The owner of a bank (Miss Bitterman) wants to own the Muppet Theatre so she can build a nightclub over it. After she tricks Pepe into giving her the only copy of the contract between her father and the Muppets, she changes it so the Muppets have very little time to pay a debt they owe. Meanwhile, the Muppets are trying to put on a Christmas show. After the Muppets are confronted by Bitterman, they make a lot of sacrifices to save up so they can keep the Theatre. Written by
Muppets (tm)\,mu-pets\ 1: a trademark of The Jim Henson Company for a fanciful troupe of famous puppet characters created and performed exclusively by, and/ or for goods and services coming exclusively from, the characters at The Jim Henson Company [var Muppet; The Muppets]; 2: none See more »
Even the Ending Is Fresh and Unpredictable (sorta)
This is, without a doubt, the best Muppet movie in a *long* time. And the Muppets are back to zany form with parodies, such as "Moulin Scrooge", taking place in their classic Muppet Theater. Most of the newer Muppets are nowhere to be found, while older favorites have returned, and Fozzie has been brought back to the foreground. Welcome back!
The plot, basically a Muppet version of "It's a Wonderful Life" (I guess we can get used to Muppet versions of classics now, since the more original "Muppets from Space" failed), pits Kermit and the gang against a corporate shark who intends to turn their theater into a nightclub. All is fine until everybody's favorite bear fails to get their money to the bank on time. Now, the theater is gone, everyone is out of work, and Kermit is despondent. Time for a little Divine intervention.
The strange thing about this movie is that it maintains a "G" rating, but just barely. The Muppets have always had bizarre and sometimes risque humor (Gonzo's chicken fetish has always been, well, odd), but the ante is upped in this outing, with Scooter cage dancing and Pepe being promised a special bonus as a woman focuses his eyes on her chest. (No cleavage, though. Either you know what she's talking about, or you don't.) It goes a little too far, but just a little, and not enough to destroy the film.
The other problem, really, is that the director seemed more intent on making a feature film than one for television. Many of the segues into commercials feel forced, like they suddenly hit the time limit and had to end the scene prematurely with artificial suspense, or perhaps they wanted to cut to another scene directly but time wouldn't allow. Whatever the reason, the commercial breaks feel very out-of-place. (There's also one too many NBC plugs, but it never really got annoying. Network TV; what're ya gonna do?)
Still, this film is far too enjoyable to nitpick. The Muppets truly are back to form. Let's hope they stay there.
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