It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (TV Movie 2002) Poster

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An OK Muppet Film
FilmFanInTheHouse25 July 2007
It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002, Dir. Kirk R. Thatcher)

Kermit is enjoying their Christmas with their usual selection of shows at the Muppet Theatres, but then trouble starts. Miss Bitterman enters the Theatre and demands that the money on the Theatre is paid back to her bank, or the Theatre is hers. Problems arise, and the money does not make it to Miss Bitterman in time. Up in heaven, Daniel has been watching Kermit and asks Daniels 'Boss' to deal out some much needed discipline. Will Kermit get back the Theatre?

It's a shame that Muppet films have gone such downhill since their last cinema outing. 'It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie' is not a bad Muppet film, but it's not exactly the greatest. The acting as always was good, with some wonderful cameos, such as Matthew Lillard, who was just funny. The story was different, but could have been better organised. They should have had the problems with the Theatre shown should have been placed at the beginning, before they showed the visit to God etc. There wasn't many musical numbers either, which was quite disappointing. The Muppet films are known for their songs and dancing. I counted about two songs playing in this film, and both wasn't fantastic. If you are a Muppet fan, you are probably gonna enjoy this.

I wish i've never been born! - Kermit (Steve Whitmire)
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A Modern Muppet X-Mas
travisimo14 December 2003
I first saw this movie last year on NBC and was very pleasantly surprised. I'm not really a big Muppet fan. It's not that I don't like them, it's just that I've never watched them that much. So why was I interested in this movie in the first place? I'm not really sure. Maybe because Triumph the Insult Comic Dog was in it! Nevertheless, I had some good laughs watching this last year.

Fast forward to the present time and I saw this on sale, so I had to get it. Watching it a second time, I'm a little more conscious about concerns that some scenes were too "adult" for this movie. For example, the whole rave scene might get people upset where lovable Scooter is grinding in a cage!! Another example is the character Pepe who swoons over Joan Cusack's character and uses the terms, "sexy" and "topless."

So I could kind of see how people can get upset with this movie, but I definitely don't think it tarnishes what the Muppets are all about, unlike what's being done in 'The Cat in the Hat' movie. The Muppets still provide family-friendly laughter and moments to people of all ages. Fozzie's Grinch scene was pretty funny, Pepe steals the show, the spoof on 'It's a Wonderful Life' is great, and I like the jabs at NBC's corporate synergy (I'm a business major and a former Disney employee, so I know this stuff well!) I also found the song between Gonzo and Kermit, "Everyone Matters," to be very nice and sweet.

Overall, this is a very nice and funny Christmas movie. I wouldn't necessarily label this as a classic or really all that memorable though, because honestly, are we going to remember some of their references (Scrubs, Ricky Martin, and Moulin Rouge) ten years from now? By the way, I've never seen Moulin Rouge, so that spoof went way over my head!

This movie is good for the current time period, but I'm afraid it won't live on much longer unlike other Christmas classics (Rudolph, A Christmas Story, Mickey's Christmas Carol). Now is a good time to see it though.

My IMDb Rating: 7/10. My Yahoo! Grade: B (Good)
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Even the Ending Is Fresh and Unpredictable (sorta)
RestlessRust3 December 2002
This is, without a doubt, the best Muppet movie in a *long* time. And the Muppets are back to zany form with parodies, such as "Moulin Scrooge", taking place in their classic Muppet Theater. Most of the newer Muppets are nowhere to be found, while older favorites have returned, and Fozzie has been brought back to the foreground. Welcome back!

The plot, basically a Muppet version of "It's a Wonderful Life" (I guess we can get used to Muppet versions of classics now, since the more original "Muppets from Space" failed), pits Kermit and the gang against a corporate shark who intends to turn their theater into a nightclub. All is fine until everybody's favorite bear fails to get their money to the bank on time. Now, the theater is gone, everyone is out of work, and Kermit is despondent. Time for a little Divine intervention.

The strange thing about this movie is that it maintains a "G" rating, but just barely. The Muppets have always had bizarre and sometimes risque humor (Gonzo's chicken fetish has always been, well, odd), but the ante is upped in this outing, with Scooter cage dancing and Pepe being promised a special bonus as a woman focuses his eyes on her chest. (No cleavage, though. Either you know what she's talking about, or you don't.) It goes a little too far, but just a little, and not enough to destroy the film.

