren't around anymore because they feel the same way?

    PS - Sam is a BALD Eagle... what the heck is with that ridiculous mop top?
  3. ballington

    ballington New Member

    "Porn is fine" was a comment Kermit made on the Late Show with Craig Kilborne about a week or so ago, I think. It was in reference to Snoop Dog who was supposed to make an appearance on the movie, but was editied out. This is another question I have of conflicting stories. On the show, Kermit said Snoop was dropped because of his new porn line, but on the article posted here on Muppet Central, I thought it said Snoop was edited because of time.
  4. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Active Member

    Re: sex and violence

    That was the point of the joke! Sam is a bald eagle, so he is bald but he is trying to grow more hair. I thought that was hilarious!
  5. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Active Member

    I'm with Frogboy and the others who loved the movie - it was great. I know not everyone is happy with some of the directions the Muppets have gone in, but this really was a great effort and one of first movies in a while my whole family could watch together and enjoy equally in a long time.

    I think that times have changed, Jim is gone and thus the Muppets must evolve while trying to stay true to their origins and I think this movie accomplished that.

    And to whomever compared this movie to - :eek: - Crank Yankers, shame on you! Heresy! :mad:
  6. Skeeter Muppet

    Skeeter Muppet Active Member

    Hear, hear! I sincerely hope that Brian takes Scooter on as one of his regular characters; after his (all-too-brief) appearance in MFS, then at MuppetFest and now in the Christmas Movie, it would be a shame if Scooter were put back into retirement. The same for Janice (although I found it really odd that, out of all the Mayhem, she and Animal were the only band members that were heard from. Oh well, can't win 'em all).

    And the "Muppet fansite line"... I too was nearly rolling on the floor with laughter at that one, plus cheering at the same time. All I can say is, it's nice to be noticed, isn't it?

    I also loved the song "Everyone Matters;" both Dave and Steve sounded excellent. I think I liked the duet between Gonzo and Kermit in that song better than the (30 second clip) group sing of it at the end. If anyone has an mp3 of that, let me know! I have plenty of other Muppet mp3s to trade! Oh, and was it just me or did anyone else notice Gilbert Gottfried in the group of human carolers while they were rolling the credits?


    -Kim
  7. Natalie

    Natalie New Member

    Well I really enjoyed it. There were a lot of great lines and it was good to see old characters back (despite the different voices). Yes, it wasn't rated G, but I don't think it was too much. Kermit was a bit over the top in parts of it though, too crazy. The muppet fan site line was hilarious! I loved the Moulin Rouge part and the whole end of the movie in the "It's a Wonderful Life" spoof. I do think that this brings some hope for the muppets to make a comeback. We'll just have to see.
  8. EmmyMik

    EmmyMik New Member

    Hmmmmmmm... Is your mom's vision up to snuff? Perhaps she needs a trip to the eye doctor. But I do agree anything and everything tastes better when you're looking at a picture of Bill...

    :D
  9. Skeeter Muppet

    Skeeter Muppet Active Member

    Seconded!


    -Kim
  10. Natalie

    Natalie New Member

    I didn't notice Gilbert Gottfried, but I thought I saw Susan Serandon in the line to get into the theater. I'm probably wrong though.
  11. EmmyMik

    EmmyMik New Member

    Honestly. Who is to say what Jim would or wouldn't have liked. The only person who would know for *sure* is Jim. Very much not too long ago we had a thread floating around that was full of "dirty" scenes. And *gasp* some of these were during the Jim Henson era. And *double gasp* some of these lines were uttered by Jim.

    I've seen worse stuff on Saturday morning cartoon shoes...
  12. ChellisPal

    ChellisPal Member

    I'm gald to see the general feeling of the movie is good, as some of you know I saw it a little over a week ago, and my big concern was how everyone was going to react to it. Now I see that for the most part everyone was pleased.

