Saturday, December 03, 2011

Saturday Bonus: The Muppets

I blogged about seeing the new Muppets movie and enjoying it-- perhaps some of you have now seen it. For those of you who have, I thought you might enjoy reading these fun facts about the movie. Share them with your kids!


LUCKY NUMBER SEVEN -- Disney’s “The Muppets” is the 7th feature film featuring the Muppets.

MANY MUPPETS -- More than 120 Muppets appear in the film.

STEPPIN’ OUT – The film tapped 60 dancers to perform with Jason Segel and Amy Adams for the “Everything’s Great” opening musical performance.
• Hollywood Blvd. was shut down for two evenings to record the finale dance scene of the reprise of “Everything’s Great,” featuring 100 dancers.

PRETTY PIG -- A total of 12 different costumes were made for Miss Piggy—more costume changes than any other actor in the film.

SO BIG -- The largest Muppet, Thog, stands over 9.5 feet tall and is 4 feet wide.

TOP TEACHER – Amy Adam’s character Mary is a teacher with 16 students. Thus, no less than 16 perfect apples sit on the edge of the stellar teacher’s desk.

AT THE HELM -- Director James Bobin makes his film directorial debut. Bobin co-created HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords,” which he wrote, directed and executive produced.

CUE THE MUSIC -- Bret McKenzie of “Flight of the Conchords” wrote and produced three original songs and served as music supervisor for the film.
• McKenzie fills some big shoes: “The Muppet Movie” was nominated for two Oscars®: Best Music, Original Song (“Rainbow Connection”) and Best Music, Original Sound Score.

ALL IN THE FAMILY -- Choreographer Michael Rooney is the son of Mickey Rooney, who appears in the film in a cameo role. This is the first time the two have ever worked together on a film.

MINI ME -- Muppet versions of Gary/Jason Segel and director James Bobin were created.

HIGH FASHION -- Miss Piggy had shoes made for her by Christian Louboutin and a dress by Zac Posen, which she wears in the finale scene.

FANCY DUDS -- Kermit had a suit made for him by Brooks Brothers for the scene where he walks through the streets of Paris with Miss Piggy.

TIME WILL TELL -- Walter wears a Kermit watch in the film.

TICKLING THE IVORIES -- Rowlf’s original piano is back—incorporated into the Muppet Show orchestra.

STRUMMING THE SAME STRINGS -- Kermit uses the banjo from 1979’s “The Muppet Movie” during the “Rainbow Connection” performance in Disney’s “The Muppets.”
• The staging of the scene features Kermit on a replica of the log where he was first found strumming his banjo in the very first Muppet movie. Miss Piggy shows up in a rowboat very much like the one the late Dom DeLuise used when he joined Kermit in their sweet duet.

SEEING GREEN – Disney’s “The Muppets” was a green set (in more ways than one) with an environmental steward who made sure the proper recycling receptacles were utilized on set. All of paper products were made from recycled materials and were compostable. The production also provided each crew member with aluminum refillable water bottles to cut down on the use of plastic bottles and paper cups. Water was readily available on set for cast and crew to fill their personal water bottles.

NICE PAD -- Kermit’s mansion was filmed at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.

OUI, OUI -- Miss Piggy’s Vogue Paris office was filmed at the Pink Palace mansion in Bel Air.

GO BIG -- Tex Richman's 51st Floor office was shot in the old ARCO headquarters on Figueroa Street in downtown LA.

MAKING MUPPET STUDIOS -- The Muppet Theater, built on Stage 28 on the Universal Studios Lot, incorporated parts of the old “Phantom of the Opera” set into its audience section.
• The Jim Henson Company gate was turned into the Muppet Studios entrance. A sign showcased a series of tour attractions, along with their sad fates:
 Fozzie's Joke Room: Closed
 Gonzo's Cannonade: Closed for Repair
 Rowlf's Music Parlor: Under Renovation
 Dr. Honeydew's Laboratory of Fun: Out of Order

TRICKY TOUR -- Walter's tour through Muppet Studios actually went through The Jim Henson Company on La Brea, Crossroads of the World on Sunset Blvd., the outside of Stage 3 on the Disney Lot in Burbank, two soundstage sets on the Universal Lot (Kermit's Office and the Muppet Theater interior).

