By Laith Salama / Staff Writer
By Laith Salama / Staff Writer
Kermit the Frog. Ms. Piggy. Fozzi Bear. Animal. Who doesn’t know who the Muppets are?
Over the years, they have starred in their own TV show and movies, guest starred on other shows and movies, and have their own attraction at Disneyland Resort.
And now, after a series of straight to video films, the Muppets are back on the big screen to star in a new film on Nov. 23.
Consider that statement for a second. The Muppets are fictional characters, how can they “star” in anything?
Shouldn’t it be the puppeteers who are the stars?
Well that’s what makes the Muppets so unique.
They have become celebrities in their own right, thanks to the Jim Henson’s commitment to the project.
Since “The Muppet Show” first aired in the 1970s, they have been set up as performers with distinct talents, relationships and personalities. But most importantly, they have always been played off as real celebrities rather than characters.
“The Muppet Show” was its own separate achievement. They played humorously through the responsibilities of running a theater.
Kermit the Frog is in charge, with a somewhat dry sense of humor. Ms. Piggy, the pig who thinks she’s gorgeous despite the type of animal she is.
Fozzie Bear, the comedian, is insecure about being funny and is constantly criticized by two elderly audience members, the beloved Waldorf and Statler.
Gonzo’s artistic vision is unusual and misunderstood.
It’s a sketch show, where Muppets will act out different comedy skits, but occasionally they’ll bring in something more artistic and heartfelt.
“The Muppet Show” stands as an ode to the performing arts. They have covered acting, music, singing, puppeteering, comedy, drama, dancing, set design and every other performing art you can think of.
But then tragedy struck the Muppet Theater. After puppet legend and Muppet’s creator Jim Henson passed away, the Muppets changed.
A lot of them lost some of their better characteristics and they strayed away from the original Muppet Theater.
There was a series of movies released that were criticized by fans of the old school. They didn’t have the same unique quirkiness that the previous Muppets had.
However, they set them all up as actors in these Muppets movies, for instance Kermit the Frog as “The Scarecrow,” in the “Wizard of Oz.”
But now, the Muppets are getting a reboot that’s supposed to bring them back to their roots.
This new movie is written by a fan of the Muppets, actor Jason Segal, who is taking an approach that is more loyal to the original.
As it is, the movie is about the original theater.
It holds a lot of the original elements such as parodies, celebrities, explosions, and a lot of forgotten Muppets like Crazy Harry.
Though their presence has died out, it hasn’t quite disappeared.
Disney’s California Adventure opened an attraction called “Muppet Vision 3-D” that puts the audience in the original theater to watch a performance by the cast itself.
Although certain Muppets have made it through the ages, like Animal and his slew of rock t-shirts everyone is so crazy about, this generation really has no concept of the genius that went into the original show.
They know what a Muppet is but they don’t know much about them. And the style of the original “Muppet Show” that the last generation came to know and love, is honestly too smart for today’s audience.
They were clever, loveable, and artistic.
Most kids will look right through that.
They aren’t always hilarious, but they are always clever.
The Muppets have marked their place not only in history, but in our hearts as well.
They stand as an ideal, as a tribute to their field.
Their commitment to what they have created has remained consistent, even to a point where they performed on stage with Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli and were even rumored to host the Oscars, which would’ve been fantastic.
They have appeared in various shows such as “Saturday Night Live,” and when someone can create something fictional that is so beloved and iconic that they can be presented as reality, that is a true achievement.