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Your Thoughts: It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas

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

  1. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member


    There's more to a performance than just the performance, Mannerisms, chemistry and spontaneity has much to do with it as well. Dubbing performances may make the voice sound closer, but it takes much of the spark out of a performance. See Fozzie and Piggy's scenes from Muppets Tonight. Just something missing. Puppeteering is not an easy job at all. It takes years of training. You can't just hand a voice actor a puppet and hope he catches on in a month or two.

    I still don't understand what you think is wrong with Piggy's voice. I think it's incredible. Entertainment Weekly was even fooled into thinking it was Frank. Fozzie and Piggy were the only characters they pointed out, giving Frank kudos for his return! LOL!
  2. petrieboy

    petrieboy Well-Known Member

    That has less to do with how accurate Eric is and more to do with how little Entertainment Weekly pays attention to Muppets. I really wouldn't make a deal out of this if I didn't notice something very wrong. But I do have hope because either I am getting used to Steve (I couldn't stand that voice 10 years ago) or he has improved. What I've noticed a bit more in Steve is a maturing, a LITTLE more heart. Jim sure had the heart- he was so gentle and sweet and REAL. Steve started off like a gimmick, and he's calmed down a bit and put a bit more soul into it I think. I'm anxious to see the future of Piggy- and maybe Eric can take singing lessons and improve his voice and clarity as he gets more comfortable.
    As for the understanding of me being a parent. I'm actually 25 and very gay, and Christian. Now does that clear up why you all think I'm screwy? Haha.
  3. SNLIM

    SNLIM Well-Known Member

    various topics

    really i agree with so many of you...i think that there was a time when piggy's singing was supposed to be funny but i suppose some people got confused because there were those times when she wasn't that bad. as for her regular voice i think that it sounds pretty good. the only voice that was really dissapointing was janice's. but all things considered, not too bad. does anyone elsefeel bad that janice was there but not floyd?

    on music for the next muppet i think zimmer and newman would be good. but i was looking at my "great muppet caper" soundtrack and it says that joe raposo did the music and lyrics so if he's still alive that would be cool. but i also have no idea who did the other movies so ... also on the "music" topic i would love to see another musical. i am a big time fan of musicals and always will be. the original muppet movies were musicals so how could we go wrong with another one?

    also i agree with beaker in that i think some of the things that the muppets say and do are being taken a little to seriously. it's (most likely) only there for humor so just take it with a grain of salt if your offended and move on.
  4. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    All that says is you have some things in common with several of our members. We are a diverse group here at Muppet Central and we welcome everybody.

    As for Eric doing a bad job. Well, I just can't agree with you on that point. LOL! I think he's fantastic and his Fozzie impressed me too. Yes we notice, but it's so close. I actually thought we'd here more criticism, but after seeing the special I know why people seem to support it. Now Sam was just plain bad. :)
  5. Skeeter Muppet

    Skeeter Muppet Well-Known Member

    I agree. Hopefully the next time we see them, Sam will have gone back to the no-hair look. I mean, he's a bald eagle, a symbol of the USA! Don't you think he'd be proud of that?

  6. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    Oh, I meant his voice. I loved the propecia joke. And it was just that - a joke. So, I would bet he won't be having that mop on his head in the future. I laughed so hard I cried when I saw that! And they kept cutting back to him too. It made me nuts!
  7. Cantus Rock

    Cantus Rock Well-Known Member

    My Thoughts

    OKay, I just saw the film. I know I am very late, but being I was away for its premiere, I have just been able to watch it now. I also have not had the capacity to read this entire thread. So to that effect, if I repeat anything that has already been put in better wording or context, please forgive me.

    Point 1 - The Rating: I give the new Muppet film a C. On a 1 to 10 scale, I'd say a 5.