The other problem, really, is that the director seemed more intent on making a feature film than one for television. Many of the segues into commercials feel forced, like they suddenly hit the time limit and had to end the scene prematurely with artificial suspense, or perhaps they wanted to cut to another scene directly but time wouldn't allow. Whatever the reason, the commercial breaks feel very out-of-place. (There's also one too many NBC plugs, but it never really got annoying. Network TV; what're ya gonna do?)

Still, this film is far too enjoyable to nitpick. The Muppets truly are back to form. Let's hope they stay there.
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Do not be mislead!!!!
rmcmillan-121 October 2005
I am and have been a serious collector of Christmas related movies, TV shows, holidays specials, etc., for over twenty-five years. Please heed my warning and do not be mislead by sterling reviews & media hype about this movie. This is not a Muppett movie as we have come to know them, and is certainly NOT for children. The fact that this was produced for a major TV network is/was no surprise considering their level of operation at this time. What is hard for me to believe, is that The Jim Henson organization stooped so low to become involved in this travesty of Christmas.I wish there had been reviews for me to read that would warned me before I wasted my hard earned money on this piece of trash.
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Okay, I guess.
courage199930 November 2002
I saw this movie for the first time on NBC Friday 11-29-02. It was a pretty good movie, but I don't think it would be the kind of Muppet movie Jim Henson would make. I mean first of all, Pepe' using the word "sexy" every now and then, and Pepe saying "it would suck?" And I defenitly know Jim Henson wouldn't allow Kermit yelling "I WISH I'D NEVER BEEN BORN!" thirteen time a minute. This movie just isn't like a classic Muppet movie. Sure I can understand Nicky Holiday stealing the baseball diamond from "The Great Muppet Caper," but a business lady cheating the Muppets in a contract for their theater to turn it into a smoker's nightclub. If Jim Henson was here today, he would HATE this movie!
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A Ridiculous Muppet Christmas Indeed
chirpissimo12 December 2004
I think that the people who made this film had the people who grew up with the Muppets (people in their 20's and 30's) in mind. But that's the problem. We watch the Muppet movies to "escape" from the crap that other movies dish out, not wanting to see a movie that celebrates it. Basically, instead of using a plot, the movie tries too hard to use "pop cultural references" (such as referring to Britney Spears, or Triumph the Insult Comic Dog) and also uses inappropriate characters and situations (such as using seemingly gay characters; a rave scene where they have Scooter dancing as a cage dancer in a club, the Shrimp, Pepe, even using the word "sexy", etc.) It's not that we viewers can't "handle" more mature and modern Muppets, it's just that we don't want to. And I don't think parents want their kids to watch this. I just think this kind of stuff would confuse them. Plus the violence, although mild and cartoonish, is unnecessary. They have characters who say "let's go beat up" Fozzie, and fight scenes between humans and Muppets, and Muppets and Muppets, that are uncalled for, and not humorous at all. Bizarrely enough, the humans in this movie (except for one) all have these bizarrely happy smiles on their faces, and don't talk. It's just weird. It's almost like the Muppets are acting worse off than the innocent-looking humans. This movie just failed with me. I was upset how the people who wrote this tried to "sell out" and break something that don't need to be fixed. I will never watch this again, and I would not want to let kids see it. The Muppets have little personality in this, and any plot is substituted with references to other movies, as if the Muppets don't have any worth of their own. Which they should.
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IT'S A VERY MERRY MUPPET Christmas (Kirk R. Thatcher, 2002) (V) **
Bunuel197624 January 2010
Given the fact that The Muppets had already tackled the Yuletide perennial "A Christmas Carol" in 1992, this would seem like a redundant effort (even if we stick to a contemporary setting now, with the various popular characters playing themselves rather than re-incarnated as literary figures) – which may also explain its relegation to video. Incidentally, the star cast (including David Arquette as an angel and Whoopi Goldberg as God!) roped in for this venture is perhaps the least impressive ever, with only Joan Cusack as a Scrooge-like tycoon entering into the spirit of the thing (since she gets the sole substantial role here). The premise, as can be gathered from the above description, is a variation on that other Christmas classic IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946), so that we have Kermit The Frog being shown what life would have been like without him after wishing he had never been born; as would be the case with THE MUPPETS' WIZARD OF OZ (2005), which I watched recently, the climax involves a duel between the villainess and Miss Piggy (where she was actually the baddie) – and, once again, the one to get the most screen-time is Pepe the playboy-ish and laid-back King Prawn (which is not in itself a bad thing). Tolerable enough as a kiddie film, then, but a long way from the best Muppet movies out there.
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Not for children
Bhavanidevi3 January 2007
I've been a fan of Jim Henson and his characters since the very beginning. The most beguiling thing about them was the love and innocence and camaraderie shown. Kermit was a role model of deep thinking and problem solving. A spiritual character, yet sweetly and believably so. All the other characters were slightly eccentric but it demonstrated how different kinds of beings can co-exist in a caring manner together, respecting each other's difference.

