In this 81st reel of COL Movies, the boys kick off the holiday season by bringing “The Muppet Christmas Carol” back. Conveniently, they then head to the theater to check out Jason Segal’s attempt to bring the beloved characters back into the limelight in “The Muppets”. Does it succeed? They then do a compare and contrast over the two upcoming Snow White tales, Julia Roberts’ “Mirror Mirror” and Charlize Theron’s “Snow White & The Hunstman”. Are fairy tales going to be the new “it” thing for 2012…sure looks like it! In news, we chat about Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus”, then discuss Cinemablend’s Top 25 Muppets list. It’s the 81st reel of COL Movies…”Someday We’ll Find It”
The Past: The Muppet Christmas Carol
Rotten Tomatoes: 68% Fresh, 80% Audience
Director: Brian Henson
Starring: Michael Caine, The Great Gonzo, Rizzo The Rat, Kermit The Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Frank Oz, Steven Mackintosh, Jessica Fox
- The first feature-length production in which Kermit’s voice was not provided by Jim Henson (who had recently died). Steve Whitmire took over the role.
- This was the first major Muppet project after the death of creator Jim Henson. Henson had performed Kermit and the role was now being handed down to Steve Whitmire. According to Whitmire he was incredibly nervous about taking over such an iconic character. The night before he had to go record Kermit’s songs for the movie, he had a dream where he met Henson in a hotel lobby and told him how unsure he was. In the dream, Henson reassured Whitmire that the feeling would pass. After waking up, Whitmire was confident and able to do the part.
- There is a store called “Micklewhite”. Michael Caine’s real name is Maurice Micklewhite.
- Towards the end of the film, a tavern called “Statler & Waldorf” (named after the famous Muppet hecklers) can be spotted.
- David Hemmings, Ron Moody, David Warner, and George Carlin were among the actors who
- Michael Caine considers the role of Scrooge to be one of his most memorable (to him) roles.
- SERIES TRADEMARK: At the conclusion of the song “One More Sleep”, Kermit is seen standing alone in the street and a shooting star can been seen streaking across the sky. In many (in not all) of the Muppet movies, a shooting star goes across the sky at some point when Kermit is on.
- According to Brian Henson, the decision to use Gonzo and Rizzo to narrate the story was made because he wanted to incorporate the narration and prose of the Charles Dickens novel into the film.
- In the film’s first scene, there is a shop sign that reads “Duncan & Kenworthy”. Producer Duncan Kenworthy was one of the creators of Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock.
- The movie is dedicated to the memory of Jim Henson and Richard Hunt. Henson, of course, was the creator of the Muppets. Hunt was one of the Muppet voice performers, perhaps best known as the voice of the character Scooter.
- Jacob and Robert Marley surrounded by wailing cash boxes is a nod to Bob Marley & The Wailers.
- Jacob and Robert Marley tell Scrooge to leave comedy to the bears. Statler and Waldorf, who play the Marley brothers, are known for constantly heckling Fozzie Bear for his poor comedy.
- Some of the muppets were CREEPY! Ghost of christmas past, kitty,
- Very classic telling of the take
- Any fav Muppets?
What We’ve Learned:
- December is harvest time for moneylenders.
- Rat’s are versatile – bookkeepers, window squeege, fire bellows, chimney sweeps, Popsicles
- Whispering = dramatic emphasis
- Storytellers are omniscient
- Rats don’t understand loneliness
- Business.. its the America…er British Way
- Never eat singing food
- Life is made up of meetings and partings.
Jeff: I’ve always loved this movie and many different versions of A Christmas Carol. Outside of this, I really liked the short Micky’s Christmas Carol which I’d also recommend to anyone. Both of these are Christmas Traditions to watch for me. I think this should be in everyone’s collection, something to watch with family on a cold winter evening.