    Point 2 - My Opinion As To Why The Magic Is Gone: I feel I have figured it out. The reason is simple; the timelessness isn't there anymore. Originally, cameos in Muppet films were like familiar, friendly faces dropping in to say "Hey!". Now, it seems that the Muppets are virtually just name droppers with the mentality of "how many famous faces can we cram into one movie?". I don't want to see stupid people we see every day interacting with the Muppets!! I want the Muppets to interact with the Muppets!! My point is, we need to have less pop culture drivel and more Muppety Muppet material. That, will bring back the magic in my eyes.

    Point 3 - The Story: The name dropping and this are the only real reasons I gave the movie a C. I don't think it was as Muppet Centralized (no pun intended) as it should have been. Honestly, I think humans should really only be very minor parts of a Muppet film. In this movie, there was flat out too many humans, and it brought it down. The plot kind of didn't work for me in certain aspects also. The overall message was a good one, but I personally think it could have been delievered better.

    Point 4 - The Human Aspect: I believe that for once in my life I actually thought David Arquette's acting was good. He played his part well. Whoopi Goldberg also did her small bit to my approval (unlike many people, when she isn't going off on a pro-black tangent, I think Whoopi is pretty stomachable). Now, Joan Cusack. What in the name of Pete was she doing?! She is some one I have really liked in the past. In previous roles, I have found her funny, witty, and generally likable. In this, she was more ham-filled than Piggy. And..those..LIPS! LORD!!!!! Redder than Rocky Horror, and a million times more annoying. Yeck.

    Point 5 - The Puppet/Performer Aspect: Straight off the bat; anyone who gets up in arms or nit-picks these performers voices should seriously remove whatever seems to be bunching up their innerds so tightly. Yes, these people are not the original performers and no matter what they do, they will never do the character quite like the originators. WE KNOW!!!!! Please, kindly stop your haggling and just enjoy the characters as they are now! They are fresh, they are well manipulated, and they are MUPPETS! So what if they sound a little different?? Think of it like this; When we grow, our voices change. I think a voice change is far given the length of time these characters have been pouring it out for us. I am with you that, yeah, it would be great if Jim, Richard, Frank and Jerry were all together in their prime doing their thing, but I have to accept reality, and reality says that can't happen. In the big Muppet Theater in the sky, we shall see it again, but until then, lets have a thankful heart in regards to what we're given. All the puppets (with the exception of that stupid Triumph Dog..eck, hate that thing) were done extremely well.

    Point 6 - Muppety Goodness: I don't know if I've ever laughed harder at a modern Muppet scene than I did seeing Sam as the raver. And Scooter cage dancing to Nine Inch Nails, oh my dear sweet mother of perl, I was about to have a heart attack. Pepe as a bad guy wasn't that bad, I mean he wasn't really ever BAD, he was just...Pepe. It only lasted for a little bit, and then he saved it all, so Yip! I was so thrilled to see and hear Janice again also, tuning her harp so sweetly. :) I thought Fozzie's journey was very funny also. All in all, minus the perviously stated bad parts, it was a really fun flick.

    So, there ya have it folks. As always, feel free to rip it to shreds. :)

  8. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Re: My Thoughts

    On the contray bro...after reading every single word of every single post in this and the other MCM thread...it is in my honest opinion I think yours captures it all. I couldnt agree with you more.

    Now yes I watched this from a different perspective than most people. Yes, it was a mess, unbearable to watch in parts...the pacing was bad. But I dont see it as a movie, I see it as one giant fan nugget. Yes, that is the over zealous fan in me, granted.

    To sum up the film from a regular perspective: it was like a
    rotten sub sandwich with lots of delicious golden awe inspiring croutons sprinkled throughout. But this is not JHC fault. We knew from the law of averages that the humans would be painful to watch...we knew there'd be more cringing name dropping and useless pop references and NBC plugs that ya can shake a rubber chicken at. So you guys might think this is weird, but I give high marks to JHC. I have no idea why they thought a 15 minute slow and boring human only segment 5 minutes in was a good idea, but whats done is done.