    I have always said that if the Muppets were to stage a big return , X-mas was the way to do it, I think that this movie is the start of what could finally be the rebirth of these characters that we love sooooo much. God willing the new series will follow this idea of the Theatre again, and hopefully NBC did well in the raitings with it(after all it was ups against a cheesy Brady movie)
    I'll have a review on its way in a few days, I look forward to seeing what other comments pop up here

    Here is a quick q though that I think we are all curious about-
    1. Who played Janice?
    2.Who did Kevin Clash play in the film?

    talk to u all soon
  13. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Re: Oz, Nelson and Muppet evolution

    The original report from the Jim Henson Company was that Snoop was cut for time. Kermit later cleared this up on the Kilborn show after some criticism in the press.

    Oz really left the Muppets a long time ago in order to pursue work as a serious director. He has stated that his work with the Muppets has hindered his credibility at times. He barely performed in Muppet Treasure Island and Muppets Tonight. His performance was mainly dubbed.

    There is concern over Nelson's recent departure. We caught wind of this in the Weezer video. It is rumored that he isn't doing well these days; I hope that report is incorrect. I'll ask at my next puppet guild meeting. Several people there have worked with the Muppets and they should know what's going on.

    Jim Henson crossed the threshold into more adult-oriented themes with the Gorch skits on Saturday Night Live and other projects. I don't believe he ever intended the Muppet Show cast to be these pure and perfect Disneyized characters that they evolved into during the nineties. This project is an obvious swift reaction to that. I don't see any decline in the Muppets morals behavior over the years. The Craig Kilborn interview was kind of strange, but most of it was pretty good and very classic Kermit-like. The interview and the special are edgier and I can see how some might object.

    However, the Muppets were intended to reflect the culture of the time. Today's culture is more edgy. If they don't find some sort of common ground, they might as well be locked in some sort of time capsule. I don't think many of us would approve of that. Continuing on the road they were on in the late 90s would lead to death or would kiddify the Muppet industry in my opinion. When I go back and watch Muppet Show episodes, I am sometimes surprised they could include some little parts during the 70s.

    They did stumble around a bit in this project, but I see it a step in the right direction.
  14. pezbalubah

    pezbalubah Member

    I enjoyed it very much, to me this movie had everything that Muppets From Space was missing, more concentration on the core characters, and them singing songs! Piggy and Fozzie were great, Brian Henson's Scooter was good, and just like everybody else said Sam was the most off. What was the deal with Jerry's characters? His name was in the end credits (but not in the beginning), was it somebody else or did he just sound different? The humor was great, edgier than anything else they've done, but still not too bad. Most of the jokes were actually funny, not like the really unfunny stuff on South Park. I knew right away the muppet fan site line would be a topic on here, if not on the opening page of every muppet fan site. But it almost seems like they read fan forums and give what it seems the fans wanted: the return of the old characters mixed well with the new ones. For some reason it was alot easier on the eye to see Rowlf, Scooter, Crazy Harry, Sweetums, etc. in the frame rather than a slew of new characters or unknowns.
  15. Natalie

    Natalie New Member

    A side note: I had to tape the movie and watch it 2 hours later, so apparently I missed the crowd on here earlier. But tonight we had the most members ever on at once all year! I think that's great. I know I was ready to hop on here as soon as the movie ended.
  16. AruggeRadio

    AruggeRadio Member

    I have to say, overall i thought this movie was quite good. I would rank it up with the better of the Muppet Movies (Although i like all of them just about equal). The reappearance of so many classic characters made it feel like the Muppets again, which I think was desperately lacking from Muppets Tonight and other Projects.

    Here is my thoughts on the people who were worried about the more racier material. There was nothing said tonight that wouldn't have been said in movies like "White Christmas" during the days of the movie code. The rave seen was a bit strange but i thought was funny overall (Seeing Sam with Glow sticks was funny). So overall i didn't mind any of it, there have been sexual innuendos thought the Muppet shows history.

    One thing that has not been brought up yet is the style of the film. I thought this film had the most unique look out of any of the previous Muppet movies. Using more natural lighting gave it the feel of the very first episode of the Muppet show, like it was in a dark badly lit theater. Which I truly enjoyed the look of this film.

