Those who know me very well know that I have a real thing for the Muppets. If ever I am feeling a little down in the dumps, there's nothing quite like the magic that the Muppets can provide to cheer me up. It's innocent family fun with just a little bit of an edge, and provides a bit of that good old nostalgia while still offering something new. The thing is, while I've had 'The Muppet Christmas Carol' as a go-to Christmas movie over the years, I've never had a Muppet Halloween movie.
This lack of entertainment has bugged me for a long time now, because again, those who know me very well know I have a real thing for Halloween, too. FINALLY, in 2021, that movie came to light. And while it's not the best Muppet movie out there, it's actually still quite good in comparison to a lot of their later stuff (save for 'Muppets', 2011, which was awesome). I further appreciate that this goes back to Gonzo being the main Muppet on the adventure, as it was with 'Christmas Carol', 'Treasure Island' and the lesser-rated 'From Space' (which I still enjoy and really don't care what people think about it). Even though I consider Kermit my favorite Muppet, there's always been something about Gonzo that has tickled my funny bone.
This one has Gonzo (Dave Goelz) and Pepe (Bill Barretta) going to a fear challenge event instead of the annual Muppet Halloween party. The challenge is the old cliché of staying in a haunted mansion overnight, which once belonged to Gonzo's favorite magician, the Great MacGuffin (whose name I love by the way). Upon arrival, they are greeted by their host (Will Arnett) who warns them that if they can't survive the night, they get trapped there forever. Gonzo, claiming to not be afraid of anything at all, claims it to be no problem while Pepe isn't quite so lucky, as he plays the Costello to Gonzo's Abbott here.
As it is with any Muppet movie, this one is packed with celebrity guest stars as well as other Muppets playing different roles within the mansion. As far as the Muppets, we get to see all our favorites; even the new Walter. As far as our celebrity guest stars, while Arnett seems to be the "main", this one further includes Taraji P. Henson, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alfonso Ribeiro, Danny Trejo, Pat Sajak, Craig Robinson, and John Stamos just to name a few. To top it all off, there is a screaming Muppet goat in this movie, taking from the famous YouTube videos of screaming goats. Maybe I'm lame, but I laughed out loud every time that goat was on screen. For yours truly, it was the highlight of the film. Again, maybe lame, but there's my cards on the table.
While the description of this doesn't sound all that special, and frankly done to death, it's a combination of how the film ends and the sense of humor it carries with it that I really appreciated. I won't go into real spoiler territory, but this does a good job of giving the right message at the end, and the message is surprisingly sort of deep and even somewhat humbling. It could be that I'm reading too deeply into things, as it's a Muppet movie, but regardless, I definitely appreciated what the movie was saying. It could even be that it spoke to me on a personal level, but check it out for yourself and see what you think. For myself, I'm just insanely happy to have something to watch for Halloween that features my favorite nostalgic fuzzy critters, the Muppets!