Following movies have somewhat kept the same vibe. Yet this "It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie" would have Jim Henson spinning in his grave. These characters have been completely re-written to be horny, nasty, selfish, and cheesy.

The cast goes on to portray God as an uncaring corporate head, with a mean streak. Angels as spineless, non-spiritual corporate staff, and the movie was so bad I had to stop watching. I had bought it for my great-nephew but fortunately I preview anything I give a child.

This movie deserved the trash bin instead and has no socially redeeming content or charm.

Shame, shame on the people who re-wrote the characters and departed from Jim Henson's original heart-centered, socially conscious version. It does a terrible disservice to a great hearted man who is no longer around to defend his creations.
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Poor, poor, poor.
kipknee8 December 2003
This movie will probably appeal to the current flock of MTV fans. It has all the naughty humor, celebrities du jour and predictable plot that will more than satisfy the current 2 second attention span of today's post-adolescents.

However, as a family movie, it is simply pathetic and certainly not something that Jim Henson (or even Frank Oz, noticeably absent from this production) would've ever signed his name to. Certainly, Jim would never have approved of a muppet character admiring cleavage or another male character admiring Kermit's "tookus". Fortunately this movie is not representative of the quality Muppet movies produced over the years, of which we are big fans.

I predict that the used bins of many a video store will be filled with copies of this movie after the holidays.
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Muppet sleaze
Binro28 June 2004
I used to love the Muppets. The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper and The Muppets Take Manhattan were good family movies, cleverly written and fun to watch. I never thought I would see the day when they would jump on the Hollywood sleaze bandwagon, but here it is: Scooter as a caged rave dancer, Pepe making lewd and suggestive comments every five minutes -- this is not your father's Muppets. It's not Jim Henson's Muppets anymore, either.

This "It's A Wonderful Life" themed movie has its moments, but not enough to save it. I cringed while watching this with my children. I still have hope for their next movie, but this one was certainly a disappointment.
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A collection of spoofs and homages but still very entertaining
bob the moo1 January 2004
On Christmas Eve Kermit sits alone on a park bench - a broken frog. His lost cries reach the angels but they can do nothing, until one of them, Daniel, takes the case to God herself and shows Her what brought Kermit to this state in the hope that She will send an angel to help him.

While the TVM status of this film might suggest that it is a lesser product that the Muppet movies that used to be cinema draws, let me assure you that this is not the case and that this film actually benefits from being on TV and keeping the humour of the show rather than having the pressure of becoming a big screen outing. The overall plot is `It's A Wonderful Life' however the back story watched by the angels and us holds spoofs of Moulin Rouge and Scrubs as well as references to A Beautiful Mind, The Grinch, Entrapment and lots more. The downside of this is that the plot is very episodic, but the plus side is that the film is funny and will easily engage adults as well as children.

Opening with the stage manager removing a snowman narrator by calling him a `Burl Ives wannabe' the film keeps this sense of humour that you've come to expect from the TV show. My favourite line from the whole film is Bunsen replying to Beaker with `thank you Beaker - I think you have a beautiful mind too'!

