From Kermit hanging out with Michelle Obama and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington to Muppets interning at BuzzFeed to Tuesday’s world premiere at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, it would be hard to miss the publicity buildup for the sequel.
The cover article in this week’s issue of Variety—which has Kermit gracing the very green cover over the headline “It’s Not Easy Making Green”—examines the ins and outs of The Muppets’ return to stardom following the 2011 refresh of the 59-year-old franchise, which Disney acquired from the Jim Henson Company (for an undisclosed sum) in 2004.
It’s a must-read with some great quotes from Henson children Brian and Lisa, who both seem very content with Disney’s handling of their father’s creations. Brian Henson, who admits to having reservations about the 2011 film, calls Muppets Most Wanted ‘a great Muppets movie’.
Critical reviews of the film have begun trickling in and so far they aren’t great, especially compared to the acclaim the previous film received. On the positive side, Alonso Duralde, lead critic at The Wrap, writes that “Muppets Most Wanted is often as good as or even better” than The Muppets. IGN’s Eric Goldman calls it “another big success”. (Stay tuned for my review here at The Disney Blog in the coming days.)
With a week to go until the film opens, Muppet media domination is far from over. As part of the international press tour, most of the cast, Muppet and not, will be on ABC’s Nightline in a few hours time tonight (the show airs beginning at 12:35 AM ET). Among other stops next week, Kermit will be paying a visit to The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Monday, on the same stage where where he made his national debut in 1956 with then-host Steve Allen.
As the Variety article points out, Disney and the future of the Muppets have a lot riding on the box office success of Muppets Most Wanted. With a live Broadway musical in development, and hopes of a Muppet Show revival on television, we can only hope it does well.