This post is dedicated to Jim Henson’s brilliantly beloved wacky felt friends. That’s right, I am talking about The Muppets.
The Muppets have a sort of sad puppy dog look that makes your heart just melt. You somehow forget your own troubles as you get lost in their big, somewhat cross-eyed glances. As their heads swing back and forth while their jaws flap about, you fall deeper in love.
They don’t let the fact that they are a ragtag mix of random animal puppets stop them from achieving their dreams. When they decided to go to Manhattan for their movie, they didn’t title it “The Muppets Go to Manhattan”. No, it was titled “The Muppets Take Manhattan.” Because they flopped their way into that city and took it by storm.
I’ve always had a crush on Kermit the Frog. He is such a heartbreaker, so unattainable, so cute, so green. He has that little boy charm that reminds me of crushes I had on boys when I was in grade school. I would chase the objects of my affection around the playground at recess, trying so hard to make them love me.
Which is probably why I identify so well with Miss Piggy. She doesn’t care if Kermit isn’t all that into her – she will make him love her if it’s the last thing she does. She bullies that scrawny green amphibian into having true affections for her, and I find that both endearing and courageous. She’s a true modern woman, fearless and loving with an eye for glamour and a heart for food.
In “The Great Muppet Caper”, Miss Piggy gives Ester Williams a run for her swim caps as she performs an aquatic musical number with the dramatics, pizzazz, and strange sex appeal that only Miss Piggy could pull off. Please watch the below clip. It is sure to make you want to perform synchronized swimming in an evening gown.
The “Muppet Babies” Saturday morning cartoon was all about fantasy. The theme song said, “just close your eyes and make believe, and you can be anywhere!” Come to think of it, those babies were basically trapped in that nursery for years and their only escape was to imagine they were all in Egypt or Japan or any of the other exotic places their minds took them. They were kind of like Flowers in the Attic, boarded up in that playroom with only the occasional visit from that large woman whose shoes were the only things that ever got any screen time. No wonder they were imagining so much! Regardless of this disturbing revelation, it was a really fun cartoon and did provide an invaluable lesson: that if you just believe hard enough, you can make almost anything come true. Even escaping childhood imprisonment. And come to think of it again, didn’t we all as kids feel imprisoned? We had no control of when we could do anything, we were at the mercy of the giant adults. Which now makes this cartoon even more genius.
Muppet Babies Opening Theme Song:
Last Christmas while I was home visiting my family in Ohio, I took a trip to the vintage shop “Flower Child” in Lakewood. I gasped when I came across a statue of my Muppet idol, Miss Piggy, all decked out in a Marilyn Monroe dress and holding a microphone. Of course I just had to have her, and I lugged her all the way back to Hollywood, where she belongs.
The Muppets. They make their dreams come true. They’ll do the same for you.