Why You Should See “The Muppets” — Twice!

November 22, 2011

After waiting so many years to see the Muppets on the big screen again, you probably don’t need any encouragement to go see The Muppets when it hits theaters Wednesday. But there are several reasons that you should see the movie twice.

The most obvious one is that we Muppet fans need to vote for the movie with our dollars. Before Jason Segel came along, Disney had never quite figured out what to do with the Muppets after buying them a second time. If this movie isn’t a financial success, it will be back to cheesy TV movies at best—and back on the shelf at worst!

But the big reason you need to see the movie twice is that—if you’re like me—you may spend your first viewing holding your breath and evaluating each scene to see how you feel about the direction they are taking the franchise instead of just enjoying the film. The first time we saw The Muppets, Patrick loved it immediately. I liked it a lot, but I had some reservations about things I didn’t think the characters would do or say. The second time we saw the movie, I stopped overthinking it and just allowed myself to be entertained. And I LOVED it!

If you’re looking for a fan’s review of the film, you can read a thoughtful, in-depth analysis that says just about everything I felt about the movie HERE. Suffice it to say, this movie is one big love letter to the Muppets, not some misguided attempt at making them more hip or relevant to today’s audiences. Yes, there are ironic ’80s gags and trendy song choices. But think about how “of its time” The Muppet Show was. When you watch it now, you may not know who half the hosts are or have ever heard the popular songs they sing. But you enjoy it because of the timeless characters and the huge amount of heart they display.

…And the other reason you should go see the movie is that Patrick’s in it!

A lot of people have been asking which scenes he puppeteered on, so I made a list. Thanks to modern movie magic, not a lot of puppeteers were required to bring the huge cast to life. (For example, when you see all the Muppets dancing in the arches to re-create the TV show opening, those were all performed by the same puppeteer and composited together.) So most of the work was done by the core group of performers who have done the characters for years now. However, Patrick was lucky enough to be on the list when they did need a lot of hands on the set, and he got to perform in a couple of big scenes.

Pitching in the Office of CDE Executive Veronica

The best place to look for Patrick is in the office of CDE TV executive Veronica (Rashida Jones), where he plays Animal and Floyd (simultaneously!). One of the most exciting things for a puppeteer is the chance to really communicate the personality of a character in even the briefest shot, so watch for Patrick’s take on Animal here.

Muppet Theater Lobby Pep Talk

This shot over Kermit’s shoulder was done in multiple passes in order to get the maximum number of Muppets on screen, so Patrick plays three characters in three different spots. From left to right they are Bobby Benson, a chicken, and a character called Nigel.

Another interesting bit of trivia: Three locations were used to represent the Muppet Theater. The exterior was Disney’s El Capitan Theatre, the lobby was that of the Los Angeles Theatre, and the auditorium was Stage 28, the set of Universal’s 1925 movie Phantom of the Opera.

Hollywood Boulevard Dance Scene

OK, most of the puppets and people in this huge dance number are just specks as the camera pulls back, but you’ll know that Patrick was somewhere in the cluster of Muppets at the left of the screen, puppeteering his heart out!

So what are you doing still reading this? Go buy your ticket to The Muppets right NOW!!!

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather November 22, 2011 at 8:38 AM

I’m making all the in-laws and outlaws see it when we are visiting them Thanksgiving weekend. Can’t wait!!! Congrats to Patrick…

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lurkyloo November 22, 2011 at 8:41 AM

Way to go! (And I think there’s even something in the movie for the outlaws…)

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Heather November 26, 2011 at 1:26 PM

So I took the whole lot to see Muppets yesterday…awesome!!! I tried to explain to my family how I “know” one of the puppeteers, but it seemed too weird. Anyway, it felt pretty cool to only have two degrees of separation from Kermit.
Can’t wait to see it again.

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lurkyloo November 27, 2011 at 8:44 AM

That’s funny! Maybe you can tell them you are friends with someone who’s “friends with” The Muppets like they say of Disney characters at the parks….

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Hilary Hull Gupta November 22, 2011 at 8:57 AM

I cannot WAIT to see this movie. And I am all the more excited to see it knowing Patrick had a hand in it, so to speak : ) Congrats to you both!!!!!!!!

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lurkyloo November 22, 2011 at 8:58 AM

BWAAAaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahaha! “Had a hand in it”…. I love it! :D

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Elizabeth November 22, 2011 at 10:02 AM

After listening to the soundtrack I am even more excited to see the movie! Can’t wait!

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lurkyloo November 22, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Us too! The soundtrack makes us want to see it at least two more times!

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Elizabeth November 22, 2011 at 10:15 AM

The chickens’ song had me ROLLING! LOL!

