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The Muppets movie poster

The Muppets: Movie Review

Genre: Comedy, Family
Rated: PG
Directed by: James Bobin

Starring: Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy
Released by: Walt Disney Pictures

In Short: Everyone's favorite puppets are back on the silver screen, in a family-friendly tale that will make both kids and adults smile, especially when the Muppets really get rolling and put on a big show filled with funny bits.

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The Muppets Take Los Angeles

For those of a certain age, the Muppets have never been gone. With "Sesame Street" still airing new episodes on PBS, as well as their periodic return to TV with special shows – "A Muppets Christmas" in 2008 was their last outing – plus their viral Internet videos, like the classic "Bohemian Rhapsody," the wonderful puppets led by Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy are ever-present.

Which is why the premise of the new theatrical release known simply as "The Muppets" seems a bit odd. The idea, hatched by human star and screenwriter Jason Segel, is that the Muppets have been retired for so long that no one in the world remembers them. When Kermit and the gang find out that an evil oil baron wants to tear down their old Muppet Studio in Los Angeles to drill for oil, they band together to save their original home.

While it's true that the last Muppet movie was released in 1999 ("Muppets from Space"), in real life, the only people that don't remember the Muppets are little children who were born in the 00s and who have never watched "Sesame Street." So you'd think that television director James Bobin would have made his first movie to appeal straight to those kids out there, wouldn't you? But oddly, he's mixed in a long-winded romance between his human characters, Jason Segel and lovely Amy Adams, which bogs down the action and leaves the 95 percent of the viewers who already know the Muppets begging for "More Muppets, less humans!"

Jason Segel and Amy Adams in The Muppets Miss Piggy and Kermit in The Muppets

Happily, by the last third of the flick, we get what we came for: the Muppets in all their fuzzy glory. They start doing one funny bit after another as the gang puts on a big fund-raising stage show designed to save their studio. It's tons of fun, as everyone from Miss Piggy, Kermit, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Animal, newcomer Walter and all your other Muppet favorites join in the hilarity.

So despite that lagging human story that may make viewers of all ages start to squirm a bit in their seats, there's still much to love about "The Muppets." And one thing is certain: if you or your children really have never heard of the Muppets, you need to get yourself to the theater to find out what the rest of us have known since the late, great Jim Henson first brought us the Muppets via "Sesame Street" way back in 1969. The Muppets rule!

Reviewed by Jenny Peters


(Updated: 11/22/11 CT)

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