|Running time:||49 minutes|
|Release date:||08 october 2021|
We can never say how much we are fans of the Muppets. From a cult TV series in the 70's to successful movies like The Muppet Movie (1979), The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) or Muppets from Space (1999), the puppets created in 1955 by Jim Henson have been able to enter the hearts of many generations of spectators and always knew how to reinvent themselves and follow their times. The very first Muppets Halloween special, Muppets Haunted Mansion allows to find the star puppets of the Muppet Show and many personalities but especially to go back to one of the flagship attractions of the Disneyland park The Haunted Mansion located in Frontierland. Muppets Haunted Mansion also features new songs and an atmosphere that pays tribute to Halloween.
The writers Bill Barretta, Kirk Thatcher, Kelly Younger have built a solid story by incorporating the Muppet Show characters in a different form (ghosts) but also gave two secondary characters Gonzo and Pepe the king of shrimp the leading roles.
The action takes place on Halloween night, when the great Gonzo is challenged to spend a night in the spookiest place on earth: a supposedly haunted mansion that you enter but never leave. The night is going to be long for Gonzo and his friend Pepe. While they could have spent the evening with Kermit the frog and Miss Peggy, Gonzo preferred to take up the challenge thinking that it was a simple party with many personalities. We find here some places of the attraction as the stretching-room (the photos which lie in the elevator), the endless corridor but especially the ballroom in which the head of Peggy replaces that of Mrs. Leota.
Many personalities are present as Will Arnett, Chrissy Metz, Craig Robinson, Danny Trejo, Ed Asner, Justina Machado, Pat Sajak and Sasheer Zamata but also the most appreciated characters of Muppets Sow. Kirk Thatcher is not strange the universe of the Muppets. He directed It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002) for television but also was a scriptwriter on several Muppet movies and realised two TV movies about the Muppets as well (The Muppets' Wizard of Oz (2005), A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa (2008)). He prefers not to use digital effects but to use the same techniques used in the cult series and previous films. The direct release on Disney + shows that The Walt Disney Company pays a particular attention and a long time attachment to the universe created by Jim Henson. Certainly the too short duration of forty-nine minutes diminishes the impact of this excellent film.
It is interesting to see that the cohabitation between two distinct universes, an attraction from the Disneyland parks and the Muppets Show went perfectly and that the result is certainly not the best Muppets movies but it is certainly a successful movie that will please a very large audience on Disney + whether it is children or adults who watched the Muppets show on television in their childhood. Muppets Haunted Mansion could have easily become a movie for the cinema as the potential and the care taken both in the direction and photography are undeniable. A piece of advice, go and watch it from October 8th on Disney +.
Muppets Haunted Mansion
Directed by Kirk Thatcher
Written by Bill Barretta, Kirk Thatcher, Kelly Younger
Story by Bill Barretta, Kirk Thatcher, Kelly Younger, Jim Lewis
Based on Characters by Jim Henson, The Haunted Mansion by Walt Disney
Produced by Chelsea DeVincent, Michael Steinbach
Starring Bill Barretta, Dave Goelz, Brian Henson, Eric Jacobson, Peter Linz, David Rudman, Matt Vogel
Cinematography : Craig Kieff
Edited by Alexandra Amick, Jason Bierfeld
Music by, Ed Mitchell, Steve Morrell
Production companies : Soapbox Films, The Muppets Studio
Distributed by Disney+
Release date : October 8, 2021 (World)
Running time : 49 minutes
Seen on October 4, 2021 (Disney+ press screener)