This Friday, play hooky from work, grab your BFF and take a road trip to Katy for Alamo Draft House's to see The Muppets Take Manhattan. Order a pitcher of Flying Dog Tire Bite (so what if it's 11 in the morning?) in honor of Lew Zealand's flying boomerang fish (Fish is fish... dogs is dogs) and sing along to some of the best songs the Muppets have ever brought to the silver screen.
Maybe it's because of a deep fondness for all things NYC, but TMTM is definitely the best of the Muppet movies. It really has it all: Flying Gonzo, Joan Rivers, Sardi's restaurant, Camilla the Chicken, the Muppets first appearance as babies, Rizzo the Rat, Kermit with amnesia and a manipulative, prearranged marriage!
Of course, there are many great flicks featuring everyone's favorite stuffed marionettes and a few pretty terrible ones. Art Attack lists off the best Muppet movies(pre-Segal) in order of awesome.
1. The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) I think I've given you all the reasons why this film is classic Muppets at their best. One thing I missed was this scene: "Wait until I tell the guys in marketing!"
2. The Muppet Movie (1979) The inaugural film featuring the furry cast, breaks the third wall with its "movie within a movie" concept. It's lots of fun to learn how the gang all came together on their adventure to La La Land. The celebrity cameos are bar none, with the likes of Orson Wells, Bob Hope, Mel Brooks, Milton Berle, Steve Martin, Richard Pryor and Big Bird. You can't front on the Rainbow Connection
3. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) There are so many versions of "A Christmas Carol" out there, but the Muppets' version is one of the better ones. Even if they take a few liberties with the text, you can't complain about the use of Statler and Waldorf as two evil Marleys. The soundtrack is not as good as some other Muppet flicks, but there are not many songs, so it evens out. What takes the cake in this Muppet rendition is Fozzie Bear's portrayal of Scrooge's boisterous and joyful former employer, Fozziwig. Who wouldn't want him as a boss, especially when he hires Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem to play your company Christmas party?
4. The Great Muppet Caper (1981) If you can get past the perverse infatuation Charles Grodin has with Miss Piggy, this is an OK Muppet movie. The premise is absurd and confusing as the hell, but there are enough good songs for you to keep with it. A good Busby Berkeley scene, Muppet style.
5. Muppet Treasure Island (1996) Long before Jack Sparrow hit the scene, Kermit and crew did their own pirate movie with an adaptation of the famous Robert Louis Stevenson book. In this version, Gonzo and Rizzo share the stage as friends of the story's protagonist, Jim Hawkins, eating and hiding their way to the hidden treasure. The movie stays pretty true to the original story with some great Muppet pirates, including Sam the Eagle as the melodramatic yet monotone First Mate and the always wonderful Tim Curry, with his talking lobster Polly. It's not the best, but worth a $2.99 rental on iTunes when you've watched enough crap on YouTube.
6. Muppet From Space (1999) This was the first Muppet movie with an original story to come out after Jim Henson died, and while it is incredibly flawed, they tried. I'm not sure what they were trying exactly, though. Was the point to use Gonzo as a vehicle for the topic of racial inequality, discuss government alien cover-ups or maybe the whole thing was a bad Acid trip complete with a talking sandwich? In the end you can't help but have a warm fuzzy (pun intended) feeling for Gonzo who finally finds somewhere to fit in, plus Jeffrey Tambor is in it and he can save most bad things.
7. Notable mention -The Muppet Show I know "The Muppet Show" shouldn't be on this list, but there were so many good skits I would be remiss not to mention, at least, Pigs in Space!
11 a.m. Friday. 531 S. Mason Rd. Free.
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