SF / fantasy elements

puppets; associational

1999 /DVD

Muppets from Space


[DVD cover]

Gonzo has a recurring nightmare -- he's not allowed on Noah's Ark, because he is one of a kind. Then messages from space make him think he's an alien. While Miss Piggy uses this to propel her career as talkshow host, [Miss Piggy interviews Gonzo] sinister government agents are more interested in dissecting Gonzo. It's up to the gang to rescue him from the laboratory, and reunite him with his real family.

Lots of the usual Muppet antics, as the gang career from one set piece to another. There's all the usual craziness, but spread just a little too thinly -- the musical set pieces aren't that inspired, the government agent scenes are too slow, and there's not enough of Miss Piggy or Kermit. The highlight is definitely the various laboratory rat scenes. So, rather a disappointment after the excellent Muppet Christmas Carol and the amusing Muppet Treasure Island .

Rating: 4.5

[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]

reviewed 23 December 2000

2005 / TV

Muppet Wizard of Oz


The Muppets "reimagine" the Judy Garland Oz film in their own inimitable style. Here Dorothy [Ashanti] is a waitress in her Aunt and Uncle's Kansas diner, but longing to be a singing star. When the Muppet Star Search comes to town, she fails to get an audition, but hands Kermit a sample disc. Then the tornado strikes, and she's off to Oz. She meets up with the scarecrow, tin man, and cowardly lion, and they all head off to see the wizard. But this time around, Dorothy doesn't ask to go home, but to become a singing star.

The reimagining works well, with lots of jokes, large and small: Toto is a prawn because Aunt Em won't allow Dorothy to have a dog, the T.I.N. man is a robot, Poppyfields is a nightclub, the Flying Monkeys are a biker gang, etc. The Muppets take major roles as usual: Kermit is the Scarecrow (gleeful that the Emerald City is green!), Gonzo is the T.I.N. man, and Miss Piggy is all four witches! And, best of all, although it looks as if it might, it doesn't wimp out with a "there's no place like home" ending (the major travesty of the otherwise perfect original) -- she does become a singing star!

Rating: 4

[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]

reviewed 18 December 2005