November 4, 2010

The world is split into two people: those who like the Muppets and those who don’t. The people who say the only good Muppet movies are the first two or three aren’t real fans either. If you’re a fan, you’re a fan through and through and It’s A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie is one for the fans. This 2002 made for TV movie has it’s typical doses of celebrities in goofy roles, celebrities as themselves, pop culture references, original songs and a recycled plot. Continue reading for my full review.

the_muppetsThe basic plot of the movie follows closely to It’s A Wonderful Life. Kermit acts in the James Stewart role as owner of the Muppet Theater, which is undergoing some financial troubles. With all the Muppets turning to Kermit for help, he becomes overwhelmed and is visited by an angel played by David Arquette. The angel guides Kermit through a series of visions of what the Muppet world would be like without him.

In these visions, Joan Cusack plays a villainous banker who converts the local park to a shopping mall and Muppet Theater to a nightclub. We see many familiar Muppets go through some funny transformations, as we see Rizzo the Rat on Fear Factor, Beaker as a club bouncer, Dr. Bunsen as a rapper and Fozzie as a pickpocket. The movie also has a great tip of the cap to longtime Muppet fans as one of the new aspects of the world without Kermit is that Doc Hopper’s French Fried Frog Legs, the evil food chain from the first Muppet movie.

Like any Muppet movie, the laughs don’t come from the plot itself but from the pop culture references. It’s A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie features parodies of Fear Factor, Moulin Rouge (here called Moulin Scrooge), Cirque Du Soleil (called Cirque du So Lame), A Beautiful Mind, the “For Dummies” books, Spongebob, and the Crocodile Hunter. The movie also features an Emmy award nominated song “Everyone Matters”. Also amongst the cast are Matthew Lillard, Whoopi Goldberg and William H. Macy and cameos from Carson Daly, Kelly Ripa, and the cast of Scrubs.

While It’s A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie may not go down as one of the all-time classics, it’s still a typically fun Muppet movie with plenty of jokes for kids and adults alike. The new DVD features a bonus 9-song holiday CD, deleted scenes and a blooper reel. The movie has been digitally remastered for widescreen. It is presented in 1.77:1 with Dolby sound.

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