The cast of muppets are very good - with all the new characters from the television show having a bit of time, including Pepe, Risso the Rat, Johnny Fiama and his monkey etc. The voices are not done by the original cast for a variety of reasons but they are still very good - I had to look at the credits to spot that it wasn't Frank Oz doing Fozzie (and Yoda!). The human cast is amusing even if it doesn't all work. The cast of Scrubs are wasted and not funny apart from showing up but cameos from Arquette, Macy, Goldberg and Lillard are all amusing and Cusack seems to enjoy herself.

Overall this was a fun festive film, it has the usual message to it and it has moments that just don't work and the plot really is just a salvage job from other films, but it still works and is surprisingly funny with lots of film references. The downside of this I suppose is that the film won't stand the test of time as the topical references get forgotten over time, but that's why it was a TVM I guess, cause that won't matter.
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Not a bad Muppet movie, but could have been better
TheLittleSongbird8 September 2010
I am a big fan of the Muppets, I love their show and with exception of Muppet Wizard of Oz, I like/love their movies. It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie is not brilliant and could have been much better, but it is not bad at all. Some of the innuendo is smutty, Eric Jacobson lacks the vibrancy and charm that Frank Oz brought Fozzie and Miss Piggy to life with(he wasn't awful just bland), the pacing is rather slow and some of the Muppets are underused and out of character for my liking. However, the set design is great, the song EveryOne Matters is very touching, the Moulin Scrooge send-up is very inspired, colourful and amusing and the music is good. Plus the take on It's a Wonderful Life is a nice touch, Joan Cusack seems to be having fun as the Scrooge who threatens to close the Muppet theatre and the cameos from Matthew Lillard, William H Macy and Whoopi Goldberg are fine. Out of the Muppets, Kermit, Pepe and Fozzie especially acquit themselves well and David Arquette is good as the angel. So overall, could have been better but not bad. For a better seasonal offering though, see Muppet Christmas Carol, Scrooge, Miracle on 34th Street, Home Alones 1 and 2 and the granddaddy of them all It's a Wonderful Life. 6/10 Bethany Cox
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Worst Muppet show ever
helo2u7 December 2003
Sorry, but the script for this was a good first draft, but a poor final draft. Certainly there are moments of brilliance (the snowman, bringing back Doc Hopper), but they are mixed in with a lame effort to make God into a comedic character, sexual innuendo, and over the top homosexual characters that will discourage both conservative and liberal parents from showing this to their kids.
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Well, at least it's the Muppets!
queenzulu30 November 2002
Warning: Spoilers
I grew up with the Muppets... well not WITH them, but watching them - and they have always been a favorite of mine. Of course I was really excited to see this new TV movie. It is hard to rate it overall, since it has it's cute spots, fun spots, and kind of stupid spots. It doesn't really flow as one movie all that well. If you read ahead you might find some *spoilers* LOL it's kind of hard to spoil this one though since it's pretty predictable. Basically, it's Christmas time and the entire Muppet gang are going to put on a show in their theatre. (there's no real indication of whether this theatre is the one they had the old shows in, or if it's somewhere else). Then comes along mean Mrs. Bitterman (Joan Cusack) who wants to take it all away and make it into a night club so she can make more money. Meanwhile, an angel (David Arquette) sees God (played by Whoopi Goldberg)to ask Her to help Kermit and the Muppets with their dilemma. Although this movie alludes to several films and shows (Beautiful Mind, Moulin Rouge, The Grinch who Stole Christmas and Crocodile Hunter; who btw, isn't even played by Steve Irwin!) it pretty