    But I cannot recall a Muppet production in the post 90's era that really pulled out all the stops to put a smile on all the fan's faces. Yes, the general feeling after watching it is of disbelief...it seemed more distant than ever...but my goodness there was something great that I cant even really find the words for. Ok...here it is...remember when Kermit was addressing the Muppets in the theatre? Well it was almost like he was addressing all of us in a way. It's kind of like things are rough now, but we'll make it through. 1990 through now has beem unforgiving on JHC...and this film proved they are indeed exploring a whole new architecture. Whether every fan is ready isnt known, but what I do know is Im ready to embrace the future.
  9. Janice & Mokey's Man

    Janice & Mokey's Man Well-Known Member

    Re: My Thoughts

    Oh, believe me Matt, I RRRRRRRULLY enjoyed havin' JANICE back!! :D

    My comments on her voice weren't in complain mode so much as observation mode (at least that's how I meant it). Even though they could probably find a better voice, I'm just so THRILLED to have her back that it doesn't matter that much! :D

  10. Cantus Rock

    Cantus Rock Well-Known Member

    Oh, well that is refreshing! :) Glad to see you posting again Cory (btw). Also another thing I was thinking in regards to the human aspect; my way of determining whether there are too many humans in a Muppet production (besides sheer observation). The way is: When humans tart making jokes independantly (ie. without Muppets, among other humans, etc.), thats where ya know its sour. I personally think this is the exact same problem we had with KSY. Too many humans, trying to be funny, which left us with strings of glop dotted with Muppety goodness between.

    I know you were thrilled Byron, I'd never accuse you of otherwise! Like I said I didn't read the other posts before making mine, so if it looks like I'm yelling at ya (or anyone else for that matter), really I'm not. :D

  11. JamieDenny

    JamieDenny Well-Known Member

    Luke that would be great but I DONT HAVE SKY MOVIES PREMIERE
    :) If i did then it wouldn't be a problem X
  12. Deadwall

    Deadwall Member

    Examine the Flipside...

    I for one am very grateful that the muppet perfomers are attempting to keep the muppets alive! I read all these posts about the "voices being off", the "jokes being off", and the "magic lost", yet I can't get past the fact that at least we still have the muppets.

    The flipside to this whole thing... everyone could have thrown in the towel when Jim Henson passed away, and we'd be left with just a memory of what was, and visions of what could have been. I am extremely grateful for everything that has been since and will be to come, even if things are a bit "off". In my opinion, nothing has gotten so bad that we should be saying, "why, oh, why did they allow that on tv/screen/print?"

    In a season of Thanksgiving, I am thankful that there is a muppet future... a future that I would consider very, very bright. Maybe I should get out my shades?:cool:
  13. towels

    towels Well-Known Member

    Oh, I thought of what may be another nod to the past...
    When Kermit is on TRL in the beginning...do you think he is referencing his Sam and Friends days?
    This is echoed later when the alternate Honeydew calls him Lizard...
  14. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Re: Examine the Flipside...

    Oh to true. I believe wholeheartedly the 80's died in May of 1990. Not just because of JH, for a myriad of reasons. And then boom, Richard Hunt. So the first half of the 90's JHC was in a pretty disasterous state. Heck, I never even saw MCC or was interested much in post 1990 Muppets til I'd say maybe late xmas 1995 when things started looking promising again.

    It' is a triumph of the Muppets to bring new performers. I would be shocked if every new filled character was dead on. It's evolution, and its good to see the Muppets comign back. It is my sincere hope that in a hundred, maybe a thousand year, or forever Kermit will still be performed by somebody, along with whatever Muppets will be around in the future. I dont look at the Muppets as some trendy nostalgia kitch like most people in this country...I see one of the greatest and most awe inspiring forms of entertainmetn in the last century...in my heart I know the Muppets will be around for an eternity. I would not want a world in where the Muppets and the love of JH didnt exist.

