“As long as there are muppets, for me there’s still hope.” – Walter
Walter, the worlds greatest Muppet fan, his brother Gary, and Gary’s girlfriend, Mary, travel to LA from their home in Smalltown, USA. They are appalled to find the Muppet theater in disrepair. Gary learns that Tex Richman plans to tear down the theater to drill for oil. Walter, Gary, and Mary set out to reassemble the Muppets for a telethon to raise the $10 million dollars they will need to save the day. Unfortunately, all the Muppets are scattered.
Kermit sings in a church choir and lives alone in the house he and Miss Piggy planned to share. Fozzy is the lead singer in a tribute band, the Moopets, who play in a sleazy casino in Reno. Gonzo is a plumbing mogul, with his top-of-the-line toilet, “The Royal Flush.” Animal is in a Santa Barbara anger management clinic, and Miss Piggy is a plus-sized fashion editor at Vogue-Paris.
Kermit and the Smalltown crew reassemble the cast, but the project meets numerous difficulties, including the disrepair of the theater, the rift between Kermit and Piggy, the lack of practice of the cast, and a host of nasty tricks from Tex Richman. In the end, guess what? Goodness and virtue prevail.
The TV station is reluctant to air the telethon, afraid it can’t compete against the leading kids’ show, “Punch Your Teacher.” Richman and the sleazy Moopets say the Muppets are anachronisms. Not for us long time Muppet fans, but what about younger viewers? Is this a movie for kids or adults? Both, of course, though young ones aren’t likely to enjoy the screenwriting jokes I laughed at, as when one of the grumpy old men, listening to Richman unfold his scheme, says, “That sounds like a significant plot point.”
“It better be,” says his partner. “Things have gotten a little slow.”
Will a younger audience grow to love Kermit, Piggy, Gonzo, and Walter? I don’t know. Take them and find out. It isn’t the best Muppet movie, but if you love Jim Henson’s creations, I think you’ll likely pass it on. Humor, hijinx, goodwill, and Rainbows do not go out of style.