Monday, October 11, 2021

Muppets Haunted Mansion - A Match Made In Disney+

This is another account where as soon as this thing was announced I knew I was in. 

If I didn't my Disney pin collection would be very disappointed in me. 

Muppets At Their Best

The Muppets are at their best when they're either pretending to be celebrities or they're parodying something classic, and here it's a mix of both. The story is that Gonzo is challenged to spend a night in the titular Haunted Mansion, thus adding another accomplishment to his long daredevil career. Inside he finds that the mansion is truly haunted and that he'll have to face his biggest fears, which are not the ghosts of the mansion. Pepe, his sidekick for this excursion (I sincerely wonder how Rizzo feels about Pepe becoming Gonzo's new sidekick, and if Camilla the Chicken felt the same way when Rizzo took her place) is looking for a fun celebrity party and is terrified of the house's happy haunts. Most of the ghosts are, of course, either recast Muppets or celebrities. 

So it's not anyone reinventing the Muppets, it's Muppet classic but this time they're spoofing a ride at Disneyland. 

The Family-Friendly Muppets

Those of us old enough to remember the original Muppet Show know that some jokes went above the heads of kids. Not that they were dirty, they just had some sly jokes for the grown ups in the audience. Muppets Haunted Mansion isn't as interested in hitting the adults, as Disney+ has been careful to make its entertainment as woke and child friendly as possible. So the jokes are very family friendly, meaning puns, visual gags, and references. We don't even get the physical violence we got in some other Muppet outings. Not to say that the show wasn't funny, it was just an extremely safe funny. 

For better or worse, this is probably the Muppets we're going to get from now on, as Disney likes to play it safer and safer as the years go by. Muppets Now having RuPaul as a celebrity guest is probably as edgy as we're going to get from the Muppets anymore. 

Music Connection

The Muppets brought back their bafflingly entertaining musical talents to the piece. It doesn't make sense that the Muppets music is so good, but listen to the Muppets Christmas Carol and tell me those aren't great songs on their own. The only miss here was that they didn't have more of it, topping at about three songs, and one was a remix of Be Our Guest. Disney recognized two strengths of the Muppets, And while the songs they chose were fun I would've loved more of it. 

New Halloween Classic? 

Making a new special for a holiday is always a hit or miss thing. Every year dozens of studios try to create something that people will watch every year. Remember those weird spy elves a few years ago? I don't know if Muppets Haunted Mansion is going to become the newest classic, but it would certainly be ashamed if it was completely forgotten. I wouldn't mind adding it to my Halloween rotation, which despite being quite robust already, there's always room for one more. 


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