much ends up as a take off on It's a Wonderful Life. So unoriginal is that idea, that even Beavis and Butthead have done it in their 1995 Christmas special. In A Very Muppet Christmas, there is a lot of jumping around- from the theatre, to Heaven, to Pepe the Prawn, to Kermit and Piggy, to Fozzy and the rest of the gang. The whole lay out is kind of a mess and would be hard to follow for children. Fortunately there aren't many songs but the ones that there are suck bigtime. Although the well-known actors who star in this do a good job (David Arquette was so good, I never realized it was him until later) there seems like there could have been a lot more done with a new Muppet movie. Also, a lot of the original Muppet Spirit seems to be missing as it did with the last 2 movies that were in the theater: Muppet Treasure Island and Muppets from Space. The jokes are pretty lame and they rely a lot on silly gags and the aforementioned allusions to other shows/movies/ideas. The way the ending wraps up so quickly and spontaneously, you almost forget it's Christmas. I give it a 5 out of 10 because the Muppets are in it. Without them it would be a 1.
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Christmas Showdown: Kermit the Frog Vs James Stewart
Hollywood_Yoda11 August 2005
I will say, this was quite a good movie, full of fun and pleasure for the whole family. It did remind me of Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life", in part. This movie holds up on its own too, with a storyline just its own. Some good actors make cameos in this movie, and small parts, most notably Whoopi Goldberg, and Joan Cusack. Whoopi plays the all mighty Lord, but not the best. Cusack on the other hand plays her part great as a SCROOGE like person. Seeing all the MUPPETS in a new Christmas movie makes you feel GOOD all over. Kids will enjoy this movie more than adults, except those adults who grew up with these characters. This movie definitely deserved the 10/10 that I gave. And going with my Summary title, it would have to be a DRAW between Kermit and Jimmy Stewart, just because in all fairness, you can not judge two great Christmas movies.
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Ms. Bitterman, you can take the Muppet Theatre, but you'll never take the theatre in our hearts!
Sylviastel19 February 2018
Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and all the Muppets gang are back for a Christmas Eve show at their theatre. Only Rachel Bitterman (Joan Cusack) wants to take away their theatre and dreams. Kermit down on the dumps in the park is met by an unlikely guardian angel from heaven. This film is loosely based on "It's A Wonderful Life" with Kermit the frog as George. The film is still entertaining overall with plenty of celebrity cameos. Joan Cusack is perfect to play Rachel Bitterman as a one dimensional villain. The film is set in New York City. Whoopi Goldberg has an unexpected role in the film. I just can't believe that I didn't know of this film sooner.
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Very Merry Muppet Christmas was really bad.
curry_l19 December 2011
This movie was not entertaining. The characters were annoying. The whole thing was somewhat dark and depressing really. Trust me if you watch it you will wish you had your time back. I watched this with my daughters (4 and 7) and many times the humor was inappropriate for children. Many sexual jokes, drinking, smoking, religion. You name it. Some of the jokes left my daughters baffled - and i didn't really want to explain what was unraveling before them. I should have just turned it off. My lesson learned was do some research before you rent or purchase movie and find movies that are entertaining and have some substance. Actually one part was funny where gonzo makes his way through a room full of laser beams ("mission impossible" style.) But the rest was rubbish.
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Too cheesy...even for The Muppets
aleusong17 September 2004
If you tire of "It's a Wonderful Life" copycats around Christmas time, then you don't want to watch this...because it's exactly what it is.

