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|Index||14 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The script was DREADFUL, the "star-studded" cast was jaw-droppingly lame, the music limp and meaningless, the child actress too, too precious and affected... can't think of anything that was good about it. (Okay, the costumes were alright- Uma Thurman got the best ones.) It's just too bad, really, but apparently no one involved with the creative part of Muppets productions has any memory of what made them so special, so charming and funny and INTELLIGENT in the first place. Was it all because of Jum Henson? Because the productions, including Sesame Street, have gone straight to smirky, smarmy, dopey, predictable, kids'll-watch-anything so it doesn't matter Hollywood h*ll since he died.
I love the Muppets, the show and most of their movies. However, this
special was a big disappointment. Granted it has its good points, I
loved the chemistry between Kermit and Miss Piggy, the production
values are at least decent and I liked Gonzo very much here. Also the
Muppet performers do do a decent job with weak material.
Pretty much everything else is a big disappointment. The story was fresh and original I agree at first glance, but it was a completely different story when it came to the execution. Most of it actually is very predictable and rushed. This isn't helped by the fact it is too short.
I also agree about the special's writing. The script is pretty much terrible, Gonzo and Fozzie have their moments but most of the other Muppet parts are under-written and very rarely was it funny. The jokes were also very lame and childish, and the sentimentality gets mushy.
The music was also a big disappointment. Other than Gonzo and Fozzie's duet, which was compared to everything else delightful, the music is little more than mediocre and I say forgettable too. The lyrics are also trite and the melodies are unmemorable afterwards.
The Muppets do try their best, and I was thrilled at the return of some old favourites, but let down severely by bad material, and I missed Gonzo and Rizzo's chemistry which was always delightful. The cameos are even more disappointing. Some of the characters are somewhat superfluous to the story or are poorly explored- I concur that the whole believing in Santa thing was quite poorly done- and Paul Williams' cameo especially is completely out of place and unfunny.
In conclusion, I am a Muppet fan, but I have to agree, A Muppets Christmas:Letters to Santa is quite weak. It has its moments, but it is a shame especially about the writing and music. 4/10 Bethany Cox
With the month of December almost over, I finally decided to watch this Muppet Christmas special that I put off for the last two weeks. In summation, A Muppet Christmas: Letters to Santa is no great shakes compared to the classic "Muppet Show" that I enjoyed as a kid of the '70s but these creations of the late Jim Henson can still entertain like nobody's business and it was very nice to see the whole gang from that show together again. The songs by Muppet veteran Paul Williams were nicely done though only the Fozzie/Gonzo duet about wishing to be Santa seems like a future classic. The celebrity cameos are hit-or-miss but do provide some amusements especially that of Williams and Nathan Lane. I recognized the kid from that Disney movie that starred Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. It's too bad that Jane Krakowski and Jesse Martin weren't utilized more for their musical talents. Still, if you love the Muppets, you'll be glad to see them in A Muppet Christmas: Letters to Santa.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Synopsis: Kermit, Pepe, Miss. Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzy, and the rest of the
Muppet crew go to the post office to deliver letters to Santa. While
there, some mishaps occur and Gonzo forgets to deliver 3 letters. The
gang has to find a way to get the letters to Santa and help him fulfill
the Christmas wishes. The film has appearances from Jane Krakowski, Uma
Thurman, Whoopi Goldberg, Jesse Martin, and Nathan Lane.
Review: I am a big fan of the Muppets, but this film was more boring than magical. The sad thing is that the concept has potential: letters to Santa are accidentally left out of the mail and the Muppet gang has to first deliver them to Santa and then help Santa fulfill the wishes.
The problem is this: the film wastes time in the letter delivery process. At the 30 minute mark of the 44 minute feature, Kermit, Gonzo, Fozzy, and Pepe are just arriving at the North Pole. The film spends less than a minute there-- with a beautiful exterior that goes to waste. We meet 1 elf, and never venture inside. Then, it's back to delivering the letters again, and the viewers finally see Santa 10 minutes before the film ends-- rushing the meat of the story: giving Santa the letters and making wishes come true.
If the writers had been more intelligent, they would have spent only 10 minutes on delivery and the journey to the North Pole. The other 34 minutes then could have been spent in hijinks at Santa's Workshop (instead of the Post Office) and going from house to house making 3 or 4 special children's wishes come true.
