The illusion of Fozzie driving the Studebaker was achieved by having a midget drive the car via remote control from the trunk, using a television monitor to guide his steering. The puppeteers would lay on the seat or floor and couldn't see a thing. The first time they tested it, the television monitor went on the blink, and the driver had to be talked through the scene by an assistant director on a walkie-talkie ("A little to the right, now, to the left...hold it..."). See more »
Just as Gonzo sails away with the balloons, he flies over the line of bunting banners twice. See more »
I'm Waldorf. We're here to heckle "The Muppet Movie".
Gentlemen, that's straight ahead. Private screening room D.
Yeah, they're afraid to show it in public.
[they laugh as their car proceeds forward]
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Over first few credits, Sweetums bursts out of the screen, followed by many Muppet gags See more »
Write your own ending: Existential awareness in hand puppets
In many ways, the perfect movie. The "Incredible Journey" and Horatio Alger tale come together for a positive spin on the usually depressing subject of existentialism. In essence, the travails of the muppets boil down to the finale song of the movie: "Life's like a movie, write your own ending, keep believing, keep pretending." They create their own reality, which has all the trappings of every epic tale: a lofty goal at the end of what is necessarily a obstacle-laden journey; an ever-increasing group of like-minded individuals for camaraderie; a nasty set of villians who are not beyond all redemption; and a big-budget Hollywood ending because, darn it all, they CAN.
Only Jim Henson could pull this off. He walks the line between sentimentality and philosophy without swerving too long or too hard into either. Of course it seems odd that invest such weight into a film starring puppets, but in the end perhaps they are the perfect, uh, puppet to make these points. The movie's atmosphere allows for the pure enjoyment of the Hollywood dream, the "happy" ending, unnecessary cameos, and bursting into song at the drop of a hat. Usually these aspects are anathema to quality in film, but the self-deprecating manner under which the story is delivered makes for guilt-free viewing. One of the few films that can truly be called "suitable for all ages."
The other muppet-related films (including "The Empire Strikes Back"), while palatable, do not touch the simple grace of this film. Take, for instance, the musical number "Hope that Something Better Comes Along," the duet of Kermit and Rowlf. Amusing in its vaudevillian goofiness, yet makes a bitingly crucial point about the motivations behind life choices. Brilliant.
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