    So overall I would give this probably 4 1/2 Kermit heads. I thought it was funny, and captured the spirit of the Muppets like they have not been captured in some time. Remember folks the Muppets don't always have to be cute, they can be funny as well. And also remember the show was Rated TV-G by NBC and the MPAA so if they tonight the film stepped over the line it would have gotten a more extreme ratting. Remember it was all meant to be fun so have fun with it.
  17. The Flying Sheep

    The Flying Sheep New Member

    I've been waiting all my life for a Piggy-Kermit Kiss!
  18. the_great_gonzo

    the_great_gonzo New Member

    i too was glad to see all of our old favorites. i also like how they didn't overuse or try to force any characters. Each character got their acceptable amount of screen time. I liked the new characters too. The snowman was funny except Mel Brooks sounded like he was coughing up a cat (btw Feline Navidad..hilarious.) Howard The Pig was a little...um..eccentric but still funny. My favorite was the young frog who got his tongue stuck to the pole. I also liked how they took the Muppet Christmas Carol approach of mixing people and muppets together in the same setting in the opening. As for "Everyone Matters" i too prefer the Gonzo/Kermit version. When I saw Gonzo playing guitar and starting to sing, I got a huge grin on my face. I also thought the kiss was funny too. They didn't try to make it all emotional and sensitive. They made it funny. Like it really is. "Kermit kissed me! Kermit kissed me!"
  19. petrieboy

    petrieboy Member

    Who is running the show?

    It's all gone very wrong. I was depressed by Kermit's voice for the last 10 years... and now he is the most comforting thing left. Beaker and Bunsen were a treat ... but I have got to stand up to all of this "Steve is doing a great job" stuff. I thought Fozzie sounded good enough... but MISS PIGGY is lost, lost, lost. She's my favorite character and she is a mess now. The comic timing is off, and half the time I could not hear what she was saying because the words were mumbled together or spoken too fast (or something). Janice had a wretched voice. THE MUSIC? What music? One generic song written by Desmond Child? If Jim were alive, 2 hours for a Christmas film would have been loaded with wonderful songs. There was no point in the crappy Moulin Rouge scene, except for the very nice set--- I thought they were actually going to put on a terrific song and dance number... but it was ridiculous and messy--- And even if they did "really" sing, Miss Piggy's singing is hideous now, who wants to hear it? The film didn't even feel Christmasy to me. It could have taken place at any other time of year. What bothered me most is that the Muppets were always a shining light for what we wish all the world could be--- now they've joined the world as far as I'm concerned-- I want to throw up with all the trendy references (Brittany Spears. Countless NBC crap, a rave, and countless other stuff.) The old Muppet movies are timeless. Even "A Muppet Family Christmas" is timeless--- and in one hour, it packed more entertainment than 2 hours of whatever this was. There were some very nice touches to be sure. I loved the old theater setting- I loved the characters running around inside it. It looked very classy. The filming looked great. Whoopi Goldberg as a very irreverent God was a bit much. And the innuendos were sickening for the Muppets. The script was here and there and everywhere and nowhere in particular- which would have been fine if there was more joy in it- and more, much more, music. I own all 15 Muppet show dvds- and all 6 muppet films. I own Labyrinth and Dark Crystal, Emmet Otter and Muppet Family Christmas. When "Muppet Christmas Carol" came out, I was sad that it had lost something special without Jim. I've grown fond of it, and wonder if nothing will measure up to even that from now on. I want more Muppets- I love their colours, Piggy's new hairstyle--- everything looks great, but there is no depth... it's been replaced I guess by tacky trends. In 20 years, this film will be long forgotten by the non-Muppet fanatics. Can't Jim Henson Productions host a world wide search for the best new voices? I realize they'd like to stick with their own... but it seems that there must be some people out there who could do a gem of a job. Preferably people with better morals than whoever is running the show now.
  20. Chilly Down

    Chilly Down Member

    I’ll write a full review in a couple of days, but for now here are some thoughts. (Sorry that I’m repeating what a lot of others said. I had so much to say, I typed it all out before I came here!)

