Making the Grades
Kermit would be the first to admit it's not easy being green. This seems especially true with the passing of his creator Jim Henson. No one, not even Kermit, has been quite the same shade of green ever since.
Perhaps that's why even Gonzo is suffering from a mid-life identity crisis. Despite the fact he lives in an old house full to the rafters with all his Muppet buddies, he's feeling alone. The problem is accentuated one morning after awakening from a frightening dream where Noah refused him passage on the ark because there was only one Gonzo.
As he ponders his uniqueness over breakfast, the alphabet cereal in his bowl suddenly arranges itself into a message: "RU THERE?". Gonzo's spirits pick up as he discovers he's from outer space (are we surprised?) and the result of a crash landing. Full of enthusiasm, he takes to watching the stars awaiting his family's arrival.
When the government UFO guys also become aware of Gonzo's origins, they kidnap him and his sidekick, Rizzo the Rat. Taking them to a lab, the scientists threaten to do experiments on the long-nosed Muppet. Meanwhile Rizzo, whom they determine to be common (ever seen a talking rat?) is put in a cage with other lab rats. Suddenly, the film's bland content turns to slapstick violence, and the Muppet gang bands together to rescue Gonzo and Rizzo from the human bad guys.
The charm of Muppet movies was contained in the creators' ability to convince audiences that the Muppet characters were no different than the humans they interacted with. Unfortunately, due to poor writing, this illusion is lost in Muppets From Space.
Youngest audience members may find this movie amusing, but adults and teens will probably yearn for the credits to roll, and that's a shame because the Muppets were so much better. Remember the magic of seeing Kermit ride a bicycle in The Muppet Movie or the excellent storytelling that abounds in A Muppet Christmas Carol (a perennial Christmas favorite in our home)? While these older movies reached for the stars, Muppets From Space hardly gets off the ground.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Muppets From Space.
Why does Gonzo go to great lengths to meet his own family? What does he learn about how his Muppet family feels about him? What can we do in our families to ensure that everyone feels loved and accepted?