Sunday, November 27, 2011

John Cech on Muppets' Movie

Muppet love

The beloved gang of characters have touched the hearts of generations of fans on TV and at the movies

(Courtesy of Disney)

"The Muppet Show..." ran from 1976 to 1981 on TV.



"The Muppet Movie" (1979)
"The Great Muppet Caper" (1981)
"The Muppets Take Manhattan" (1984)
"The Muppet Christmas Carol" (1992)
"Muppet Treasure Island" (1996)
"Muppets from Space" (1999)
"The Muppets" (2011)

.... With the new Muppets movie now in theaters, longtime fans of the beloved puppets get to revisit old friends with the youngest generation of moviegoers, who are as familiar with the Muppets as their older counterparts.

The Muppets..., created by puppeteer Jim Henson, have been a mainstay on television since 1955 when Sam and Friends aired with a very early version of Kermit the frog. Since then, they have appeared in dozens of other programs, including regular roles on "Sesame Street" since 1969 to guest appearances on "Saturday Night Live" just last week.

The Muppets' longevity and continuous popularity is due to a timeless, changeless quality unique to the puppets, according to John Cech, a University of Florida English professor whose research includes children's literature.

"Our popular culture is mad for the latest fad, the latest 3-D, CGI extravaganza, the dazzlingest dazzle," Cech said in an email. "The Muppets are the opposite of this extreme. They are steady and true to their art and its values. That may seem old-fashioned or passe, but we are forever discovering (or rediscovering) how brilliantly new and fresh this integrity can be."

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