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Disney’s “The Muppets” Embraces Big Music Roots

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It’s time to play the music…it’s time to light the lights…

The Muppets have long been known for their big musical numbers, so filmmakers made sure that Disney’s “The Muppets” not only maintained the tradition, but hit it out of the park. Both original songs and classic audience favorites are featured in the film, designed to maximize the fun and envelop audiences in the best of Muppet mayhem.

Bret McKenzie serves as music supervisor for Disney’s “The Muppets.” “I know Bret from ‘Flight of the Conchords,’ says director James Bobin. “We used to watch ‘The Muppet Show’ quite a lot when we were writing ‘The Conchords’ together. We’d watch ‘Mahna Mahna’ and ‘Hugga Wugga’ during breaks. In one of our ‘Conchords’ episodes, we even included a Muppets tribute. So we love the Muppets. We thought about songs from the previous movies and how that would feel now. We thought about Jason and Amy—Jason’s a good singer and has some moves and Amy’s obviously a fantastic singer and dancer. The music is incredibly important because of the rich tradition of Muppet music.”

SONG AND DANCE

McKenzie penned the opening and finale song titled “Everything’s Great,” performed by Jason Segel, Walter and Amy Adams. The film tapped 60 dancers for the opening musical performance, and veteran choreographer Michael Rooney, son of Hollywood film legend Mickey Rooney (who performs a cameo in the film), stepped in to work his magic.

“Michael Rooney choreographed all the dance numbers,” says producer David Hoberman. “He has amazing energy; he’s really creative and very nimble.

“‘Everything’s Great’ starts off with Gary and Walter while they’re brushing their teeth,” continues Hoberman. “They make their way outside and into Smalltown, USA, along the way picking up people who sing and dance along with them—the butcher, the baker, the milkman, the flower shop keeper—everybody gets involved. It’s one of those musical numbers that harkens back to the old movie musicals of the ‘50s.”

The song returns for the film’s finale scene, which shut down Hollywood Boulevard for two evenings and featured 100 dancers. “I love the finale,” says Kermit. “It’s got everyone in it—Jason, Amy, Walter and all the Muppets. I don’t want to spoil the movie, but I think it’s a very happy ending.”


THE MUPPETS opens in theaters everywhere on November 23rd.

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