You might be better off re-watching The Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Family Christmas, or even It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas (which parodies It's a Wonderful Life). All 3 are gems.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was so psyched to see a new Muppets special. There's been such slim
pickings after Muppets From Space. A Very Merry, 2002, was a wee
cluttered but is palpable for multiple viewings. The wholly unwatchable
Muppets Wizard of Oz, however, was a stinking turd of a movie. Even
this fan, who is a hardcore Muppet freak, couldn't make it through the
whole thing. So I was crossing my fingers for this one.
Sigh. It was better, in the fact that I made it through the entire thing. Of course, it was only an hour, and they took so many commercial breaks that the darn thing was probably only about 35 minutes total.
Many things could have helped what felt like a half-assed hack job. "Ooh, let's make up some random crap and make the Muppets do it, never taking into consideration how the characters should really behave," the writers said, I imagine. First, who the heck is Claire? And why should we care? What is the point of introducing two new characters that no one knows and no one cares about, for a measly one-hour special? Look, I get it. You want humans. Whoopie. Do like with Nathan Lane and Uma Thurman and give them bit roles. I'm sorry, but when it's the Muppets Anything, it should be them starring. And Jane Krakowski was completely wasted here. How sad. What would have been much more believable would be if one of the letters was Robin's, Kermit's nephew. And Kermit feels compelled to get to Santa.
Which brings me to my next pointwhy the hell is GONZO the focus? He, while an interesting character, is not the main driver in the Muppets. Kermit is. He is the main character in the Muppets. That's how it is; that's the natural way of this franchise. It's just like Jerry is the main character of Seinfeld, like Carrie is the main of Sex and the City. Sure, we learn about the other three; sure, there are other bit ones introduced. But, the core remains the same, and the leader does as well. The four main Muppets are Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, and Piggy. Those are the four that everyone thinks of, and those are the four who are at the center of each story, with Kermit as the lead.
Not that I have a problem with Gonzo, oh no. I like Gonzo. He's just the second best friend in this situation, not the star. Now some may say, "But hey, wait, Gonzo was the focus of Muppets From Space. He can carry a picture!" It worked therebecause it was a plausible storyline. You couldn't do aliens with any of the other main Muppets, except maybe some of the band. Also, Gonzo was his normal self in Spacestrange, out of the box, running around like crazy. Just as he should be. In Letters, though, it's like someone gave him too much Paxil. He's got no zip, no spunk, none of his usual quirkiness. He's just slightly depressed and much too mellow for his character.
Speaking of wrong characters, we now come to my biggest sticking pointPiggy. Now, my disclosure is that Miss Piggy has been my favorite Muppet and even personal hero since I was about 2 years old. I've always seen her as a confident woman who knows what she wants and doesn't let anyone hold her back. Who, for instance, hit Kermit and brought back his memory in Muppets Take Manhattan? Who stood by her frog in A Very Merry Muppet Christmas? Who was the co-star for Kermit in the Christmas Carol? She is a strong woman, in more ways than one, and when the chips are down, she sticks by her friends. But this Piggy? Despicable. They made her a selfish brat, as they did in Oz. If this were the real Piggy, she would've stuck by her friends, especially her frog. I could picture her perfectly being jealous when Joy showed up, which would've been more natural than to just write her out in the first five minutes. Was it because her eyes look so darn funny? Was I the only one who noticed that? What, did they lose her original prototype, or something?
In fact, not just Piggy, but the whole crowd would stick by the main characters and help out. That's what Muppets always dothey support each other like a team. They carpool to California in the Muppet Movie to break into the movies. They put on each Muppet Show together. They saved their Theatre in A Very Merry by sticking by each other. It's completely wrong to think that anyone of them would walk out on each other. Sure, some tried to punk out in the Great Muppet Caper, but eventually they all came together to save the day. Besides, returning letters versus possibly getting killed? Please. One can hardly compare the two, and really fault their hesitation.
And speaking of the other characters, Family Guy was right. Wrong-sounding Muppets is the worst. Waldorf sounded so weird, Janice wasn't right, and the friend I watched with said, "Hey, wasn't Beaker's voice higher?" I understand that many of the originals have moved on, either to different projects or to that great Muppetland in the sky. I'm just surprised that these talented voice people can't bend their vocal chords a little further to sound a little more like the characters they're playing. I know it's hard. But it's disheartening to hear a character's voice come out strange, when you thought you knew that voice perfectly.
