The Muppets movie – fun for kids, laughs for parents

It’s Spring's big family film, so who’s it most suitable for? And what’s all the fuss about subversive muppets…

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Times have been hard for most of the Muppets since they were last on our screens. Kermit’s become a sad recluse, Animal is in anger-management rehab, while Fozzie Bear has been reduced to playing with a dire Muppets tribute band, The Moopets. Only Miss Piggy is enjoying life as editor of a plus-size magazine in Paris.

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Our favourite VIP-box hecklers, Statler and Waldorf, are selling the old Muppet Theatre to an evil oil magnate and it looks like the final curtain is coming down on the Muppets story forever.

But wait – there’s Walter, a young man inexplicably born as a Muppet, and his human brother Gary who are lifelong Muppets fans and decide to try to raise the $10 million to keep the theatre in Muppet hands.

How better to raise the money than reunite the original Muppets for a TV telethon? But will they be able to get all the Muppets back together. Will Miss Poogy fill Miss Piggy’s shoes, when the diva pig refuses to leave Paris? And will Gary lose the love of his life?

It’s a fun-filled movie from the very beginning. No worries that your children won’t have the foggiest about who the Muppets are – they quickly fall for them, especially (in our family) the unfortunate Beaker.

So is it a full family film? Unashamedly yes. It’s suitable for five year olds and up, and we mean up, because it weaves in some great humour for the older audience. Clever details, funny asides, and some smart sub-plots mean that it definitely fits in the pot of ‘children’s films you want to see’.

Plus it’s even had its little share of controversy. In the States, some commentators have been up in arms about its apparent subversive messages to children – that wealthy businessmen are evil especially anyone who’s made their money from oil.

Anyone who can remember the Muppets from their glory TV days will know that the mish-mash of puppets always had an edgy side. It was a programme for adults as well as children, which is probably why so many A-list stars were happy to appear and face humiliation by singing with a green frog – David Bowie anyone?

If you’re looking to have some warm, indoor fun this half-term, then MFM heartily recommends The Muppets.

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But what do you think?

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