'The Muppets': What the Critics Are Saying

43 REV The Muppets Jason Segel H
Andrew MacPherson

Jason Segel's naive Gary seems to have less character and gumption than Kermit and Piggy.

The family-friendly puppet revival film, starring Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Rashida Jones, opens everywhere Nov. 23.

Jason Segel's pet project, The Muppets, (which he also co-wrote and co-executive produced) directed by James Bobin, opens Nov. 23.

And the film, which stars Jim Henson's creations, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Animal and all the rest, alongside Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Rashida Jones.

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And, for the most part, reviewers have nothing but kind words to say about the nostalgic film, which received a 100% fresh rating on RottonTomatoes.com

"A breezy, keen-to-please attitudes prevails, and director James Bobin (The Flight of the Conchords, Da Ali G Show for TV) moves things along with good cheer; at one point, when the search for stray critters begins to wear down, one says, “May I suggest we save time and pick up the rest of the Muppets in a montage?” It's duly done," writes The Hollywood Reporter's Todd McCarthy. "This perfectly enjoyable family comedy is disarmingly upfront about its raison d'etre—to reboot the Muppets for a new generation of moppets. In this it should succeed, while also entertaining old fans inclined to a bit of childhood nostalgia."

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The Los Angeles Times says, "You know times are tough when even the Muppets are facing bankruptcy, or worse, playing in a Muppet tribute band. What happened to the "rainbow connection"?That and more will be answered with nostalgic charm and big, splashy production numbers in the very warm and fuzzy musical comedy of The Muppets."

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USA Today gave a glowing review, saying, "More fresh than retro, The Muppets bursts with charm and cheeky humor." Adding, "The cast — plushy felt or flesh and bone — is winningly cheery, but never in a schmaltzy way. Despite self-aware jokes about the gang's waning relevance, the filmmakers point to the value of the Muppets' good-natured idealism over cynicism. Cue "The Rainbow Connection," which remains as sweet a tune as ever."

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"A lot of love and respect went into bringing The Muppets back, and it shows in every frame of their new movie. Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzy and Gonzo have been given center stage once again for a whole new generation," opines Fox News, calling Segel "the behind-the-scenes champion" of the film. 

While Roger Ebert, says the franchise is "revitalized" with "a funny, wickedly self-aware musical that opens by acknowledging they've outlived their shelf life. There's some truth in that observation; this is the first Muppet movie since Muppets From Space (1999), and there wasn't exactly a clamor for a revival. Yet for those who grew up with the Muppets, they had lovable personalities and (shall we say?) character defects." He also points out, "What's rather canny about this revival is that it sidesteps the fact that some younger viewers may not actually be very familiar with the Muppets."