It's Not Such a Wonderful Muppet Life
Like many I grew up watching The Muppets and even when I had technically grown up I still enjoyed the escapism of their innocent band of family entertainment. Unfortunately who ever came up with "It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie" decided that no one wanted escapism and innocence anymore and tried to deliver a more adult Muppet movie for the twenty-something's who had grown up on them. It really doesn't work and ends up coming across like the Muppets make a spoof movie, throwing together a collection of scenes based on other movies whilst using "It's a Wonderful Life" as its basis. I want the innocent fun which appeals to all the family, not spoofs such a big Moulin Rouge style number which only appeals to those who have watched the movie.
Anyway, as I said "It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie" takes the basic idea of "It's a Wonderful Life" with things going bad for Kermit as he is feeling down after everything is ruined. We even have the angels above discussing Kermit as they review how he got to that point. But rather than just re-imagining the James Stewart classic it embellishes it with various movie references such as "The Grinch" and a TV one as well as Miss Piggy ends up as an extra on "Scrubs". It just doesn't feel right, in fact it feels tacky as if someone had tried to make a spoof movie with the Muppets.
But that isn't the worst of it as in what I can only presume is a desperate attempt to appeal to a more adult audience it dispatches with the innocence and throws in some adult humour. There is a mention of a strip bar, a Muppet drinking eggnog through a beer bong and a character who thinks everything someone says is a sexual innuendo, almost as if this was "Carry on Muppets". In truth the comedy is too dumb to appeal to a grown up audience and too questionable as a family movie.
As for the various actors who appear throughout the movie, most deliver uninspiring cameos with the exception of Joan Cusack who at least tries to bring the evil Rachel Bitterman, the bank owner who destroys Kermit, to life. The only other good thing is that many of the familiar Muppet characters get the central roles rather than the new creations who have shown up over the years.
What this all boils down to is that "It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie" is not a good Muppet movie and lacks everything which made the Muppets good for all the family. In truth I wouldn't even call it a family movie because it has a more grown up sense of humour going on which may lead to some uncomfortable questions from younger children.