The Muppets get back in the pictures

Hi ho, Snarker the Blogger
here with an News Flash. I’m coming to you live from
the internet today with important breaking news. The Muppets are making
another movie. Yes, those muppets. Yes, another movie. Really. And now,
back to your regularly scheduled programming.

That’s right, those adorable
Muppets are coming back to the
big screen
, thanks
to some unexpected champions. Disney, which now owns the rights to the
Muppets, has greenlit a new feature film from actor-writer Jason
and his writing-directing partner Nick Stoller. In
case those names don’t ring a bell, Segel and Stoller are the duo
behind the upcoming R-rated comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
Segel, whose credits include Knocked Up
and Freaks and Geeks, can be seen every week on How I Met
Your Mother.

I don’t know how I feel
about this news yet. On the one hand, hip-hip-hooray for another Muppet
movie. On the other, I’m a little wary. As with any sacred childhood
memory, it’s a little frightening to see it reinvented as an adult.
Thing can get ugly fast when people mess with the warmest, fuzziest
touchstones of your formative years. Even today, I hear “Rainbow Connection”
all these years later and I still get a little lump in my throat.

I remember watching The
Muppet Show
with my whole family. As soon as it was “time to play
the music,” it was time to sit in front of the TV. And the movies
were just as exciting. From the original to The Great Muppet Caper
and The Muppets Take Manhattan, they were zany and fun and zany
some more. I had the records (you know, those big vinyl things), and
I somehow conned my parents into getting the commemorative Great
Muppet Caper
glasses from McDonalds (where we never ate). That Miss
Piggy on a motorcycle glass was my favorite for years.

The world Jim Henson created
was filled with plush misfits and felt oddballs. He helped make being
different or funny or weird OK, possibly even cool. Kermit was my first
journalistic role model (followed closely by Walter Cronkite). And Miss
Piggy was a role model for how to be a strong, albeit porcine, woman. She certainly
didn’t take any guff — hi-yah! Henson also had a hand, quite literally,
in my most favorite shows and movies as a kid, from Sesame Street

to Fraggle Rock and The Dark Crystal.
I cried the day he died, it felt so like we’d all lost a friend.

Segel, whose first script was
the upcoming Forgetting Sarah Marshall, pitched the idea for
the film after taking a tour of Henson’s studio and realizing there
were no Muppets lying around. When he learned that Disney had the rights
to them, he called them up and said he’d like to write the new one.
While the plot is under wraps, Segel said he wants to make the new movie like the

    “The old Muppet movies
    were written as though they were proper movies. They weren’t novelty
    acts because there were puppets in it. It was like Kermit trying to
    put on a big Broadway musical in The Muppets Take Manhattan. Or The
    Great Muppet Caper
    ? Come on! Charles Grodin is so good in it. I want
    to bring it back to that. Like those early ’80s movies with a proper
    plot, and it’s the Muppets putting on a show. It’s not a hard formula.”

A hard formula? No. A beloved
formula? Yes. So, let’s hope it turns into the most sensational, inspirational,
celebrational, Muppetational Muppet movie of them all. Oh, and since
there’s no such thing as too much nostalgia, this one is for scribegrrrl.