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The Power of Muppets

Last weekend we took the kids to watch The Muppet Movie.

Because I LOVE the Muppets. They’re magical, to me.

The Great Muppet Caper is the very first movie I remember watching. And I LOVED it. Beyond the verbal capability of my five-year old self. That same year, I got a Kermit the Frog doll for my birthday, and I was so happy about it, I cried.

As you can imagine, I was pretty excited about the new movie.

But I didn’t really expect my kids to like it.

My middle kid, Alyssa, is the only one of the three who really likes music, but she doesn’t care for musicals. I found this out when I bought Annie and she didn’t make it halfway through the first number before turning it off. For some reason, she thinks breaking out in song and dance during everyday life is not very realistic.

My little babe Wyatt is five, and not into “people movies.” He does like Sesame Street, though, and with the movie having a similar muppet to people ratio, I held out the most hope for him liking it.

Dylan is my oldest kid, and he’s hardly a kid at all anymore, it seems. In fact, I don’t think he’s ever really been a kid.

He doesn’t look like a kid. At ten-years-old, he’s already 5’5” and his foot is bigger than mine. (And my foot is pretty doggone big. Size 10.)

He doesn’t act like a kid either, never has. He’s very mature for his age. He’d rather be thinking than playing, even when he was very small. He’s all about being concrete and logical. Even I have a hard time seeing him as a kid.

The Muppets, I was certain, required too great a suspension of disbelief for his enjoyment. Humans and Muppets could certainly never coexist in his world. That’s baby stuff. He generally takes issue with the whole song and dance thing, too.

Even though he’s only 10, I expected some full-blown teen angst for making him watch this movie.

At the theater, the five of us settled into our seats with popcorn and M&M’s, and I waited on the realization to set in.

The movie’s first musical number seemed really … long. I wouldn’t take my focus from the screen, refusing to look at the three sets of eyes that I was sure had become accusatory upon the discovery that I had brought them to a musical-people movie-baby show.

Any minute at least one of them would be asking to leave.

But half an hour went by, and no one had said anything. I looked over and from the corner of my eye, I saw Dylan smiling.

The next thing I knew, he was laughing. Out loud.

I was pretty sure I had been transported to another dimension, because he laughed through the whole thing. Heartily.

Wyatt and Alyssa weren’t quite as animated, but they enjoyed it too.

When it was over and we stood up to leave, Dylan hugged his dad, in the middle of the theater — in front of people — and thanked him for the movie.

We left the theater singing Mahna Mahna and we skipped through the middle of the parking lot — in front of more people. True story, and proof that sometimes in everyday life, people really do break out in song; Proof that even very grown up kids are still kids; And, proof that grown up adults can re-visit their childhood.

Dylan climbed in the car and said, “I’m just happy”: proof that Muppets are magical, and not just to me.

Comments (23)

  1. Kathy Harrison

    I miss those days….enjoy them to the fullest. but I am likely to break out into song where ever I am….sometimes life just needs a song!

    Reply
  2. Jamie

    Oh your Dylan saying that made me feel that! I was a big muppets fan back in the day too… but I loved them on the Friday (or was it Saturday?) show… the men in the red curtain, animal… I thought it was so magical!
    Jamie recently posted..now you know my a-b-c’sMy Profile

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    1. jenny leigh (Post author)

      Aw, thank you for visiting!! I’m so sorry–I always reply to comments, but I had surgery and I’ve been totally out of commission. I love that it seems like the Muppets are one of the very few things that haven’t changed over the years. They always make me feel like a kid 🙂

      Reply
  3. Stephanie

    Oh…this post made me so happy. Woo-hoo! Victory for you! I’ve heard nothing but positive reviews for this movie. I’m going to wait until it’s out on DVD, but I really am looking forward to watching it.
    Stephanie recently posted..Eating and Running and Folding LaundryMy Profile

    Reply
    1. jenny leigh (Post author)

      Thanks Stephanie!! I really liked the movie, I felt like it stayed true to the past Muppet Movies, which doesn’t really seem to happen much anymore. Thank you for coming over! My little fledgling blog doesn’t get a lot of traffic 🙂 (I’m sorry I didn’t reply earlier–I had surgery and have been stuck on the couch.)

