With their signature warmth and timeless humor, the world’s most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppetational characters are back with a brand-new movie. D23 caught up with the cast and crew of The Muppets—and a few celebrity guests, too!—at the film’s worldwide green-carpet premiere at the El Capitan Theatre on Saturday, November 12.
On a cool and cloudy afternoon in Hollywood, California, hundreds of fans gathered for several blocks surrounding the El Capitan in hopes of seeing the famous frog and pig. The Muppets arrived in style, riding in Chrysler and Jeep brand vehicles. “I am so happy to be here, and I am so happy to bring my glamour to this festive occasion,” said Miss Piggy. “I am so happy that all of my fans are here today. This [film] was made for them, and it is a love letter that moi wrote.” Walter, the new Muppet star, corrected her on the carpet saying, “I thought that Jason Segel and Nick Stoller wrote the movie.”
Statler and Waldorf kicked off the world premiere screening for a packed audience inside the El Capitan with a few expected snide remarks. However, the list of celebrities on hand for the premiere had nicer things to say. “The Muppets are able to have broad, mainstream comedy with clever little winks to the parents who are watching,” Neil Patrick Harris, who has a cameo in the film, said. “Everyone can watch it and get something from it.” Among the hundreds who turned out for the premiere were Jack Black, Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Oscar Nunez, Cat Cora, Stana Katic, China Anne McClain, Bradley Steven Perry, Jason Dolley, Vanessa Marano, Erica Dasher, Nancy Grace, Tristan MacManus, and Rico Rodriguez.
“If they told me that I was playing a role that doesn’t say a word, I’d probably have said ‘yes’ if it meant getting a part in this movie,” Amy Adams, who plays Mary from Smalltown, U.S.A. in The Muppets, joked with D23. Her excitement is typical of the sort of enthusiasm that’s been swelling among the cast, crew, and millions of Muppet fans worldwide since the Walt Disney Studios film went into production in November 2010. “It takes me back to being a kid,” the Academy Award®-nominated actress said.
Like Amy, longtime Muppet lovers have enjoyed getting reacquainted with this furry bunch all over again. And for those not familiar, the film’s 2011 publicity campaign has garnered new fans of every age, size, and Facebook status. The Muppets have popped up in hilarious trailer parodies (check them all out here), TV guest-star appearances, and viral music videos like OK Go’s version of the “Muppet Show Theme Song.” Even the world’s top fashion designers lined up to dress Miss Piggy, who reveals some of her sartorial secrets in a November spread in InStyle magazine. Everywhere you turn, there’s Muppetmania. “The Muppets welcomes a whole new generation into the world of the Muppets,” Director James Bobin said about these fun-loving characters.
While it’s classic Muppet humor that already has the YouTube generation amped up to see The Muppets, the film’s heartwarming story of friendship is why they’ll want to watch it again and again. “I love the finale,” Kermit said about the closing scene, which shut down Hollywood Boulevard two nights in a row for a dramatic and heartwarming musical number. “It’s got everyone in it—Jason, Amy, Walter, and all the Muppets. I don’t want to spoil the movie, but I think it’s a very happy ending.”
For more on The Muppets, pick up the Winter 2011 issue of Disney twenty-three magazine.
By D23′s Billy Stanek.