    This movie should not be looked at as a timeless classic or something in a traditional movie since...it should be looked at as JHC saying to us: "Please look past what we had to do to appeal to NBC execs and the current crowds, we kno wyoull understand what with our current financial state...but this is to let all you fans know the Muppets are back and were thinking of you"

    And yes...the Muppet future to me is looking brighter than any of us could imagine. I will not be held back in my choice of words or what I say anymore...I feel the true Muppet rennassiance is comign sometime in 2003. This will nto be another 1996 or 1999 ill fated restart, but something glorious I believe.

    Btw, welcome aboard the zaniness Deadwall! Good to see such fervent passion abounds!
  15. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Oh, good call! I totally missed that reference...btw I believe the show wasnt MTV's TRL with Carson Daily, but rather Last Call with Carson Daily on NBC late late. I wouldnt even know bout that show but sometimes I cant sleep and its 2:30 am int he morning ^_^
  16. sarah_yzma

    sarah_yzma Well-Known Member


    i think what's being said is dead on! the muppets could have just stopped when jim died but it didn't! that's what's so great! we get to see new people (yes i said GET not HAD) cause in my opinion if you don't like it hey turn it off! i think the acting was wonderful (except for robin, but he was seen what twice, so whatever) i loved the jokes! and i do think that jim would probably be o.k. with what's going on...yeah sure he could make it better! but he would like the general direction. we are finally seeing the secondary characters go back to the secondary place (except for pepe but i like him so that's cool) yes we all love rizzo, and those others, but they are secondary characters for a reason...and yes some of the jokes are time sensitive, but most of the visual ones are classics. everyone know who the grinch is and i am sure they will for a while! some people had a problem with the innuendos (haha on my spelling skills) but i was watching it with my little bro and he just though pepe wanted to cuddle or something, and he ALWAYS picks up on stuff like that! and yeah sure they might in 20 years but it's only 2002 let's get through this year first!-Sarah (just random thoughts from my insane brain)
  17. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    My thoughts..

    Pop Culture Refference: Sure, there is stuff that can become dated, like the Crock Huntyer, and such, but Moulin Rouge, and The Grinch are pretty much for ever (Though the Animated Grinch is more popular, I am gald to see SOMEONE taking shots at the Movie Grinch!) Basically the Scrubs, Carson Daily, and Fear Factor Refferences were probably put there by the network, or someone trying to get it on that network (though they gave all of them a sour light..heh heh heh!) But the Muppets have parodied and used stuff that's pretty dated, as well. H. Ross Parrot, Disco Frog, and so forth. ANd this wasn't the first time Crock Hunter was given a Muppet style send up. Last year, I recall a Sesame Street episode in which there was a Letter hunter with a thick Austrailian Accent. Zoe and Elmo (Telly Maybe) also did this, and talked with Aussie accents, including a funny bit when Elmo said, "Crikey....What does Crikey mean?"

    Raunchy Humor: I have to meet you half way. Though I did not really mind the innuendo (especially the part where Joan says, "Not everything I say is an innuendo") I thought that it was pretty funny. I think they were trying to capture a motre adult audience, possibly the ones that tend to blow off the Muppets for being juevenile (shows them..heh heh!) Though Kermit, Pepe or the like make me a tad squeamish when they bring up sex (though one of the first muppet specials waas called Sex and Violence) it's not a real biggie. In fact, what they did was more like Sesame Street compaired to what's on TV thee days. Don't make me bring it up again, where I live, Sesame Street is one channel awya (and at the same time as) Jerry Springer.

    Joan Cusack: I liked her, but I reiterate, she wasn't as good a villain as Doc Hopper or Mel Brook in TMM, though she did a better job than Charles Grodin on GMC! Basically he was just a bad actor in that movie, and the only funny bit he did was, "Thieves aren't breathing down your neck!" Joan had a bit too much fun with the role, and came off more like a female Snidely WHiplash. I think she would have been great if she was a bit more subtle. I loved when they asked, "What happened to Mr. Bittermen?" and she looks really innocent and says, "He died!" If she were to be more like that in the rest of the film, she would have been REALLY darn funny.

