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'The Muppets' is a charming, sweet movie for all ages

'The Muppets' has catchy musical numbers, well-placed celebrity cameos and genuinely funny jokes.

By Allison S.Meet In the Lobby / November 28, 2011

Amy Adams (l.) and Jason Segel (r.) must work with Segel's brother Walter to help the Muppets save their theater.

Patrick Wymore/HONS/Disney/AP

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5/5 stars

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One good way to entertain your family during the holidays is to take them to see The Muppets, the latest (and long-awaited) film to feature that familiar gang of puppets, starring Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall), who co-wrote the script with Nick Stoller (Sarah Marshall director and fellow collaborator from the Judd Apatow camp). I cannot, for the life of me, imagine how Segel convinced the Walt Disney Company to give him the responsibility of reviving the franchise (their last film, Muppets from Space, came out in 1999). But they must certainly be patting themselves on the back now. Segel, Stoller, and director James Bobin (Da Ali G Show, The Flight of the Conchords), offer us a fun, old-fashioned, comical adventure, as well as a sweet and touching tribute to the Muppets.

The plot initially revolves around brothers Gary (Segel) and Walter (who is, by some genetic miracle, a Muppet) who visit the old, abandoned Muppet studio only to discover that Tex Richman (played strangely by Chris Cooper), as the name might suggest, has an evil plan to tear down the studios and drill for oil! Walter, the Muppets #1 fan, alerts Kermit to Richman’s motives. Not surprisingly, the only way to raise enough money to keep the studio is to get the gang back together for one more show.

Muppet make-over: Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy reintroduced this fall

Why do the Muppets seem to disband after every film? Well, because watching them find each other again is half the fun. Miss Piggy is now some big wig at the Paris Vogue office. Gonzo is a toilet business magnate. And poor Fozzie is doing renditions of Kermit’s famous song, “Rainbow Connection,” with look-a-like band, the Moopets. No worries — we get to hear the real “Rainbow Connection,” along with a bunch of new and instantly catchy songs, throughout the movie.

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