Do the Muppets really need any introduction? If so, then commence mourning for your lost childhood. Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Scooter, Gonzo, Rowlf, etc. etc. etc… These characters have inserted themselves into our cultural conscious so much that, despite being puppets, they are often thought of as their own individual beings.
Jim Henson is the man responsible; after his creations gained exposure on “Sesame Street,” he began looking for an outlet that would appeal to not just children, but adults as well. The result eventually became “The Muppet Show,” which ran for five seasons from 1976 to 1981. From this show came several feature film spin-offs, including “The Muppets Take Manhattan,” “The Muppet Christmas Carol,” and, possibly the best of the bunch due to the participation of the great Tim Curry, “Muppet Treasure Island.” Just last year the newest film in the series, “The Muppets,” even won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
The first ever feature-length Muppets film was the succinctly titled “The Muppet Movie,” which premiered in 1979, right in the middle of the run of “The Muppet Show.” The film is a prequel of sorts to the television series – after Kermit is witnessed performing the now- iconic song “The Rainbow Connection” (which, by the way, was nominated for the Oscar for Best Original Song), an agent convinces him he should pursue a career in show business. Thus commences his trek to Hollywood, meeting the other Muppets along the way, all the while being pursued by a restaurant magnate desperate to make Kermit the new spokesman for his frog legs restaurant franchise.
Revisiting one’s childhood doesn’t get any more fun than this. “The Muppet Movie” screens tonight for free at the Iroquois Amphitheater as part of the Monday Night Movie series. The film starts at 8:30. The amphitheater is located at 1080 Amphitheater Road in Iroquois Park.
Image: Internet Movie Database