SIGNATURE ARCHES -- A set design replicating the arches from the opening title sequence of “The Muppet Show” was recreated and used in the Muppet telethon.

RIBET – Kermit the Frog first appeared on “Afternoon, Footlight Theater” and “Sam and Friends” in 1955.
• A balloon of Kermit appears annually in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade.
• Kermit has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
• Kermit celebrated his 50th Anniversary in Kermit, Texas, in 2005 and received a key to the city.

PROMINENT PIG – Miss Piggy first appeared in the chorus on “The Herb Alpert Special” in 1974.
• She appeared as 1st Sow in the “Return to the Planet of The Pigs” bit on “The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence” in 1975 (which was, in effect, the pilot for “The Muppet Show”).
• She was also a chorus pig in the first season of “The Muppet Show.” Her break-out performance was in a number called “Temptation” on the Juliet Prowse episode.
• The confident character was called Miss Piggy for the first time on “The Muppet Show” in 1976.

MAKING HIS DEBUT -- Walter was a character conceptualized by Jason Segel specifically for Disney’s “The Muppets.”

THE GREAT – Gonzo first appeared in “The Great Santa Claus Switch” as the Cigar Box Frackle in 1970.
• He appeared on “The Herb Alpert Special” in 1974.
• Gonzo as he’s now known debuted on “The Muppet Show” in 1976.

WOCKA WOCKA – Fozzie first appeared on “The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence” in 1975.

TOP DAWG – Rowlf first appeared on for a Purina Dog Chow commercial in 1962.
• He began appearances on “The Jimmy Dean Show” in 1963.

HECKLERS -- Statler & Waldorf first heckled on “The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence” in 1975.

STAR-SPANGLED -- Sam the Eagle first was offended and appalled by the Muppets on “The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence” in 1975.

PRE-HEATED -- The Swedish Chef kicked off his cooking career on “The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence” in 1975.

RAT-A-TAT -- Rizzo the Rat originally appeared as an uncredited vermin in “The Muppets Musicians of Bremen” in 1972.
• He was revamped by Steve Whitmire for “The Muppet Show” sometime between 1978 and 1980, and credited as Rizzo the Rat for the first time in 1981’s “The Great Muppet Caper.”

IT’S ELECTRIC -- The Electric Mayhem, including Dr. Teeth, Animal, Janice, Floyd and Zoot, launched their legendary career on “The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence” in 1975.

On vacation in Los Angeles, Walter, the world's biggest Muppet fan, his brother Gary (Jason Segel) and Gary’s girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) from Smalltown, USA, discover the nefarious plan of oilman Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) to raze the Muppet Theater and drill for the oil recently discovered beneath the Muppets' former stomping grounds. To stage a telethon and raise the $10 million needed to save the theater, Walter, Mary and Gary help Kermit reunite the Muppets, who have all gone their separate ways: Fozzie now performs with a Reno casino tribute band called the Moopets, Miss Piggy is a plus-size fashion editor at Vogue Paris, Animal is in a Santa Barbara clinic for anger management, and Gonzo is a high-powered plumbing magnate. With secret, signature, celebrity cameos, Disney’s “The Muppets” hits the big screen Nov. 23, 2011.
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1 comment:

Arlene said...

Those are fun facts! I never realized the first Muppet show was called Sex and Violence. Wonder how that went over back in 1975?

We got to see the new Muppet movie the day after Thanksgiving, and it was the highlight of the weekend (not including the turkey, of course!). My oldest son, who is 24 years old, laughed so loud folks were turning around to look at him and I almost had to have him removed from the theater ;). Great fun for us all.