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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Movie Review PG - Muppets Most Wanted, (also Puppets and Fairy God Mothers)

I've always enjoyed Jim Henson's Muppets and his Seasame Street Puppets. I think their jokes are usually witty and good clean fun. I worried when they were bought by Disney. Not because I dislike Disney, though that seems to be the in-thing to do among adults these days, but because new ownership often means changes and if something is good it's hard to imagine change being for the better.

I am glad to report that I worried for nothing. Disney seems to have
enough money and connections to provide opportunites for the Muppets that it lacked as a stand alone entity. Although I've seen lots of tea commericals starring Muppets, that is how we found out the opening day of the new movie, so I guess again that seems like a good decision for the new owners. Now enough about management, on to the movie review.

The jokes were still funny, no change there. Most of the voices seemed the same. A few were different, but I got used to them. It was still good, clean fun. It was nice to see Ricky Gervais, one of my favorites, Tina Fay, Ty Burrell and a host of other personalities sharing the stage with these lifelong friends. Celebs like these little furry guys, too.

There were a several opportunities for humor from Gervis and Fay I feel that the script writers missed, but maybe Kermit and the gang were worried about being upstaged and so kept their guests on a short leash. Despite this there were some very memorable scenes as the Muppets traveled to several famous cities around the world. And there are several lines that will become frequent quotes at our house, and songs that are quite catchy. I definitely recommend this to Muppet fans, families with young kids and anyone who enjoys good corny humor.

Puppets

Speaking of puppets, this is a great opportunity to grab a couple of puppets and put on a puppet show with your kids. Here's another book I reccomend to parents and puppet fans. The Muppets Make Puppets, is a great book to spark the creative juices. Puppeteering can build a strong voice and clear speech for good public speaking skills. If the kids write their own scripts it can help those interested in story writing to learn to build a plot. Presentation of a puppet show to family members or friends is a great way to learn confidence. If an audience is not easily available, making puppet show videos is fun too.

The Muppets Make Puppets teaches the reader of any age to make puppets out of just about anything. And if you like Muppets, it fun to just read it to boot. It helps you understand how the Muppet's magic is made.

Mythological Humanoids #9 - Fairy Godmothers

This is less a race of mythological humanoids and more of a career choice, but I'll give it a number, anyway. Fairy godmothers are a modernish fairy tale motif that has gotten a lot of retelling of late because it's easy to mock. Originally even Cinderella didn't have a fairy godmother. The fairy godmother version became with Charles Perrault. In the Grimm version, her help came from her mother's spirit from beyond the grave. Though in the Chinese story of Yeh Shen, similar to Cinderella, her help comes from a magical fish. Sleeping Beauty's fairy godmothers harken back to the fates, doling out prophecies for the future at the birth of a royal child.

But fairy godmothers are a useful motif. The hero or heroine can still be an orphan, suffering and self relient. Fairy godmothers can act as a magical helper who issues the call to action and provides small assitance along the way, while still leaving the main character to acheive the ultimate goal on their own. This limited assistance offers great opportunites for humor as well, hence their popularity to modern writers and readers.

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