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Film Review - Muppets From Space
I saw almost no advertising for this film. But then, I've been going to more "adult oriented" movies lately. But as soon as I saw the big cardboard cut out in the theater lobby, I knew I wanted to see Muppets From Space. This film, like the others, uses the entire compilation of Muppet characters to create a comic ensemble while focusing on a few to tell the story. This is a fine formula that allows for a wide vista of jokes, to keep the moral from getting too dry.
You may recall in the original Muppet Movie, Kermit wondered just what Gonzo is. What Gonzo had was a sense that although he was "different" he was OK. He also lamented about the stars that one day he would "go back there someday." In Muppets From Space, Gonzo has had enough of this loneliness. He doesn't want to be alone. And one day, his breakfast cereal reveals to him he is really a space alien. His people are coming for him. He's not alone.
How many times have children or adults felt this sense of being alone? Many people feel "weird" because they think a little differently than the average person. Perhaps they are awkward in some way. Gonzo is the Muppet who represents anyone who has ever had these feelings. Gonzo's quest to meet his people is an affirmation that none of us is so unique that there aren't others like us. We all have a "people." There is someone out there who will love us.
Gonzo does find his people. In fact they recognise his greatness (by their standard) and offer to take him home. Gonzo's wisdom tells him he's already home, living with the other Muppets. After all, they are really who love him. Gonzo stay;, however, the big menacing bad guy who has been hunting the aliens through the film is asked to go with the aliens as Earth's ambassador. He too has felt weird his whole life, hurt by those who laughed at him. In going with the aliens, his heart melts, and he finally fits in somewhere.
As usual, this Muppet movie has a good moral foundation. Muppets care about their friends. They'll endanger themselves for a friend, even when they don't believe in what their friend is doing. This is a huge part of Muppets From Space. Rizzo the Rat is certain Gonzo is crazy. He even laughs at him, and tricks Gonzo into building a Jacuzzi. But when the chips are down, Rizzo goes after his friend, ends up as a lab rat, escapes and goes back to save Gonzo from having his brain sucked out. One wonders why more of our human movie characters can't be this way. I honestly think the quality of friendship is the secret of the Muppets. It may be why, as old as I am, I continue to like this kiddie stuff.
If you're looking for a little affirmation one afternoon, and maybe some music from the '70s, try Muppets From Space. You don't need to be a kid, or have a kid, to need the message of this movie.
Directed by Tim Hill
Released in 1999
MPAA Rating: G
Reviewed by Mongo