The Muppets is a 2011 American musical comedy film, the first Muppets theatrical release since 1999. The film is directed by James Bobin, written by Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller, produced by Jason Segel, Martin Baker, David Furnish, David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, and John Scotti, and stars Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper and Rashida Jones.
In the film, Walter, the world's biggest Muppet fan, his brother Gary, and Gary's girlfriend Mary help Kermit the Frog reunite the Muppets. They must raise $10 million to save the Muppet Theater from Tex Richman, a businessman who plans to demolish the studio to drill for oil.
The film was first announced in March 2008, with production commencing in September 2010. The film premiered at the 2011 Savannah Film Festival, and was released by Walt Disney Pictures in North America on November 23, 2011. The film won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for the song "Man or Muppet", written by Bret McKenzie; the first Academy Award presented to a Muppet film. The Muppets is also the highest-grossing film of the franchise to date.
Walter lives with his human brother Gary in Smalltown. They became Muppet fans when they watched The Muppet Show in their youth. Gary plans a vacation to Los Angeles with his girlfriend, Mary to celebrate their tenth anniversary, inviting Walter along so he can tour the Muppet Studios. Mary feels that Gary's devotion to Walter is detracting from their relationship.
In Los Angeles, the three visit the abandoned Muppet Studios. During the tour, Walter sneaks into Kermit the Frog's office and discovers Statler and Waldorf selling the theater to an oil magnate named Tex Richman and his henchmen Bobo the Bear and Uncle Deadly. Waldorf explains that if the Muppets can raise $10 million they can repurchase the theater. After Statler and Waldorf leave the office, Walter overhears Richman revealing his plans to destroy the Muppet Theater and drill for oil underneath. Walter later warns Gary and Mary about Richman's intentions.
When Kermit the Frog is informed about the situation at his mansion, he realizes he must organize a show to raise the money, which the Muppets have not done in years. After Walter convinces him to try, Kermit and the three set off to reunite the group, traveling in a car being driven by '80s Robot. Fozzie Bear is performing in Reno, Nevada with the Moopets, a group of uncouth Muppet impersonators which includes a man dressed as Animal. Kermit persuades Fozzie to leave Reno. Meanwhile, Gonzo has become a plumbing magnate. Despite his initial objection, Gonzo decides to destroy his business and join them. Animal is in a celebrity anger-management clinic. He rejoins them, but his sponsor Jack Black warns him to avoid drums. The other primary Muppets are located and rejoin through a montage. In Paris, the group later finds Miss Piggy working as an editor for "plus-sized" fashion at Vogue Paris. Unable to convince Miss Piggy to return, the group replaces her with Moopet counterpart Miss Poogy.
The Muppets pitch their telethon idea to several television networks, but are rejected. Due to a popular show's sudden cancellation resulting from a lawsuit, CDE executive Veronica gives the Muppets a two-hour opening in the network's schedule on the condition that they find a celebrity guest. The Muppets repair the theater, but their first rehearsal is terrible and Kermit is unable to find a celebrity guest. Miss Piggy returns and forces Miss Poogy out. Refusing to work with Kermit, Miss Piggy selects Pepe the King Prawn as her partner for a dance routine. Kermit persuades Walter to agree to "find his talent" and perform a number. Meanwhile, Mary goes sightseeing alone.
Refusing Kermit's entreatment to return their studio, Richman reveals that the Muppets will also lose their trademark names and rights, which he plans to give to the Moopets. Miss Piggy has the Muppets kidnap Black as a celebrity guest. Meanwhile, after Gary forgets his anniversary with Mary, she leaves for Smalltown. When Gary attempts to explain to Walter about Mary's departure, he realizes what he has done. Gary chooses to improve his relationship with Mary, while Walter discovers he was meant to be a Muppet. Gary follows Mary back to Smalltown and reconciles with her, and they decide to return to Los Angeles, while the telethon gradually attracts a large audience and many donations with celebrity support and Black as the unwilling but hilarious host. Richman cuts the theater's power supply, but Gary and Mary get back in time for Mary to repair the wiring with help from Gary. Richman then attempts to destroy the transmitter antenna, but Uncle Deadly has a change of heart and stops Richman. Miss Piggy, Kermit and the Muppets perform "Rainbow Connection".
With the telethon running short, Walter finds his talent and performs a whistling act, and the crowd loves him. Richman, refusing to lose, disables the telephone lines and evicts them from the theater, out of time and short of their monetary goal. Walter, Gary, Mary, and the Muppets gather in the lobby and Kermit says that the Muppets tried their best, and will begin again as a family. Then he opens the door to lead them away and they find a vast gathering of fans outside the theater. With Gary's encouragement, Walter greets the crowd with the Muppets and becomes an official member. Gary proposes to Mary as Richman gives the Muppet Theater and name back to the Muppets after suffering a head injury from Gonzo's bowling ball act and Miss Piggy and Kermit have time in private.
Academy Award Nominations (2012)Edit