The ‘Anti-Corporate’ Message in the Latest Muppet Movie?

With all due respect to Eric Bolling of Fox News and Dan Gainor of the Media Research Center, you two are way off base saying the new Muppet movie is trying to “brainwash” America’s children. Here’s the clip:

I’m really not sure that either of the two watched the movie. To recap (spoilers ahead) a rich guy buys the old, rundown Muppet studio to get to the oil underneath the studio. The Muppets have a deadline to raise $10,000,000 to save the studio, but the only person who seems to really care about saving it is the non-Muppet Gary, played by Jason Segal, who then goes on a quest to get the Muppet gang back together for a television fundraiser.

Now, here’s where Bolling and Gainor go off-base when they talk about the movie’s anti-capitalist undertone. Gary finds Kermit at a Beverly Hills mansion surrounded by an electric fence, Gonzo is the CEO of a successful manufacturing company and Miss Piggy is a wealthy fashion designer in Paris. Is that anti-capitalist?

If anything, the movie’s main target is Hollywood itself as the Muppets are unsuccessful pitching their fundraising special to all of the networks — including Univision. They only get a shot when a network executive finds out the teachers’ union is demanding the network pull its successful reality show, “Punch Teacher” off the air and she now has dead-air to fill.

The actual message is that Hollywood has abandoned programing like the Muppets in favor of idiotic reality TV. Um, conservatives don’t agree with that message now?

The movie ends when Gonzo knocks out the rich oilman with a bowling ball that seems to induce a change of heart as the evil dude now loves the Muppets and the studio is saved.

I asked my kids about the movie — 9 and 5 — what they thought, you know, to see the extent of the brainwashing.

My 9-year-old was impressed with the evil character’s perseverance as he ultimately won in the end, except for the bowling ball to the head. I then asked him do you a) think better of big companies after watching the movie, b) think worse of big companies or c) you have no idea what I mean. He answered “c.”

My 5-year-old really liked “Sherman” the Frog and “Fuzzy” Bear’s “toot” shoes. Both kids thought Animal — in treatment for anger management — was the best character. I hate to say it, but I’m with Media Mutters on this one: no brainwashing in evidence.

If one were to criticize the new Muppets, however, the “toot” shoes are a good place to start. From an Examiner.com review:

I remember reading some months back Frank Oz saying the reason he did not become involved with “The Muppets” (Eric Jacobson provides the voice for Miss Piggy) was because he did not approve of the script that Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller wrote.  One example Frank Oz gave was the fart shoes Fozzy Bear wears at one point and he pointed out how the Muppets would never have to use that kind of humor to get a laugh.  When I saw “The Muppets” I completely saw what Frank Oz was talking about.  These were not the Muppets I grew up with and nowhere near as good as the original movies.

As for my children getting brainwashed by fart jokes, um, I might have had a hand in that long before they discovered the Muppets.

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