Yesterday, for the first time, an exclusive clip from The Muppets, was shown in London at the Empire Big Screen Film Festival. Our friends from the movie blogs HeyUGuys and Bleeding Cool (note, links have SPOILERS) have some exclusive details on the clip that was shown and the interview conducted with director James Bobin, Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Animal, and the bunny he was chasing.
(Note: for full details, see the Bleeding Cool article.) The clip shown followed Jason's character, Gary, along with Amy Adams' character Mary, and Watler as they search for Kermit outside his home. It showed the Walter-electric-fence scene from the full-length trailer and then followed the three characters into Kermit's house where they meet Kermit. He proceeds to sing, what sounds like, a completely heart-breaking and emotionally charged song about missing his friends. Reading the lyrics alone were enough to make me tear up.
Our friend Rob Hearn was present at the Empire Film Festival for The Muppets panel and he provides us with some great, passionate insight into what he saw--and what we wish that we had all seen as well.
Rob Hearn - So yesterday I dragged my brother to London with me to go and see The Muppets interview session at Empire Big Screen. I was a little concerned that my expectations were far too high and I would be disappointed, but no matter how I tried, I couldn't lower them. Somehow, I've never seen any Muppets on a cinema screen. If my parents loved me they might have taken me to see Muppet Treasure Island when that came out. If they didn't love me they could have taken me to Muppets From Space, but they did neither. So there I was, about to see them on a big screen for the first time in my life, and so I got a little emotional when Kermit appeared on the screen next to James Bobin live from New York. Naturally, Kermit answered most of the questions and was very funny. The atmosphere in the room was electric, huge cheers and raucous laughter and applause aplenty. The interruptions from Fozzie, a bunny chased by Animal, and Dame Miss Piggy herself were all welcomed with rapturous applause. It was refreshing to see so much love for these characters. I mean everyone in the room was as excited as me to be there.
But all this is irrelevant. The main event was, of course, an exclusive peek at a scene from the new film. It was perfect. You've read the article on BleedingCool, so I won't go in to too much detail about what was actually shown. There was the electrocution gag from the trailer that I'm sure kids will find hilarious, but that's followed by a classic Muppet type gag that actually is hilarious. 80's Robot now makes sense and is pretty funny, but the big thing was Kermit's song. There aren't enough superlatives to accurately describe how incredibly amazingly fantabulous this was. The first two lines put tears in my eyes, the comic relief from the pictures coming alive was welcome but didn't subtract from the emotion; more added to its heart. I had a lump in my throat the whole way through and still get one just thinking about it.
I kind of love Walter and his squishy face now too. He represents me and I'm sure you and I'm sure so many other who follow the blogs. I can't remember the exact phrasing he used while trying to convince Kermit to get the gang back together, but it was something like this:
"You have to do it. You're my hero." showing his wrist "You're on my watch."
All of the humour was spot on, the song was perfect and the fourth wall was broken and the whole thing was bursting with heart. That's everything from my checklist of what makes a great Muppet movie, and if this scene is indicative of the rest of the film then I'm even more impatient to see it than I was before, and I will force everyone I know to see it too.
You may remember I mentioned dragging my brother along. He's been a skeptic ever since I first started relaying every tidbit of information I heard about this film a couple of years ago. He doesn't understand my fandom or my faith that some day the Muppets will return to greatness. Why is this important?
Because after seeing the interview and the clip, he turned to me, slightly emotional, with a smile on his face and said, "Okay, you got me."
It's changed the mind of a skeptic and that's how I know that The Muppets is going to be huge and that it's not just me being crazy and trying to see the good in everything they do.
There is only one bad thing I have to say about the whole experience, and that is: I want to watch it again. On the face of it, that's not a bad thing, but when you have to wait six months (in the UK), it's the worst thing in the world.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org