To sum up, it was OK to watch once, making it better than Oz. But I wouldn't want to see it again, making it only slightly better than Oz and not on par with what the Muppets should be putting out.
The Muppets in NYC are lined up to get their Christmas letters mailed.
Gonzo screws up the post office machinery. Little girl Claire gives
Gonzo a letter but Gonzo forgets. It's Christmas Eve. The post office
is closed and the gang has to deliver 3 letters to the North Pole.
Everybody gives up but Gonzo convinces Kermit and Fozzie to try. Rizzo
and Pepe come along.
I wonder if the post office paid to get the Muppets to do this special. I would have prefer the group stays together. It's always more fun with more Muppets. The cameos are fine but they are not the big draw for me. I'm also not a big fan of Rizzo and Pepe as being the main characters. I love Kermit with Miss Piggy. I like that Gonzo, Fozzie and Kermit are together but I miss Miss Piggy. The songs are OK but nothing special. The letter from the airport security guy doesn't really make sense. It's not the strongest Christmas special but it's still the Muppets.
The Muppets are no strangers to the Holidays. They have had many a film
produced incorporating Christmas related themes. The best and most
popular of them all was The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992). But that
hasn't stopped the Henson Company. Before Kermit and his friends came
back with their return film The Muppets (2011), they were still doing
productions for the small screen. Prior to this, another holiday made
for TV production was released - It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas
Movie (2002). Other than that, this is the Muppet's latest outing at
the holiday season. Is really good? Mmmmm,..not unanimously but it is
decent enough to be seen.
This time, viewers follow their favorite characters at the post office waiting to send their holiday mail. When Gonzo forgets to put his in the mail, it's up to Kermit and friends to find a way to get them to Santa on time. Here's what does work. First and foremost, The Muppets (and voice-actors) themselves. They are always key and the fact that they were of main focus all the time was great. The humor also works because of the certain situations Kermit and his friends get into. The gags range from bad jokes, silly puns and goofy reactions the Muppets make. Thankfully, these eye-inducing moments aren't as bad they could be because it's the Muppets. Another element that will have viewers happy to see is the tone of this movie. Unlike It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie(2002) which had a very mean spirited tone, this feature has a much more upbeat feel and that's especially good.
Another good component was the cameos of various actors. This ranges from Whoopi Goldberg, Uma Thurman, Nathan Lane and even Michael Bloomberg. Camera-work by Luke Geissbuhler (the DP of Borat (2006)) was appropriate as was Chris Caswell's musical score. However, this is where things don't work. For one, the running time is too short. Yes it is a TV movie, but so was It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002) and was well over an hour. The problem with this is that it cuts everything down to an unnecessary length. This goes for cast cameos and even the Muppet characters. That can be a bit frustrating if this is a Muppet Movie and you only see a few of the Muppets instead of the whole bunch for more than five minutes.
Along with that is issue of writing. The story for this movie is cute but again, with a shortened running time, everything must fall in place quickly or it won't work. With this comes cliché and convenient contrivances that either defy logic or are impossible to begin with. It's not to say it isn't funny or doesn't work but the story almost had a finale that would've seemed more mature and realistic than what was chosen. There can always be a happy ending but that doesn't mean it has to be exactly the way the audience expects it to be. Adding to the bit of blandness are the songs that the Muppets sing composed by Paul Williams. It's not that they bore but they're not as memorable as other Paul Williams pieces. It certainly won't be an hour wasted but it could've been better.
It has all of the basic components to make a really good Muppet Christmas movie but it instead comes off as fairly generic. The main problem is its running time, which trims down several parts that make up a good Muppet film.
It's Christmastime in New York, and the Muppet gang have posted their
cards and wishlists, but after causing mayhem at the Post Office Gonzo
is left with three undelivered letters to Santa. When he gets back he
discovers that the office is closed and he must deliver them to the
North Pole by hand. After a few false starts he and a few of the others
manage to get to the spot with an all-southern view and save Xmas, for
three people. Cameos from Uma Thurman, Nathan Lane, Mayor Bloomberg
(!), and, obviously, Whoopie Goldberg come and go.