It's very unoriginal in terms of story (I was hoping for something BUT a Wonderful Life copyoff). Basically the Muppets run a theater (unlike that of Muppets Tonight, since this is a post Muppets Tonight TV film...or should I say 2hour special) in danger of being bankrupted on Christmas. Alongside the muppets is you stereotypical villain: a greedy banker at Christmas time who wants to do nothing but bad things. And a nerdy misfit angel who comes to the rescue. Yeah...uh where's Jim Henson? Oh yeah he's dead. No wonder this was so lame!

The only likable elements are the parodies and spoofs. Unfortunately the storyline of this movie was so terrible and so predictable that they were hard to notice and you only care about watching the end to find out (yes, indeed a "Wonderful Life" copyoff crossedover with a bit of "Hey Arnold: The Movie"). If you seen the Hey Arnold movie then you know that the endings to that and this are no different.

The lessons taught are bankers are evil, cheerful people around Xmas time are good guys, and life is worth living. I want a new kind of Christmas movie/special for once! Something different! But trust me, this ain't it.

Lord knows how NBC got its hand on the Muppets for this temporary amount of time, but I seriously hope that ABC does better with the Muppets with its Oz movie next year. If not, then I demand you take me back to the golden age of Jim Henson...I'm talking about the late 70s and 80s!!!
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Not bad, but a little lacking.
Apostle29 November 2002
As I watch this movie, I am reminded of the original Muppet Show, and how much it made me laugh. Of course, I was all of nine years old. If the risque jokes that were in this movie were in the original show, I certainly didn't get them. Likewise, a handful of gags were meant only for mom and dad. Besides, the kids would not have gotten them anyway. Pepe getting a permit to open a topless joint. (Kermit is never with shirt, in case you missed that joke.) Miss Piggy asking Kermit to sleep with her (in French, again, only for those mature enough to understand it.) Those a just a couple of examples of adult humor that seem to mire this Muppet holiday offering. Once they got past that, it was really quite funny. This is not a bad movie by any standards. However, I feel that the crew was too busy trying to capture their former audience, and didn't spend enough time concerning themselves with their real target audience... ...the nine year old kid watching television.
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The Muppets return to form
justinvn30 November 2002
The good news is that this is easily the best Muppet outing since their "Muppets take Manhattan" movie nearly 18 years ago. Almost every Muppet that made the Muppets popular is there, and even more, the right people (Kermit, Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie) are all front and center; which may be the first time in recent memory that Fozzie was given equal billing (and intelligence!!) with Kermit - instead of Piggy. Equally interesting is that the original "Muppet Theater" idea of the TV show is there, complete with Statler and Waldorf heckling from the balcony (with some of the best heckling they've had a chance to do in nearly 20 years). This being the case, many of the 90s Muppets such as Clifford amd Data are nowhere to be seen - not even relegated to "cameo" status. However, Pepe the Prawn is around.

Ironically, with a setting from 25 years ago, Frank Oz is no longer doing the voices. With Jim Henson and Richard Hunt dead, this more or less constitutes a complete turnover in Muppeteers. But it looks like they more or less threw caution to the wind, and finally brought the Muppets into the 21st Century. There's a lot of good here, It took me half of the show to realize that Gonzo, Piggy, and Fozzie were voiced by new people; and to that respect they did a fantastic job. This is great: instead of worrying if Frank Oz's (or whomever) Muppets will be able to give a few token lines and then leave, new people took up the mantle and gave great performances. For the most part it works: Scooter is back as is Sam the Eagle and Kermit's nephew Robin, plus Dr. Honeydew and Beaker in top form. Unfortunately, Animal and Rowlf are pushed to the background.

The Story? Oh there's a story?? Who cares? We all know that any story is just an excuse to see the Muppets go crazy. Basically, it's a spoof of "It's a Wonderful Life." There's a few spoofs thrown in, most notable being The Grinch and Moulon Rouge. Some work great, some don't.

Unfortunately, what doesn't work ALMOST killed it. The cameo with Piggy on the set of Scrubbs was funny -she quits the Muppet Show to start her career: an extra as a corpse on the show- but it cements the special to the success or failure of Scrubbs. Then there are the obligatory human cameos and roles. I never was one for them on the TV shows or movies, but here they seemed more forced: the most unforgivable is Whoopi Goldberg as a God-like deity (Goldberg probably feeling like she was typecast) who brings the show to a screeching halt at the end with a boring Guinan-like sermon about self-esteem. Almost as unforgivable is the ending song as the credits rolled, which was uncharacteristically sappy and contrived - fortunately modern devices of stuffing as many commercials as possible allowed it to go mute while the ending was split-screened with a promo. And then there were some things that seemed totally out of line: Pepe says he's got a permit for a topless club (Gonzo hints that he likes the idea), Scooter is cage dancing in a fantasy-scene, and the more bizarre Pepe and Joan Cusack lust scenes. Overall, it relied more on Simpsons-like references and spoof-gags to get through 2 hours than the witty writing of years past.

But, that wasn't enough to wreck it. The Muppets, in my book at least, are back. Now, if they can work on the writing, drop the need to spoof the next-big-thing at every turn, and keep it clean enough for the kids, there will be no stopping them - again.
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Good Enough
Writer_Commentary7 April 2014
Warning: Spoilers
So I'm pretty sure that you can't make a bad Muppet movie. This surely isn't one. With that said, there are still some ways that they could have improved on this movie if they wanted to. Some of the basic Muppet trademarks, such as breaking the fourth wall a lot, is at a minimum for some odd reason. You only get to hear one of their great songs. Plus, while not a direct take off from any one work, it does borrow a lot of story lines from other Christmas movies. The alternate world part is easy to see that it is directly taken from It's a Wonderful Life, with the same sort of ending in this movie as well. I am disappointed that we never got to find out the villain's motivation for doing what she does. There's a lot of unmarked potential in that. But the movie is pretty good if you watch it all the way through. Enough of the stuff you know and love about the Muppets is in here like it always is.
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UGH, I Just Don't Like Him.
bblack1-699-9685778 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
OK, let's get this out the way. I said in my past reviews that the Muppets put on Christmas specials really well, showing the heart and spirit of Christmas...That is not the case at all here. This parody of Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life" isn't nearly as charming or wonderful as any other Muppet Christmas special.