    --One thing that I really liked about this movie: the amount of screen time given to each of the characters seemed more well-balanced than anything I’ve seen in a Muppet production in years. Kermit was at the center of the story (as he should be), and Piggy, Fozzie and Gonzo were his ample supporting cast, as they should be. Piggy and Fozzie didn’t feel missing in action like they have of late, and Gonzo was all the more loveable and funny because I didn’t feel he was being shoved in our face like in some recent productions. Lending ample support were Bunsen and Beaker. Pepe had a beefy, significant part without feeling like he was the next Gonzo-and-Rizzo. Showing up for small but funny appearances were Rizzo, Robin, Scooter and Janice (!!), Johnny Fiama and Sal, Sam, and Pops (!), and that’s about the amount of time these characters should be getting in a 2-hour production. (There’s more opportunity to explore these supporting characters in a weekly series.) I could’ve used a funnier scene with the Swedish Chef, but that’s a quibble. I haven’t seen the characters this well-used in a production since probably “The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson.”

    --Jim Lewis and Tom Martin (the writers) nailed all the characterizations perfectly this time out. Kermit is good-hearted but still has the ability to get frustrated. I haven’t seen him blow up at the others like that since a similarly moving scene in “The Muppets Take Manhattan.” Kermit is a three-dimensional character again. Fozzie, particularly in his increasingly comic attempt to deliver the money, was very funny and very in character. Fozzie’s not stupid; he’s just a sweet-natured bear for whom things often tend to get wildly out of control. They also captured both Piggy’s vanity (and the inevitable falling on one’s face that comes with vanity) that makes her funny, as well as her desire to her succeed and her vulnerability that make us love her. No longer being forced to be the emotional center of the story, Gonzo showed his zanier side again this time, while still showing just enough soulfulness in his song at the end. And when Pepe sided with Joan Cusack’s character, I couldn’t help but think of Rizzo helping out Charles Grodin in “The Muppets at Walt Disney World” – and that’s a compliment. Pepe needs to walk a certain “nasty” line without becoming, say, J.P. Grosse. The writers hit a bullseye with him, and with all the other characters, this time around.

    --Eric Jacobson is SO dead-on with his vocal characterization of Piggy and Fozzie. My hats off to him. I completely forgot it wasn’t Frank 5 minutes into the movie. Sam was just passable, but I was happy to see him there. (But was that Frank voicing the fake Yoda? It would be a great in-joke and a warm gesture on Frank’s part if it were. But I don’t doubt that Eric could have done this voice, too.) Thanks to Eric, Piggy and Fozzie are back at the front and center of the storyline, and I gladly welcome Eric to the “upper tier” of Muppet performers. (Not that it was up to me anyway!) ::rolleyes::

    --Brian as Scooter is passable. I’m just happy to see him back. Janice didn’t sound right at all to me, but I do appreciate the effort to include these characters. Maybe next time they could hire a couple of those marvelous voice actors who take over the roles of Disney and Warner Bros. characters? I don’t think it’s heresy to have someone do the voice on the set, to capture the live performance, then have the voice dubbed in later by someone who’s better at capturing the character vocally. In fact, the company’s been doing variations on that practice for years, so I don’t see why this would be significantly different.

    --Meanwhile, what happened to Jerry’s characters? In one sense, I hope they’re not trying to phase Jerry out, as he’s a special and important part of the troupe. On the other, I hope that the reason for his absence is not, as suspected, because of a serious illness. I do sincerely hope, if this is the case, that he gets better soon. (All the stranger that he did voice the unseen announcer!)

    --I saw Kevin Clash’s name in the credits, but didn’t see any of his characters. Who did he play? Did he sub in for one of the missing performers?

