"There's no place like home! There's no place like home! There's no ..., oh, forget it! There's nothing like pop stardom! There's nothing like pop stardom!" The simple philosophy of embracing home and family that is the hallmark of "The Wizard of Oz" is pretty much forced off the Yellow Brick Road in this sorrowful and shallow attempt to make the Muppets hip and cool and contemporary -- overlooking the fact that the Muppets have always been hip and cool and contemporary without ever really having to strive for it.At first, the idea of Kermit and Company doing their version of the L. Frank Baum material sounds promising, at least until you learn that for some unfathomable reason that Quentin Tarantino is in the cast. Tarantino's meaningless little cameo is so irrelevant, so unnecessary, so brief and so unfunny that it was hardly worth filming in the first place. But when he does drop in, playing himself and offering suggestions about how to turn this family film into a KILL BILL-style blood bath, you can only cringe at the inappropriateness of the supposed humor and the dubious desire by the filmmakers to make this film seem edgy. The attempt doesn't work here anymore than it did when Jim Henson tried to give us edgier Muppets on "Saturday Night Live." I can only assume that Ashanti is under contract to the recording arm of Disney, the new owners of the Muppet empire, for otherwise there can be no logical reason for casting her as Dorothy Gale, the small town girl from Kansas (unless, of course, the film is trying to cater to the incredibly large African American population in that state!) While she is nowhere near as being unbearably awful as Diana Ross was in Sidney Lumet's lamentable fiasco, THE WIZ, Ashanti doesn't bring anything of particular interest to the role either, not even status as a pop icon; she's not even a major talent, let alone a major star. But when the film begins with a faux music video featuring the singer, it is made clear that the film exists mainly as an elaborate exercise in corporate synergy.In true subversive Muppet fashion, OZ mangles the source material; sometime slavishly adhering to Baum's story and sometimes just being silly. Though reduced to mere supporting roles, Kermit, Gonzo and Fozie play the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion, respectively, with Miss Piggy playing four different witches. So far, so good. But having Toto being portrayed as a talking shrimp -- and a hustling, greedy, Latino shrimp -- seems less wacky than just uncomfortably weird in its odd mix of political correctness and racism. Indeed, wacky is exactly what is missing here. The ability to mix the endearingly sincere with the engagingly silly is what made "The Muppet Show" and the early Muppet movies work so beautifully. These OZ jokes seem contrived, not cheerfully anarchic and inane. This trip down the Yellow Brick Road is sadly goofy-free.The fragile integrity of OZ comes crashing down as it approaches its traditional finale, only to suddenly veer off course to reveal that Kansas really is Nowheresville and fame, fortune and pop stardom is really where it's at. There is something coldly disheartening about a happily-ever-after ending where loved ones aren't reunited, but separated by the shallow glory of a TV screen. The message seems to be "Forget your own backyard! Go where the big bucks are! We can always catch you on TV." So much for warmth and sentimentality.Premiering on TV as an obvious pit stop en route to the lucrative home video market, THE MUPPETS' WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ seems to be yet another attempt by Disney to rip-off their own classic icons with cheap ready-for-video knockoffs. Like the supposed sequels to PETER PAN, THE JUNGLE BOOK and THE LITTLE MERMAID, the intent is to make it cheap, make it fast and cash in quick. The result is not a work of inspiration, but a work of desperation.
The Muppets' Wizard of Oz
Adventure Comedy Family Fantasy Musical
The Muppets' Wizard of Oz
Dorothy Gale lives with her Auntie Em and Uncle Henry in a trailer park in Kansas. Dorothy has dreams of becoming a famous singer, but when a tornado hits Kansas and Dorothy rushes to save Toto, her prawn (she couldn't afford a dog), she is whisked away to Oz where she meets the four witches (all played by Miss Piggy) and the Munchkins of Oz (the rats). On her way to see the Wizard, she meets the Scarecrow (Kermit), the Tin Thing (Gonzo), and the Cowardly Lion (Fozzie) who all wish to have something given by the wizard. On their way to Emerald City, they are captured by the Wicked Witch of the West (of course, Miss Piggy) and her flying monkeys (other muppets). When they finally make it back to Emerald City, the Wizard is really a man from Hollywood. But he "grants" their wishes, but what they wanted they already had inside (there's a lesson there). When Dorothy finally is back in Kansas, she becomes what she had wanted, a famous singer and on the Muppets Star Search show.
Uploaded By: OTTO
June 23, 2020 at 4:04 pm