Apparently, the Muppet Theater was owned by a businessman named Mr. Bitterman, and everything went over to his wife when he passed away. Instead of being kind and understanding like her late husband, Mrs. Bitterman is evil and greedy. She tells the Muppets to pay what they owe by midnight of Christmas Eve, or else she'll own the theater and will tear it down. The Muppets plan an extravagant show on Christmas Eve to bring in money for the theater. None of them know, however, that Bitterman changed the contract, having the Muppets pay by 6:00 p.m. instead of midnight. They attempt to take the money to her on time, fail, and Kermit feels bad about keeping a dream for so long and wishes that he was never born.

There are actually a few good things about this movie, so let's start with those. There are a few good jokes in here. I have to admit I do find myself laughing a couple of times while watching this. Kermit and Gonzo share a song called "Everyone Matters" that's a pretty nice song. It's not the Muppets' best song, but it's a good one. And I like the message they have here, that anyone can make a difference because, as the song says, everyone matters.

Now that that's out the way, let's talk about why this film sucks. First of all, it's not timeless. The only things preventing the Muppets from being 100% timeless in their past productions were the popular songs they sang and their celebrity guests. Here, they make a number of references to pop culture: "Fear Factor," "Crocodile Watcher," the crap 2000 movie version of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," and more! Secondly, the Muppets also had a tradition of appealing to both adults and kids. You'll remember in my last Muppet review, "Kermit's Swamp Years," I said that wasn't too good because it appealed just to kids? This one tries to appeal to just adults! They make a number of sex jokes, Kermit finds himself in a nightclub, and even the language the characters often use is for adults! They don't cuss or anything (actually, there is a hidden deleted scene on the DVD where one of the characters does cuss...IN A MUPPET MOVIE!!!!), but they talk a lot of business stuff that kids wouldn't understand. Why would you do that? You know that kids are going to watch this movie; my siblings and I watched this when it first came out! COME ON! Also, again, I don't like some of these characters. OK, I'm not that big a fan of Sal and Johnny, but I swallow them OK. No, my least favorite character is all over the place in this movie: Pepe! In case I didn't make it clear before, let me do so now: I FRICKIN' HATE PEPE!!! I am boggled by the fact that so many people love him; he sucks! How can I say such a thing? I'll tell you: Number one, he's selfish. When he has the option to stay with the Muppets and help them save the theater, he blows it by going with Bitterman because she has money and he finds her attractive! What a jerk! Secondly, he's lustful. I never wanted to hear a Muppet character use the term "sexy," but Pepe says it as naturally as he breathes. Third, what's the point of him? I mean, what's the point of his character - his existence - as a whole? He doesn't add anything or contribute much. In this movie, yes, he does has his redemption at the end. But I wonder if he did that just to make people like him or to give him something to do. And I still don't understand how he got so popular in the first place! UGH, I just don't like him.

This just feels like another Muppet project that is trying to conform to the current way of entertainment. I watch it every now and then just to remind myself of it, but this is one I can definitely advise you to skip. Now I know what you're thinking, "For as much as you talk about this, could this be the worst Muppet production?" The answer, sadly, is no. Find me over by "The Muppets' Wizard of Oz," and I'll be the one crying in the corner. BOOYIKA!
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Better and More Fun Than the Recent 2011 Muppet Movie
mike4812813 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
In 2011, Disney released a movie called simply "The Muppets". It got mixed-reviews for a number of reasons. This little gem from 2002, is often shown around Christmastime on cable stations. It is a lot like the newer film. In both movies, the Muppet Theater is about to be foreclosed because some evil scrooge-like person holds the mortgage. All the Muppets want to do is put on a show to raise enough money to save the theater.