      Reply
  4. Christine @ Quasi Agitato

    Oh the Muppets are PURE magic. I’m so glad you all enjoyed it. Isn’t it the best feeling when your kids like something you kinda sorta make them do because YOU love it so much? Total elation. I can’t believe I haven’t seen this movie yet! My son is reluctant. Says he never like Sesame Street. I can’t convince him that Sesame Street and the Muppets are like third cousins twice removed.
    Christine @ Quasi Agitato recently posted..The Gift of TimeMy Profile

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    1. jenny leigh (Post author)

      I still can’t really believe they enjoyed it, and I’m still basking in that day. Those things don’t seem to happen often enough. Good luck on winning your son over! Ha. Third cousins twice removed… That’s what I should’ve told Dylan before we went!!

      Reply
  5. deborah l quinn

    your post is proof that hollywood does NOT have to churn out dreck like “chipwrecked” in order to a)make a buck and b)get audiences into the theater….kids appreciate good stuff and the Muppets are, without a doubt, good stuff.
    deborah l quinn recently posted..my neil diamond christmasMy Profile

    Reply
    1. jenny leigh (Post author)

      I haven’t seen Chipwrecked yet… and may not after hearing some honest reviews. My kids have never been into the Chipmunks so much, and I’m sort of glad. I’m having trouble getting on board with some of these remakes from my childhood.

      Reply
  6. Alison@Mama Wants This

    Now, you’ve got ME singing Mahna Mahna! 🙂
    Alison@Mama Wants This recently posted..TwoMy Profile

    Reply
    1. jenny leigh (Post author)

      Haha. I’m still singing Mahna Mahna… And my five year old is singing “Homina Homina” because he can never remember exactly how it goes. Cracks me up!

      Reply
  7. Eric Storch

    I was worried the movie would be horrible since Jim Henson is no longer around to work his special magic. I was wrong – so very wrong.

    We had a very similar experience except my kids are all much older (the oldest is 16 and movies have to have blood and guts to interest him) but we all enjoyed it and sang Mahna Mahna for days afterward as well.
    Eric Storch recently posted..A New Look for a New YearMy Profile

    Reply
    1. jenny leigh (Post author)

      I was worried too. I was really afraid it wouldn’t live up to the past movies, but I was pleasantly surprised. My kids never come away from anything singing. It was a completely unexpected reaction, and made me happy. Hopefully my kids will still be appreciating those kinds of things when they reach 16!

      Reply
  8. Ali

    Awwww what a heart warming tale! So precious and especially at this time of year. xx

    Reply
    1. jenny leigh (Post author)

      Thanks Ali! It was such a simple thing, but it still makes me happy to think about it. My oldest NEVER reacts to anything like that!

      Reply
  9. NayLahKnee

    What a loverly story!!!! I introduced my daughters to musicals – WHICH I LOVE – one of her favorites is Annie and of course Carol Burnett is her favorite actress in that movie….My cousin in law wants to see this movie. I think I will take them. Now to find a theater that is still showing it…..
    NayLahKnee recently posted..Wordless Wednesday– What Sad Gingerbread Houses You Have!My Profile

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    1. jenny leigh (Post author)

      I’ve always loved Annie, and I was so disappointed when my daughter didn’t share my enthusiasm. I mean, she goes around singing all the time, why doesn’t she like musicals?? I hope you’re able to find it playing somewhere. It was completely worth seeing!

      Reply
  10. Bridget

    The day Dallas left for Afghanistan I took my little guys to see The Muppets. It made the day a little easier on all of us.

    P.S. I hate musicals too, the theatre kind-but I don’t mind movie musicals:)

    Reply
    1. jenny leigh (Post author)

      I’ve never experienced what you’re going through, but I imagine there’s very little that makes those days easier. I have so much admiration for you and your children. I follow your blog (love it!) and I hope how fast Dallas gets to come home.

      Reply
  11. Annie@Letterstomo

    I love this! Most of my childhood memories had a Muppet in them. We have a 10 month old, so we don’t get out to the movies much (ie ever), but this is on our list!
    Annie@Letterstomo recently posted..2011 Year in ReviewMy Profile

    Reply
    1. jenny leigh (Post author)

      My youngest turned five this summer, and it’s only been in the last year that we’ve been able to see movies as a family (with everyone staying seated). I’m so glad to finally be able to go see something every now and then!

      Reply
  12. The Bearded Iris

    SOLD! I will take my kids TODAY. I have magical muppet memories from my childhood too. And yes, a Kermit. AND a penchant for musicals. We really should all break into song more often; the world would be a better place.

    Here from Love Links. Thanks!
    The Bearded Iris recently posted..I can’t quit you, Pinterest.My Profile

    Reply
    1. jenny leigh (Post author)

      You’re exactly right. The world would be such a better place. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

      Reply

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