BEST OF 2011: The Muppets
A lot of films surprised me this year with their wit, charm and self-reflexivity—Kung Fu Panda 2, Gnomeo & Juliet, Drive Angry—but The Muppets’ enormously clever advertising campaign alone made sure it would be one of the year’s best.
I was not disappointed.
For someone who grew up watching the Muppets in their many filmic adventures, The Muppets (2011) was a triumphant return. Featuring a terrific meta storyline about the disappearance and irrelevance of The Muppets over the years, the film did justice to the self-aware franchise. Topped with a fantastically fun and hilarious score by Flight of the Conchords star Bret McKenzie and stemming from the 70s and 80s (when the Muppets were initially popular), the film is guaranteed to make you question whether you are a man, or a Muppet. The score also features Muppet renditions of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Cee Lo Green’s “Fuck You” (or “Forget You”, for the PG13 audience), in the Muppets’ quest to stay relevant. Yet, despite their bet efforts, everything comes out delightfully tacky, true to Muppet style.
Yes, some storylines are left underdeveloped and there are some questionable directorial choices, but overall this film had me singing and skipping away from the theatre. That, my friends, is an accomplishment that should not be overlooked. I encourage you to travel by map to your nearest theatre to see if it’s still playing or to a video store when this gem is released on DVD and Blu Ray.