In, typical typecasting, Whoopie Goldberg plays God! Kermit does a really short version of "It's a Wonderful Life-frog style". In this film, the (2002) "Molin Rouge" remake is spoofed and the Salvation Army ends up with all the money! The Muppet Theater is almost turned into a Disco with "Beaker-on Steroids" as the bouncer! Gonzo sings a duet with Kermit on a park bench. It's cute and often overlooked, as it was made for TV and not released to theaters.

Plays like a good Muppet movie should. The human stars stay in the background. Joan Cusak really does make a good villain and she is quite funny. "Pepi the Prawn" makes a great "hunch-shrimp" and looks absolutely ridiculous in a suit! Shorter, because it was made for TV. More fun than the recent 2011 Muppet "revival" film.
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Not very merry at all...
Jim Henson's Muppet crew is known for making memorable, heartwarming, emotional performances. However, for this holiday film particularly, I saw, nor experienced none of this for 3/4 of the film. It was not until about 10 minutes to the end, did this Muppet vehicle actually produce some smiles. As for the rest, audiences will be frowning at the screen.

This Muppet Christmas story is mainly about Kermit. Yes, the story does have his friends in it but for the most part, they are mostly shunned from the screen. As the days get closer and closer to Christmas Eve, the Muppets come to realize that they owe payment to the rotten, nasty real- estate mogul, Rachel Bitterman (Joan Cusack). The problem, if Ms. Bitterman doesn't get her payment on time, she will boot the Muppets from their theater and replace it with a racy dance club.

I really don't think writers Tom Martin and Jim Lewis knew what Christmas movies entail tone wise. This film hardly had any joy in it all. Cusack's character is so bad, that her character practically has equal amount of screen time as Kermit. And the fact that one of Ms. Bitterman's assistants thinks everything she says is a sexual innuendo is not funny at all. It's a Muppet Christmas film, how is that appropriate!? And the worst part is, is that it's not even Cusack's character that was cruel to the Muppets. The whole script had all from celebrities to other movie parodies stomping all over the Muppets.

Let's also not forget how the story was told. This movie is one of those films where it places you in the middle of everything and then rewinds to show you everything you missed. Is that absolutely necessary? There's no need for cutting in and out between scenes just to have Whoopie Goldberg (playing God) contemplating the obvious saying, "This doesn't look good", to a fellow angel, the awkward Daniel, who brings up the whole issue to her, played by David Arquette.

The whole job of Daniel is to show Kermit that his life isn't over no matter how hard it seems. Daniel does this by showing him another virtual world where Kermit had never been born. Making things worse, the initial meeting between these two characters is not funny or happy. To have Kermit screaming "I WISH I'D NEVER BEEN BORN" a dozen times and Arquette's character sweating for not knowing what to do, is not making the film anymore enjoyable. Plus, the other world Daniel shows Kermit is fairly dark for a children's movie. This whole subplot is just filler and it should have been omitted.

The special effects are standard for 2002 and the music Mark Watters had its emotional tunes but this time it dragged the film down. It's rare that an audience runs across a film score that actually works at evoking the right tones but all for the wrong reasons. Watters produces an assisting score but the tone of the story is so negative, that the score never accelerates the movie any. This is a real disappointment from the Muppet crew. There was even a small voice cameo by Mel Brooks playing what looked like Jack Frost's (1998) grandpa, and that character was left out too.

This Muppet production is a sad attempt at making a jolly Christmas film. The tone is heavily depressing and the gags are intentionally mean spirited.
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strictlyrouge18 October 2005
This movie is pretty much what you would expect of a modern Muppet's movie: Has its share of cute moments, but is certainly not to be mistaken for a classic. Really, it's the kind of movie that gives you a few cheap laughs around Christmas time. It's got celebrity cameos, rip-offs of about every popular Chistmas movie you can think of, a bunch of play on words and puns, and a decent performance by Joan Cusack. So you can go ahead and break out the egg nog and watch this with friends; just keep in mind that this one is more for pre-teens and children than it is people who can recall the actual muppet show... If you're looking for that genuine Christmas Spirit with a pleasant dash of Muppet craziness, go for A Muppet Christmas Carol.
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