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Muppet-thon! My Top 5 Favorite Muppet Movies

November 22, 2011

Wednesday will be the release of screenwriters Jason Segal & Nic Stoller’s rebirth of the classic foam colorful characters we grew up with as kids, “The Muppets”! The buzz is already palable for this movie, it’s already maintaining a strong 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, fans have cried out in joy from early screenings, and it seems to be the right time to bring back the Muppets.

Audiences who grew up with the Muppets back in the 80s to 90s have fond memories of those characters, I sure as heck do, but out of all those Muppet movies which were the best ones? There are many to choose from, the best ones with the most memorable musical numbers, a few you may not have realized that qualify as a ‘Muppet movie’ (I’ve got one on the list), but one things for certain if there’s something the Muppets knew right they knew how to pick their celebrity cameos. Today I’m going to share my Top 5 favorite Muppet movies in honor of one of my favorite childhood memories.

#5

MUPPET TREASURE ISLAND – Tim Curry in a Muppet movie? AHOY! Sign me up for that pirate ship. This is the second time Jim Henson’s band of Muppets have tackled adapting a classic novel. Sure it doesn’t stay faithfil to the original Robert Louis Stevenson book, but it does in a winking eye that drew in the crowds it needed. You can really see the joy in Curry’s face that he’s finally in a Muppet movie. Back then I’m pretty sure it was a fan dream to have Tim Curry team up with Kermit the Frog, even if they play enemies. Anyone have cabin fever yet???

#4

FOLLOW THAT BIRD – Admit, all of you watched Sesame Street as a kid, it’s where we learned our ABC’s & 123’s. Kermit the Frog was a reporter for the street, Bert & Ernie still had a platonic relationship, and Cookie Monster still had a problem back in the early days. It seemed fitting to take Sesame Street to the big screen and out of all the characters who do we love the most? Big Bird! “Follow That Bird” was if anything a dramatic portrait of that friendly yellow behemoth bird. The movie took some questionable turns, but it opened us up to Sesame Street on a greater level. The movie was weird and childish at times, but you can’t hold that against it, it was freakin’ Sesame Street! Cameos included SCTV & SNL alums like John Candy, Chevy Chase, Sandra Bernhard, Laraine Newman, Joe Flaherty, and Dave Thomas. While the movie had some nice musical numbers, it was I’m So Blue that really stuck out. I defy any man or woman to not shed a tear to this song.

#3

THE MUPPET MOVIE – In the late 1970’s Jim Henson was hitting it big with his Muppets. He had “Sesame Street”, some screwball acid trip looking characters making an appearence on “Saturday Night Live”, and of course “The Muppet Show”. So, it was only a matter of time that the Muppets would make their wave to the big screen. “THE MUPPET MOVIE”!!!!! Basically this is the movie that is to be the inspiration for Jason Segal’s “The Muppets”. It’s an old school Muppet movie (it’s in the fucking title). Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo, Miss Piggy, The Electric Mayhem Band, and much more all venture out to Hollywood to make it big. Along the way they meet some hilarious cameos including Mel Brooks, Steve Martin, Dom DeLuise, James Coburn, Bob Hope, Elliott Gould, Madeline Kahn, Milton Berle, and so much more. Perhaps the one Muppet movie that holds up with the most cameos. My two favorite Muppet songs appear in this movie, but that’s gonna be for another list (they’re “Moving Right Along” & “Rainbow Connection”).

#2

THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL – Many were hesitant that there would ever be another Muppet movie, being that this was the first film without the creator himself, Jim Henson. Henson passed away in 1990, family, friends, loved ones, and fans felt the Earth shattering pain from loosing such a beloved icon. A few years later Brian Henson, son of Jim, directed this holiday classic, the first time the Muppets have adapted another medium, and what better than the Charles Dickens classic that’s been retooled dozens of times, “A Christmas Carol”. While every Muppet assumes their respective roles, when it comes down to it, it’s all about casting Scrooge. The casting of Michael Caine makes this a winner in my book, not only was is a smart casting choice, but it’s one of Caines top best roles of his career. I remember seeing this movie in theaters, well not for long, I was young, I got scared at the part where Marley’s ghost appears on the door knob, so we left the theater sadly. But that’s the past, I watch this movie every year for Christmas, it’s one of my fav’s and I will always cherish this movie.

#1

THE GREAT MUPPET CAPER – I’ve got this weird guilty pleasure when Charles Grodin is in a comedy, but that’s not why I love this movie, although it does help. “The Great Muppet Caper” was the first Muppet movie I ever watched as a youngling. I could watch this movie over and over and never get bored of it. I love me a good crime-caper flick, and this movie does the genre justice by lampooning it ever so right, I mean c’mon, the baseball diamond??? That’s awesome! This was the movie that me love the Muppets. Cameos included are Peter Falk, John Cleese, Diana Rigg, Jack Warden, and Peter Ustinov.

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