    Muppets, post Henson: Sure. Some people thinkl nothing but bad things about post Hesnon Muppets. I'm not saying everything they did before he died was all gold and glitter. Look at the Play along videos. They were good for what they were, and they were quite fun and had great ideas to them, but somehow it just slumped after that, and the videos, though interesting, did nopt have Muppet Charm either. Though I must say, Carol Spinney rocked as the cats in "Wow, You're a cartoonist!" But I still think that what Kermit said at the end of the Jim Henson Tribute holds true. "The show must go on, because that's the way the boss would want it." Think about it this way, Muppets post Henson was much better than Mickey post Disney! (Compaire House of Mouse with Muppets Tonight. Even if I hated MT, I'd rather watch that than HoM!)

    WOMAN! WOMAN! Well-Known Member

    Whoops! I confused you with someone else.

    "Very gay." That sounds like "a little pregnant." ;)
  19. nwidener

    nwidener New Member

    The Film Direction of the New Muppet Films...

    Hi board,

    I never post, so "hi" to all you regulars. I'm a filmmaker and a huge fan of the Muppets. I enjoyed the new Christmas tv film, and aside from being a bit weirded out by the voices (I didn't know they replaced Frank and that Brian was doing Scooter, etc.), I thought it was decent. However, I think I've identified what was "off" about the film for me ( no, it wasn't the rave sequence), and it's the actual film direction. I really, really want Brian Henson to start directing the Muppet films again. Like them or not, "Christmas Carol" and "Treasure Island" are amazingly directed films. Flat out, he is a great director. The direction in "Muppets From Space" and the new film is OK, but not of the caliber found in "The Dark Crystal" or even "Muppets Take Manhattan" (both directed by Oz..at least in part). Take "Kermit's Swamp Years" for example. I know the budget wasn't huge, but to settle for the effect in the beginning when Croaker (I think) does a flip (terrible, terrible CG) is unnacceptable. Heck, if Frank is so big on directing now that he can't puppeteer, maybe he'd like to direct the ultimate Muppet film in a couple years. I know I'm throwing out random thoughts, but I feel that an experienced, fairly "name" director with solid chops (such as pacing, composition, etc.) would do wonders for how the public and especially the fans receive these films.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm thoroughly pleased that I even have a new Muppet film to watch and I'll love them no matter what, but at this point I will admit that I'm quite nostalgic for the glory days. Thanks for listening, board (or should I say "bored"?).


    P.S. I got a serious kick out of the recycled "Jack Frost" animatronic puppet. It reminded me of the Fraggle and Dinosaurs days, when every puppet was reused about sixty times! The Muppets really are back!! Now where's Mudbunny!?!?
  20. beaker

    beaker Well-Known Member

    Re: The Film Direction of the New Muppet Films...

    First off welcome!

    Yeah you touch upon a few things that make sense. We focused so much on voices being off, crude inuendo, bad writing...when its staring us right in the face: The pacing was baaaaaad.
    Now Ive met Kirk. Kirk freaking rocks. Anyone who can take a Vucan grip from Spock rocks. That said, I think the editing room could have played a better job...yet I have to give mad props to Thatcher for some of the scenes...the Moulin rouge scene was beautifully directed.

    But I agree, the next Muppet film needs a great director.

    You said "Heck, if Frank is so big on directing now that he can't puppeteer, maybe he'd like to direct the ultimate Muppet film in a couple years", and I cannot express how much I echo that sentiment...how I so wish they can make that dreamed about ultimate Muppet film...if JHC decides to make that Halloween Hotel or Cheapest Muppet Movie crud I think a lot of us would be very saddened and greatly displeased. Yes, it is more than great to see the Muppets back...but they and the vision of JH do not deserve some of the scripts JHC has been optioning.

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