One of the staples of my childhood was Jim Henson’s medley group of love-able felt, The Muppets. Even though The Muppet Movie gave me nightmares, I watched it over and over, I still own the VHS of both it and Muppets Take Manhattan, along with Muppet Treasure Island and I’m sure plenty more. The Muppets are so amazingly enjoyable not just to kids but thankfully to adults too. Their humor is so universal, and even though it kind comes off as kiddy-ish, it still cracks me up along with millions of other adults and young adults alike. So many people can’t get enough of Animal’s shouting and drum solos, Beaker’s anxiety, or Fozzie the Bear’s emerging career in comedy that’s still a little on the rocks. I know I’ve said this a thousand times before, but my love of film probably came in part from having acting legends Steve Martin, Richard Pryor, Charles Dunning, Dom Deluise, Mel Brooks, Cloris Leachmen, and Carol Kane (as Mrs. Myth, one of the funniest running, fourth-wall shattering gags in that movie) burned into my subconscious. To this day my friends and I still revere Muppet Treasure Island in a very high regard, and if you’ve not already done it their Youtube video series is a delight. Heck, I even force my family to sit through the Muppet Show every time we go to Disney World. Sure enough, there’s a special place in my heart for them.
That being said, you can only imagine my delight when it was announced recently that a new Muppet Film is in production. As if that wasn’t enough to get me excited, there’s a great team working on the project. One of the Muppets’ biggest fans, Jason Segel, the very funny man famous from films like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and the show How I Met Your Mother, is co-writing and starring in the film. Amy Adams (Enchanted), Rashida Jones (The Social Network, The Office), the recently-announced Zach Galifianikis will be in the film, and Chris Cooper will also star, probably as the villain. The movie’s going to be directed by James Bobin, one of the creative forces behind Flight of the Conchords (another show you should check out if you already haven’t), and is going to follow Jason Segel and a new muppet trying to save Muppet Studios. If Muppet Studios looks anything like I’ve seen in the Disneyworld show and in other shows, it’s sure to be a blast. You can also be sure that there will probably be plenty of cameos, lots of explosions, lots of bad puns, and lots of that same Muppet humor we’ve come to adore. The film’s set to release in Christmas 2011, and I can’t hardly wait to waka-waka-waka over to my theater and see it.