One of the new films in theatres right now is "Muppets Most Wanted," which is a follow-up to 2011's "The Muppets." This movie was the first in the popular franchise based on the landmark contributions of Jim Henson in many years. Those new to the "Muppet" community might well want to take in the 2011 version.
"The Muppets" begins with the familiar "separated at birth" plot point. Walter is a Muppet who has grown up with a loyal human, Gary (played by Jason Segel). Recognizing some commonalities, Walter grew up loving the "Muppets" television show. He gets a chance to visit the now abandoned studio with Gary and his patient girlfriend, Mary (played by Amy Adams). When they arrive, Walter overhears that Tex Richman (played by Chris Cooper) is planning to drill under the studio for oil. Gary, Mary and Walter realize that if the Muppets do another show, they may be able to save the studio. So they visit Kermit, and with him, they start bringing the Muppets back together. Again, this is a familiar storyline, perhaps best executed in "The Blues Brothers," but very well done here as well.
The cast of the film is strong. Jason Segel, Amy Adams, and Chris Cooper are all excellent in the human roles. The Muppets are also great characters, especially the always responsible and sincere Kermit, who has a complicated relationship with the vane but affectionate Miss Piggy.
Like the other "Muppets" films, this movie has a lot of catchy musical numbers. One particularly memorable number is "Man or Muppet," which won an Academy Award.
"The Muppets" will please those who know a lot about the franchise, as well as those who are new to it.