Ray: It’s cute, It’s the muppets.. if your a muppets fan it should be in your collection. Best version of A Christmas Carol? not sure id go that far.. but it is good
Steve: I like it, but do find the pace a bit slow. Seems like a pretty honest telling of the story and Michael Caine is great! The ghost Muppets, especially future, are really cool. I need to show this movie to my nieces and nephew.
The Present: The Muppets
Rotten Tomatoes: 98% Fresh, 92% Audience
Director: James Bobin
Starring: Amy Adams, Jason Segel, Chris Cooper, Kermit The Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, The Great Gonzo, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson
- First theatrically-released Muppet film not to include Frank Oz
- Of all the actors and actresses making cameos in this film, Alan Arkin is the only one to ever appear on The Muppet Show, back in 1979. Although Whoopi Goldberg appeared in an episode of the follow-up series Muppets Tonight in 1996 – a series set in a TV studio, not the classic Muppet Theater revisited in this film.
- A picture of Jim Henson appears on a poster outside of the Muppet Theater and a picture of him with Kermit appears on the wall in Kermit’s old office.
- A hidden Mickey Mouse appears in the fireworks at the end.
- During the Muppet Telethon, the chickens clucked a rendition of Cee-Lo Green’s “Forget You’. At The 53rd Annual Grammy Awards, Green performed the same song wearing a feathery costume that paid homage to Sir Elton John’s 25 October 1977 appearance on Elton John.
- In the montage where the Muppets are retrieved from their current jobs, Scooter is shown in a Google reception area. At the time of release, this is indeed an actual office; it is the reception of Google’s office in Zurich.
- At one point in the movie, a kid asks Kermit if he’s a Ninja Turtle. The Muppets were Made by Jim Henson, who also made the Animatronics for the Live Action Ninja Turtle film and its sequel.
- The “standard Fame and Fortune contract” referenced several times in the movie (that would cede control of Muppet Studios and the Muppet name after 30 years), would seem to be a reference to the contract first given to the Muppets by Lew Lord (Orson Welles) in the very first Muppet Movie in 1979. After an impassioned plea by Kermit, Lew asks his secretary to “Prepare the standard Rich and Famous contract for Kermit the Frog & Company”.
- An appearance by Elmo of Sesame Street was planned for a scene where lawyers would have nixed an attempt by the Muppets to have him host their show. According to Jason Segel, the cameo itself was forbidden by lawyers. Sesame Street characters had previously made cameos in The Muppet Show, The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppets Take Manhattan and various specials, but have not done so since the purchase of the Muppet characters by Disney in 2004.
- This is the first time that John Krasinski has been in the same movie as his real-life wife, Emily Blunt, although they do not share any screen time together.
- Emily Blunt reprises her role from The Devil Wears Prada as Miss Piggy’s receptionist.
- At the end of the film as the camera tilts towards the sky showing the fireworks, you will see that three of the explosions are in the shape of Mickey Mouse’s iconic head. This is likely due to the Muppet franchise being owned by Disney. It’s also no coincidence that the Muppet Theatre was placed next to Jimmy Kimmel Live!’s theatre – a show on ABC, owned by Disney.
- Featured some Muppets not seen since the 1980s, including the evil henchman dragon Muppet, ‘Uncle Deadly’.
- First theatrical Muppet film in 12 years.
- On its first 5 days it passed every Muppet film except the first in terms of box office gross.
- In Kermit’s Office, there are many pictures of him with different special guest hosts like Steve Martin and Sandy Duncan. One of the pictures is of Kermit and Jim Henson who originally performed Kermit until his death in 1990.
- Bret McKenzie taught Chris Cooper how to rap and use typical rapper mannerisms.
- Rashida Jones plays an executive for the CDE television network. CDE is “ABC” (American Broadcasting Company) if you move each letter up 2 letters in the alphabet. ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company.
- Jim Parsons (Human Walter) is the only actor whose cameo appearance was never announced or rumored.
- Did it have the nostalgia of the originals?
- References to other Muppet movies
- Human singers – without Muppets
- Any fav Muppets?
