Monday, January 24, 2011

Muppet Family Fun

My children - ages five and eight - have seen, at most, four or five movies in their lives. Watching movies has simply never been a part of our parenting - as we've always felt the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommendations on limiting TV/movie viewing makes a lot of sense. Thus, our kids were never parked in front of The Lion King or Finding Nemo when they were younger. The first movie they saw about two years ago was Mary Poppins. After that we added Charlotte's Web, and recently saw Angels in the Outfield and then, one of my favorites, Little Giants. My wife and I have always watched these movies with them, and sometimes we space the viewing out over two nights.

It was a big deal recently when we took our eight-year-old son to the theater for the first time to watch Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows. He has read all the books - twice - and we had seen some scenes from the earlier movies when they were on regular television. Overall, though, movies aren't a significant part of our days. Thus, when we decided to have another movie night this last weekend, we searched for a while before finding a great, and classic, piece of family entertainment. Jim Henson's The Muppet Movie was a truly wonderful movie which is entirely appropriate for young audiences. It was a nice trip down Memory Lane for me and my wife, and it was refreshing to rediscover a movie that doesn't hide innuendo and adult themes in a child's movie just to entertain the adults. The story is simple, sweet, and quite inspiring, and it's quite a treat with all the cameos from famous actors and comedians.

It's definitely worth tuning in just to hear that pleasant and familiar sound of Kermit, plucking away at the banjo and singing:

Why are there so many songs about rainbows, And what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions, And rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it, I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection, The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard and answered
When wished on the morning star? Somebody thought of that, and someone believed it,
And look what it's done so far. What's so amazing that keeps us stargazing
And what do we think we might see? Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers, and me.

... Have you been half asleep? And have you heard voices? I've heard them calling my name.
... Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors?The voice might be one and the same
I've heard it too many times to ignore it, It's something that I'm s'posed to be...
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection, The lovers, the dreamers, and me

Jim Henson was a brilliant man, and The Muppet Movie is truly wholesome family entertainment. It's not a cliche to say "They don't make them like this anymore."

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