It’s no secret to those who know me that I adore the Muppets and the Jim Henson Company, and because of this I am eagerly awaiting the release of The Muppets on November 23rd. Also not a secret to those who know me, is the fact that I am fascinated by the marketing campaigns that go into the promotion of films. In today’s world of new media, these campaigns have the ability to be wildly creative and inventive, and in some cases, they are an entertaining joy ride unto themselves. Such is the case with the trailer campaign for The Muppets, which suggests above all else that the Muppets are back, and they are at their fantastical and hysterical best.
No fewer than eight trailers have been released, almost all of them cleverly parodying everything from entire genres of films, to some of the biggest blockbusters of this year. First there was Green With Envy, a whimsical spoof of romantic comedy films, made all the more hilarious by the announcer’s increasingly confused tone as the Muppets make their entrance. Then there were the parodies of The Hangover Part II and The Green Lantern, both of which managed to re-create the look and feel of the original films’ trailers, while keeping all of the usual Muppet trademarks in place, including the always funny commentary on the action. The Muppets trailers then took it one step further by creating parodies not of other films, but of other films’ trailers, with the release of The Pig with the Froggy Tattoo, a terrific, Muppets infused take on the incredible original trailer for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. These have culminated with last week’s release of the Muppets parodying their own parody trailer, which ultimately devolved into a madcap romp through the latest and upcoming films of 2011. It’s brilliant and hilarious, and it reminded me of everything I love about the Muppets. The self referential humour, the winking nods to pop culture, shots of big musical dance numbers, and of course Statler and Waldorf on hand to criticize everything. More importantly, these parodies show that the Muppets are back and they’re ready to do what they’ve always done; entertain legions of fans with their zany brand of humour that is fun and heartfelt, with just the right amount of mania.
Will this film be a success? I hope so, because it’s been far too long since the Muppets have been on the big screen; their last outing being 1999’s Muppets From Space, and it’s time for the next generation of kids to discover these wonderful and altogether lovable characters. Will The Muppets be a good film? Again, I hope so, because so far it has everything going for it. Will I be first in line on November 23rd for a ticket? You bet. In the meantime, I’ll be re-watching the trailers for the hundredth time.