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Monday, April 9, 2012

Keep Believing, Keep Pretending...

I finally had the chance to watch the new Muppet movie this past weekend. Yes, I am a life-long Muppet fan. Yes, I cried profusely. It made me think a lot, remembering my own childhood and part of the reasons why I am what I am today. I considered doing a review, but realized my feelings were more personal than a normal review would allow. Instead, I decided to do a mock letter to Jason Segel, who made the movie what it was. So, without further ado, my take on The Muppets.

*WARNING: Large amounts of Geekdom and Fandom follow, along with a possibility of spoilers.*

Dear Mr. Segel,

I'm sure you have heard this countless times from every fan who has watched The Muppets movie, but I am, without a doubt, Walter. I danced to the theme song before I could even walk and watched religiously every week. Once we owned a VCR, my dad was forced to tape every episode and many of those tapes still survive today, albeit worn out and fuzzy from the years. Whenever I was asked what I was going to be when I grew up, my answer was I would be on the Muppet Show.

The most traumatic episode of my young life came when I was 9 years old and my father told me Jim Henson had passed away. I was crushed. All my dreams were gone. While it was true there were several attempts to resurrect the Muppets over the interceding 20 years, they felt like the Moopets masquerading under the Muppet name. Something was always missing, the important elements that made them something more.

I'll freely admit, I was skeptical when I heard you were going to give it another go. Why can't they just leave what's left of my childhood memories alone? My husband was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and talked me into watching. I want to thank him for believing in you when I had given up and to you for making me love the Muppets again.

You have captured perfectly the frustration every fan has felt over the past two decades. The sadness of 'our' Muppets disappearing to be replaced by what executives think we want. Muppets that had turned to crassness to cover the lost chemistry. All of us have been searching for the Kermit we knew and loved, suddenly absent from our lives and entertainment. You found him and brought him and the whole gang back.

While it's true they now have to 'start from scratch' to rebuilt their audience among younger viewers, the real Muppets have never been forgotten by their fans. They inspired us to dream and believe. To act silly and enjoy life. Most of all, they taught us that if a pig and a frog can fall in love, a bear can tell jokes and a Gonzo can gather fans through 'performance art,' anything is possible.

Normally I don't get so emotionally invested in movies. After all, they're only entertainment for a short period of time. This was more for me. It awoke every childhood memory. It made me believe in my dreams again. Thank you.

From one Muppet fan to another, you did just what you set out to do.

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