I wrote a few weeks ago that not only do we find faith in the movies, but that we have faith in the movies — in their power to affect us, to bring us to belief, to help us understand ourselves. The Muppets (though not necessarily the new movie, which I haven’t yet seen) remind me of this power, and it appears a lot of people have faith in them. Okay, so I’m excited to see the new Muppets movie, and it seems that all around me, I’m running into articles and interviews about the Muppets.
Perhaps you, too, heard the interview with the creative force behind the latest iteration of the Muppets, Jason Segal and Nicholas Stoller, who gave this great interview with Terri Gross on Fresh Air today.
But before you spend 40 totally worthwhile minutes listening to that, you should first head to this video essay by Matthew Zoller Seitz and Ken Cancelosi about the Dynamic Duo that was Jim Henson and Frank Oz. Then you may want to spend the time to read their whole discussion that follows. They talk about the Muppets in a way that reminds me that the Muppets were more than mere characters, more than just puppets, and more than a diversion for kids; the Muppets help us understand movies, entertainment, comedy, and culture. Without pretense or pomp, the Muppets were (and hopefully under new direction still are) oracles for a time such as this.