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Friday, April 17, 2015

My Thoughts on "Muppet Moments" by Nicholas Napoli

Once again we here at MuppetsHenson are very privileged to have Nicholas sharing his thoughts and writing talents exclusively with us. If you have never read any of his articles, I suggest you check back in our archives and catch up on them all!

Thanks again Nicholas for another great read. 

"Muppet Moments"

Most of us including myself were so worried when we heard The Muppets would be appearing on Disney Junior, what exactly would they be doing? Was Kermit going to walk around dressed as a giant yellow bird? Were The Muppets going to think that Gonzo was simply Rizzo’s imaginary friend? Was Sam the Eagle going to start living in a trashcan? Were Dr Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker going to be disturbed by musical Sheep in the middle of the night? Or were The Muppets all just going to live in a giant Kermit-head-shaped-clubhouse? We had no idea what was going on and as any normal Muppet Fan would do we started to panic and complain until we began to learn a little more about these little moments.

This was not a new Muppet Show premiering on Disney Junior these were just short clips inserted between various Disney Junior shows helping Kids become familiar with The Muppets without needing their Parents to take them to the cinema or buy them a Muppet DVD (everybody enjoys free Muppets every now and again). As an adult Muppet Fan this did not really excite me although I knew I would be watching this either way but as a fan of the franchise it did excite me because it would help Kids get excited about The Muppets too. Luckily I was in for a pleasant surprise because not only are these Muppet Moments excellent they’re also very entertaining for both Kids and Adults at the same time which is the whole point of being a Muppet moment for the whole family. I could really see these clips going viral all over the web as many Adults would find these clips adorably funny. I think these were made to bring in a younger crowd of fans but with everyone watching talking cat videos, laughing baby videos and posting pictures of their food online I’m sure the internet would go crazy with these. Unfortunately most of these people probably don’t watch Disney Junior yet fortunately thanks to the handful of Muppet Fansites online and not forgetting YouTube they’ll get their chance if they’re lucky to stumble across them. They always say never work with Kids and Animals but Bill Barretta (Muppet Moments Director) proves otherwise.

For so long most fans have always worried that The Muppets would one day be Winnie the Poohed by Disney. Sesame Street are for Kids and The Muppets are for Grownups but we forget The Muppets are not for grownups they’re for everyone. Keeping The Muppets from becoming a preschool franchise has always been a major concern and for that reason if you think about it The Muppets have never really interacted with many Kids before. After so many years The Muppets have taken that risk and it has worked to their advantage. In my opinion I don’t consider The Muppet to be childish now, in fact I’ve really enjoyed these Muppet Moments especially the fact that they remind me of those old school Sesame Street clips where the characters spoke to the Kids whilst sitting on a brick wall. Sesame Street are basically Muppets so if it works for them it will also work for The Muppets and I’m glad it has. It works because if you think about it in that part of our brain where the Muppets are real wouldn’t they interact this way when dealing with Kids? It’s been very interesting for me to watch these interactions.

I was recently reading the Muppet message boards and there was a discussion which led to the question have The Muppets ever acted alongside Kids? They did work with that little girl on The Muppets Letters To Santa but most recently The Muppets appeared on Good Luck Charlie. Kermit, Fozzie and Miss Piggy had a scene with Charlie at the end of the episode and let’s just say after Miss Piggy’s interaction with poor Charlie I was very worried for these new Kids. I was very intrigued to see how Miss Piggy interacted with Kids on this new show and honestly I was very impressed, it works, Kids like patient Miss Piggy yet she still remains in character. This goes to show us all that the bitchy Miss Piggy that is sometime portrayed is not the way to define Miss Piggy. Miss Piggy can be a bitch if is she needs to be but she’s not one necessarily. I was so glad Miss Piggy was able to show this side of her, these Muppet Moments have shown us sides of The Muppets which we haven’t seen before.

These Muppet Moments are very enjoyable for a number of reasons, for starters the Kids in these clips are having a great time, we’ve just witnessed new Muppet Fans in the making. Secondly Muppet Fans have been treated to two surprises so far Bobo Bear and Bubba Rat might we be in for a third surprise? I’m always happy to see Bobo Bear especially when he’s playing himself and not the bad guy’s assistant but as much as Bobo Bear’s surprise appearance makes me happy seeing Bubba Rat makes me even happier. It’s been so long since we last had a proper scene with Bubba Rat and finally here we have it, whose next Tattooey? We can only hope. The Muppets are just being silly and entertaining which is what they do best and everyone is enjoying themselves especially Kermit. I love silly Kermit, I missed silly Kermit, he’s been depressed for too long now, Kermit be more silly!

My favorite Muppet Moment so far has to be Raisins, not only is it funny but I enjoy the duo of Rowlf and Kermit just being silly but best yet is Rowlf taking on the role of Cookie Monster which is perfect. It was so funny when Rowlf started eating the raisins at the end and if I (a grownup) can find this funny then I’m sure all those Kids watching at home must find it even funnier. The little Girl handled the situation much better than I ever would, I’d be so worried if I were in her position. On the one hand I want Kermit to know he can trust me but at the same time I don’t want to be the one to say no to Rowlf and I probably would have caved and then got very nervous when Kermit returned even if Rowlf had only eaten two or three raisins. Very well played little girl, very well played.

If I’m correct so far 18 Muppet Moments have been released online and they can all be found HERE

Thank you TsWADE2 for your efforts.

I don’t kiss frogs either but I have kissed a pig once.

- Nicholas Napoli

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1 comment:

  1. What about those Muppet "Play-Along" videos from 1988? Wouldn't those count? Also, Kermit had a long history on "Sesame Street" and interact with kids a bunch of times.