The Muppets was one of the big entertainments in our slim television life back in the 70’s, next to Space: 1999 (and the runaway moon) and the Thunderbirds (International Rescue). I don’t remember when I saw the Muppets first time, but it was surely in black and white as everything else. Colour tv in Greece was only for rich people until the 80’s; by the time such a device was at reach I had lost interest to watch anything; including the Muppets.
One more decade further, in Holland, the Muppets revealed themselves in their real glory: I could only exclaim “oh, my god! they are coloured in all these funny tints and absurd combinations! … “this is a series that should be shown in art schools! … as indication of creative freedom within the commercial standards!”. It may sound pretentious, but remember this was a time when all colour was banned from artworks, especially when in such rebellious options; next to that, the absurdity of the show seemed as a juxtapose, or should I say parallel, to the concepts and art managers (the curators) that pulled the carpet under the artists feet; merely with the artists’ consent. Coming from the hippie times, the Muppets had preserved their rebel spirit; and yet…
Decades fly before you complete a thought; the Muppets reconnected two years ago and now they are again to see on the big screen in the film Muppets Most Wanted. The story starts as a James Bond parody, with the cold war stereotype of good-bad; politics have poisoned the Muppets too, was the first thought. But, if addressed to children, the references of the story either to spy films either to socio-political critic from Americans to Europeans, fall in blanc. I can assure you that a kid of seven does not get the joke “DIE MUPPETS” on the theatre board in Berlin (do you?). Neither of course the hints on the European working conditions with their fixed working hours and long holidays. Which, as side story, is absolutely hilarious and almost steals the show; for the grown-ups.
To not sound negative, the film starts in the swamp, literally, but develops into a full fun story, thanks to its contributors, from script writers to director and actors. Did I see Ray Liotta among the dancing prisoners in the Siberian Gulag? Was that Lady Gaga passing by in time shorter than a second? What did Zach Galifianakis say in the church at Miss Piggy’s wedding?
Of course I am not going to answer that, but just say that doubt is a sign of caring. There, now you have a sophisticated reason to watch Muppets Most Wanted.
P.S. Mickey (who is 7 and thanks to him I watch all these fun movies) thought that the funniest thing was the bad frog with two moles on his face (quite minimal, no?)…
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