Directed by Kirk Thatcher, the "Punk on Bus" himself, this is a lot better than his previous attempt at Yuletide Muppetry. I found A Very Merry Muppet Christmas to be rather flat and TV-ish. There's nothing wrong with the TV platform as many Xmas specials have become classics, a few Muppet efforts among them, but the atmosphere matters and Letters to Santa is slightly better than the 2002 in that regard. I don't know what it is, I can't put my finger on it, but maybe the real locations detract from the feeling. I think that the Muppets work best when they are shot entirely in studios where the lighting and effects can be more competently controlled.
It's worth watching, but not up to the better Muppet Xmas specials.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
To be fair, this special was a lot better than "The Muppets' Wizard of
Oz," but it's still not that good. There aren't any adult jokes that'll
make your kids embarrassed to watch it with you or vice versa, but
there are some other things that make this film pretty weak.
Following the classic Muppet Christmas special tradition: the premise is pretty simple: after an event at the post office Christmas Eve morning, Gonzo accidentally doesn't mail a letter to Santa Claus for one of his friends. He, Kermit, Fozzie, Rizzo, and...Pepe (I will pay someone to step on him) fly to the North Pole to give the letter to Santa...Yeah, that's it.
What's good about this special? Well, it has a lot of nice, tender, heartfelt moments. Gonzo sings the intro to a song in the film; he sings "What's in your heart?" I don't care for the rest of the song, but that part is very nice; I still find myself singing that sometimes. There's another song he shares with Fozzie later called "I Wish I Could Be Santa Claus." To be honest, it really doesn't fit with the scene, but it's a very lovely song. The special ends with all the Muppets gathering together for Christmas; that's rather nice. Also, there are a few funny moments. My favorite part is Nathan Lane's cameo! Not only is he funny, but his interaction with Bobo is funny as well (this is probably the first film I found myself fully enjoying Bobo without him being annoying)!
So what doesn't work? Well, for starters, it's slow. Some scenes feel like filer; like the scene where Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo are on the roof, or where Pepe talks to the gentlemen in the restaurant. Besides the musical numbers I mentioned earlier, I can't name any other song; they're either annoying or forgettable. Also, why are the Muppets in an urban New York setting here? It seems too weird. Finally, I think it goes back to one of the problems "Kermit Swamp Years" had: it's very childish. There's one adult joke I noticed (of course it came up, Pepe's here!), but other than that I can't really think of any material here that will get adults invested. I will say, though, kudos to this film for having Santa Claus be in this movie without saying Christmas is about Santa! Christmas specials today often do that, and it's really annoying, irritating, and, well, just untrue. Especially with the Muppets conforming their entertainment in their past productions, they could have easily taken that route. I'm glad they didn't.
I think this special is cute. It's a nice special kids will enjoy OK; but I don't think adults will enjoy it too much aside from a couple of heartfelt moments and a few jokes. To be honest, this special is kind of forgettable aside from those things. It's cute, but it's not what I want to see from the Muppets. I'd say give this one a pass. BOOYIKA!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What can I say, this is a fairly fun bit of hokum. Kermit and the gang
have to get a few undelivered letters to Santa on Christmas eve as the
post office is closed. Wackiness ensues.
Seriously, that's the story. That's it. There is nothing else to see here and cue an excuse for a series of cameos and musical numbers. But personally I have no problem with that. With some fairly recognisable faces cropping up and a frankly movie stealing performance from Nathan Lane these make the film watchable enough. As an aside, a little game I've started playing when ever I see Jane Krakowski in something these days is pretending she's actually Jenna Maroney, the actress she plays in 30 Rock, playing the character in the movie I'm currently watching. You know, now that I'm typing that I'm not sure it's such a cool thing So anyway, the cameos are fun, how about the songs? Not to bad I suppose. I don't expect another 'Rainbow Connection' anytime soon, but I'd like to at least be able to hum them to myself the next day. Other than 'My Best Christmas Yet' the songs are just a little to forgettable. The only one that really sticks out is actually the 'miming' the Muppets do to 'Things we said Today', which runs over the closing credits, as does a bunch of 'gaff' takes. It seems that Kermit and Co. have been taking lessons from Jackie Chan because we get to see them fluffing lines, missing cues and generally just messing about a bit. Which is a whole heap of fun. It's quite obvious that the performers are having an absolute blast here and love their work and the characters they are creating. Considering it's the Muppets, that is only as it should be.
The writing is nice, with some great one liners and fun word play. I like this movie, there just isn't a whole lot I think I can say about it other than it's enjoyable.
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