There is much at stake next week when the new Muppets movie (aptly named The Muppets) is finally released. It’s not the anticipated box office results, it’s not the merchandise sales numbers, it’s not the future of the Muppets empire. What’s really at stake are the feelings of us parents waxing nostalgic for our Muppets of yore.
Many of us who have kids under the age of twelve have tried to indoctrinate our offspring to the ways of Miss Piggy, Kermit and the gang. We show them YouTube clips, we buy compilations of The Muppets Show, we play Rainbow Connection on repeat, but if your kid is like mine, the whole Muppets thing is lost on them. Sure, my daughter thinks they’re cute and all but after I forced her to sit through a double bill of The Great Muppet Caper and Muppets in Space, she had no interest in digging deeper into Muppets myth and magic.
But I think that will all, hopefully, change next week …
I’m pretty damn giddy about the new Muppets flick. There hasn’t been a Muppets movie in 12 years, which means that in our kids’ lifetimes they haven’t had the opportunity to get a fresh dose of Muppet magic. And “fresh” is the operative word here. Although in my heart The Muppet Show seems timeless, even my 5-year-old has implied that it is dated. It’s been something that is wrapped in a net of ’80s nostalgia, a topic amusingly addressed again and again in the film. In a clip from the movie, supporting cast member Rashida Jones bluntly says to a room full of Muppets, “you aren’t famous anymore.”
But the new Muppets movie may just prove her wrong. Let’s hope for our own selfish sentimental reasons that our kids are delighted by this “fresh” take. At the very least they’ll know who we mean when we mention Foozie, Rowlf or Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem at the dinner table.
PLUS check out this EXCLUSIVE The Muppets featurette just for Babble right here:
The Muppets opens nationwide on November 23rd.