What We Learned:
- Kermit is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
- Selena Gomez has no idea who the Muppets are…who’s she?
- Kermit imagines the audience naked when he’s on stage.
- Celebrities aren’t people
- The Muppets aren’t bilingual
- Neil Patrick Harris gets snotty when he doesn’t get to host
- Ma Na Ma Na
Jeff: I laughed, I cried, I felt like I was 6 years old again and enjoying every minute if it. I love the Muppets. Go, go see it. NOW.
Ray: I thought it was a nice re-introduction to the Muppets. I really liked seeing how the Muppets had moved on. The audience really seemed to enjoy this one. Everyone clapped at the end. I’d say if your gonna pick one family movie to see this Christmas this would be high on my list.
Steve: I am a huge fan of The Muppets and always have been. However, this one didn’t have me the whole way through. I really enjoyed when The Muppets were on screen, but there was too much human-only stuff that didn’t make i feel like it was a “Muppet” movie…just a vehicle for the actors.
The Future: Snow White & The Huntsman
Director: Rupert Sanders
Starring: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron
In a twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen.
- Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder were considered to play Ravenna, the Evil Queen.
- Charlize Theron dropped out from J. Edgar to do this movie.
- Johnny Depp, Tom Hardy and Michael Fassbender were considered to play Eric, The Huntsman.
- For months, Viggo Mortensen was in talks to star as the Huntsman, but negotiations fell through and Mortensen dropped out.
- After Viggo Mortensen passed on the movie, the role was offered to Hugh Jackman who also declined.
- Dakota Fanning, Saoirse Ronan, Riley Keough, Alicia Vikander, Bella Heathcote, Selena Gomez, Emily Browning, Lily Collins and Felicity Jones were considered for the role of Snow White.
- All seven dwarves are named after Roman Emperors: Caesar, Tiberius, Constantine, Claudius, Hadrian, Nero and Trajan.
- During filming Kristen Stewart accidentally punched co-star Chris Hemsworth in the face giving him a black eye.
- Production of the film was temporarily shut down in October 2011 after Kristen Stewart tore a ligament in her thumb during an attack scene with the dwarves. Stewart also suffered from a foot injury sustained on set.
- Filming began in the United Kingdom in October 2011.
- Lily Collins auditioned for the lead role but lost to Kristen Stewart. She was later cast in the other Snow White movie, Mirror Mirror.
The Future: Mirror Mirror
Director: Tarsem Singh
Starring: Lily Collins, Julia Roberts and Armie Hammer
An evil queen steals control of a kingdom and an exiled princess enlists the help of seven resourceful rebels to win back her birthright..
- Saoirse Ronan was considered for the role of Snow White, but the age difference between her and Armie Hammer was too big.
- Alex Pettyfer, James Holzier, and James McAvoy were all considered for the part of Prince Andrew Alcott.
- The original script included a scene between a shirtless Prince (Armie Hammer) and the Queen (Julia Roberts) in which the Queen remarks how smooth his chest is. This line had to be eliminated when Hammer refused to shave the hair off his chest for the scene.
- Two companies having similar ideas at the same time.
- Film State 57
- Antz V A Bugs Life, and Deep Impact V Amaggeddon
Jeff: Very different takes on the Snow White story. I actually kinda want to see both of them. Snow White for the action/drama, and Mirror Mirror for the comedy.
Ray: The Huntsman is the one pulling me to the theater, but I prefer a dark fantasy over a comedy.. Mirror Mirror looks a little too Shrekish to me.
Steve: The Huntsman seems more in my personal wheelhouse, whereas Mirror Mirror looks as though it is going to be a bit schitzo – fighting the family friendly Disney-fied look with a sarcastic comedy edge. For me, Nathan Lane and Julia Roberts would be the draw for Mirror Mirror, whereas the dark edge of Huntsman and Chris Hemsworth would be the draws for that one. My money’s on Huntsman – especially since it’s got Twilight power.