And I *may* have teared up a little while listening to “The Rainbow Connection.”

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lurkyloo November 22, 2011 at 10:16 AM

Oh man, that one gets me every time. It’s like “Married Life” from Up—all I have to do is THINK about it and I start crying!

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Elizabeth November 22, 2011 at 10:20 AM

I hope this movie will now make a new generation love The Muppets AND that song! If only we still had limited television channel choices and everyone watched The Muppet Show together. Sigh.

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Alicia aka Baloo =0) November 22, 2011 at 1:14 PM

How awesome!!! Congratulations to Patrick! This movie is on our holiday viewing list!

I have always been a fan of the Muppets…I LOVED the Muppet Show…wish they would bring that back to TV!

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lurkyloo November 22, 2011 at 1:47 PM

Oh you’re gonna love the movie then…. ;)

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Hope November 22, 2011 at 2:33 PM

THAT’S what I meant to ask you about last weekend! Duh! lol Thanks for letting us know where to look for Patrick. We’re going to see it at the El Cap where it is ridiculously overpriced so it will kind of seem like we saw it twice compared to regular ticket pricing elsewhere, right? :)

Have a muppetastical thanksgiving and birthday!

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lurkyloo November 22, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Bwaahahaha! I love it! Yes, it’s like seeing it twice. Also, you will get to see sometime Swazzle employees Brett and John performing Kermit and Piggy in the pre-show. And, practically worth the price of admission alone, you’ll get to hear the Muppet Show theme played on the Mighty Wurlitzer!

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Carol Palmer November 22, 2011 at 9:30 PM

What a wonderful article you wrote! Thanks for the visual clues to let us know where to look for Patrick. We’re so proud of him!!

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lurkyloo November 22, 2011 at 10:20 PM

Hi Auntie Carol! I’ll let him know!

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BorkBorkBork November 23, 2011 at 7:06 PM

I saw it today and I loved it! It was just a super nostalgia-fest for us lifelong Muppet fans. I remembered you posting something about Patrick performing Animal and I looked for his name in the credits! I’d love to see it again soon but my daughter is only 2 so it’s hard to go to movies.

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lurkyloo November 23, 2011 at 9:57 PM

Yay! I’m so glad you liked it! Hope you get a chance to see it again… they oughtta do a Mommy & Me screening for you!

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BorkBorkBork November 27, 2011 at 6:58 PM

We took her and my inlaws today and she was great! I loved it just as much if not more the second time and so did everyone we brought. My daughter went to bed in her Miss Piggy tshirt and I heard a couple “Hi-YAH!”s before she drifted off. My master plan is working!

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lurkyloo November 29, 2011 at 8:52 AM

So CUTE!

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Eileen Johnson November 25, 2011 at 8:08 PM

We LOVED, LOVED, LOVED it! We laughed, we cried, we smiled, we cheered and clapped! And YES, we’re going to go see it again!

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lurkyloo November 26, 2011 at 10:59 AM

So glad you enjoyed it, Moma!

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Carla November 26, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Saw it on Thursday with the whole family and loved it! Plenty of laughs, some tearing up (Rainbow Connection, of course), and Chris Cooper rapping (?!?!) and sneering was hysterical. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the movie does well, because THESE are the muppets we need more of (as opposed to what we’ve had for the past 15–20 years or so). Thanks for showing us where to spot Patrick!

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lurkyloo November 27, 2011 at 8:43 AM

I agree! And I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed it!

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Kaylin December 3, 2011 at 5:04 AM

Woah thats cool did Patrick get to talk to Amy Adams? Shes one of my favorite actresses.

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lurkyloo December 4, 2011 at 8:56 AM

He says not really, though he spent several hours puppeteering on the ground next to her for the office scene – LOL!

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Juliana Poli December 3, 2011 at 8:01 PM

Hi there!
I love your blog!
The world is SO small! Just saw the movie today here in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and I found out that Patrick participated on it! That’s so cool!
=]

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lurkyloo December 4, 2011 at 8:57 AM

Hey, thanks for the “virtual postcard” from Rio! Glad you’re enjoying the blog!

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Juliana Poli December 4, 2011 at 4:28 PM

You’re welcome! =D

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Bethie Landry December 30, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Just saw the movie this afternoon! It was awesome!! So glad to see the Muppets back. Thanks for everything you do, Carrie!

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lurkyloo December 30, 2011 at 6:42 PM

Hey, glad to hear you enjoyed the movie!

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Kiki February 19, 2012 at 12:14 PM

I have seen it twice :D

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lurkyloo February 19, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Right on!!!

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