    --After his appearance in “Muppets from Space,” I was afraid David Arquette might be too "twitchy" in this role, but I have to say he won me over. The nebbishy persona he adopts here fits him perfectly, and his standing up for what he thinks is right and his occasional bumbling ineffectualness were simply charming.

    --I was worried Whoopi Goldberg as God (or “the Boss,” as she’s called here) would be sacrilegious. After seeing the movie...I'm still not sure. I can accept a God who is both no-nonsense and yet has a sense of humor, but to present God as a couch potato who doesn't intervene on our behalf because we supposedly don't need it -- well, without wanting this to be a heated theological debate, let me just say that, in the context of the movie, her scenes just seemed more odd than funny.

    --By contrast, I wasn’t worried about Joan Cusack at all. I’ve adored her in previous films, and she seemed to have the right loopy comic sense to perform with the Muppets. Having now seen her in this, though, the jury’s still out. Some broadness to one’s acting style is appropriate for the Muppets, but was this too broad? This is the one thing I’ll have to try to figure out through more than one viewing. While her lines were very funny and well-written, something just didn’t click. I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing her work with the Muppets again – maybe she’d be better as a heroic character than a villain?

    --The buff Beaker bouncer was the single funniest moment in the movie.

    --In fact, overall the scenes in the "alternate universe" featured funnier, sharper satire than the rest of the movie. Rizzo in the rat cage in "Fear Factor"? Priceless! (I'm astounded NBC allowed Kermit to call the show "disgusting" -- though I agree! And Arquette's line about the Kermit-less universe featuring 90% reality shows -- hilarious! I think we're all stuck in that universe right now.) And Piggy as the Jamaican psychic hotline person was a scream. (And, in that universe, her profound lack of self-esteem -- truly heartbreaking.)

    --The revelation of Doc Hopper’s Frog Legs being a success in the alternate universe was an absolute masterstroke.

    --Gonzo and his brick. Need I say more?

    --“Wocka, wocka. Hokay?”

    --The cameo by the Jack Frost character from the Creature Shop, dressed up as Burl Ives, was hilarious.

    --The Kermit-initiated kiss was touching and a natural result of the progression of the storyline and the way the characters were developing. And before the sentiment could grow leaden, it was followed by the gag of Piggy falling in the orchestra pit. Perfect.

    --Not a scene per se, but I’m very grateful that they showed both of the MasterCard commercials. Now I’ve got these gems saved for posterity. I could also appreciate the detail that went into them, since they showed them more than once. I wish they had showed that elusive third commercial, but hey, you can’t have everything.

    --The pacing was a bit off. I felt the opening was a little sluggish (though some of the gags with the Muppets were great), and I felt the ending was a little dragged out, and surprisingly anticlimactic, since nothing really changed for anyone!

    --Once again, my theory that TV ratings people don’t even bother to watch the show seems to be confirmed. Over and over again, the “TV-G” rating flashed on the screen. But with the effete male pig slapping Kermit’s behind, Cusack encouraging Pepe to stare at her cleavage, and Pepe using the word “s**ks,” this should have gotten a TV-PG rating. My guess is, the NBC ratings-board person said, “Oh, Muppets? I remember Sesame Street and Muppet Babies. Slap a G rating on that one,” and didn’t even bother to watch it.

    --And the award for Best Way to Ruin a Finale goes to NBC. While the Muppets were still singing at the end, the network cut in for an advertisement we’d already seen 100 times. They cut in right in the middle of Fozzie’s line, no less. Just so NBC could make a few more pennies, we missed the ending of the movie. Bah, humbug, indeed.

    Overall, I’d say this movie was better than “Muppet Treasure Island” or “Muppets from Space,” though not better than “Muppet Family Christmas” or even “Muppet Christmas Carol,” both of which I love. While not the revelation that “The Muppet Show Live” was last year, this movie was still a lot of fun and had a lot of good laughs. This movie gave me a positive feeling about the upcoming series. If they haven’t yet completely hit their stride again, at least they’re heading in the right direction.


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