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ON FAITH & MEDIA View Comments

The Muppets

By
Sr. Rose Pacatte, F.S.P.
Source: AmericanCatholic.org

It has been twelve long years since there has been a Muppet movie.  Walter (voice of Peter Linz), a new Muppet and a huge fan of the Muppets, the world’s biggest Muppet fan, and his “brother” Gary (Jason Segel) and his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) plan a trip to Hollywood.
 
They visit the Muppet Studio, now in ruins. When they learn that an oil magnate  (Chris Cooper) is buying the land, a man who has no love for the Muppets, and plans to tear down the studio to drill, Walter goes into action.
 
Walter, Gary and Mary track down Kermit the Frog and convince him that they have to save the studio by putting on a musical to raise money. Then they track down Miss Piggy who heads up Vogue’s Plus Size division in Paris (in a hair style like Vogue’s Editor-in- Chief Anna Wintour), Animal, Gonzo and the rest. They must also deal with the Muppet knockoff group, the Moopets.
 
“The Muppets” is a fun musical. I loved “The Rainbow Connection” but wondered a little at the chicken’s singing a version of CeeLo Green’s “Forget You” that everyone know used a different word beginning with “f” and now the Camilla and the Chickens are singing their version. Maybe this is why the film has a PG rating for some mild rude humor.
 
There are a lot of inter-textual references, that is, inside jokes about Muppets and Hollywood, plus much music and guest appearances, including politico James Carville – twice! The film is a very enjoyable crowd pleaser.
 
Themes of friendship, community, and solidarity abound.
 
“The Muppets” signals a move from Muppet-maker Jim Henson’s original creative home in New York to Los Angeles, after all, Disney acquired The Muppet franchise in 2004.




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Philip and James: 
		<b>James, Son of Alphaeus:</b> We know nothing of this man except his name, and of course the fact that Jesus chose him to be one of the 12 pillars of the New Israel, his Church. He is not the James of Acts, son of Clopas, “brother” of Jesus and later bishop of Jerusalem and the traditional author of the Letter of James. James, son of Alphaeus, is also known as James the Lesser to avoid confusing him with James the son of Zebedee, also an apostle and known as James the Greater. 
<p><b>Philip:</b> Philip came from the same town as Peter and Andrew, Bethsaida in Galilee. Jesus called him directly, whereupon he sought out Nathanael and told him of the “one about whom Moses wrote” (John 1:45). </p><p>Like the other apostles, Philip took a long time coming to realize who Jesus was. On one occasion, when Jesus saw the great multitude following him and wanted to give them food, he asked Philip where they should buy bread for the people to eat. St. John comments, “[Jesus] said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do” (John 6:6). Philip answered, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little [bit]” (John 6:7). </p><p>John’s story is not a put-down of Philip. It was simply necessary for these men who were to be the foundation stones of the Church to see the clear distinction between humanity’s total helplessness apart from God and the human ability to be a bearer of divine power by God’s gift. </p><p>On another occasion, we can almost hear the exasperation in Jesus’ voice. After Thomas had complained that they did not know where Jesus was going, Jesus said, “I am the way...If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him” (John 14:6a, 7). Then Philip said, “Master, show us the Father, and that will be enough for us” (John 14:8). Enough! Jesus answered, “Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9a). </p><p>Possibly because Philip bore a Greek name or because he was thought to be close to Jesus, some Gentile proselytes came to him and asked him to introduce them to Jesus. Philip went to Andrew, and Andrew went to Jesus. Jesus’ reply in John’s Gospel is indirect; Jesus says that now his “hour” has come, that in a short time he will give his life for Jew and Gentile alike.</p> American Catholic Blog Only in human weakness do many of us begin to rely on God and explicitly repudiate our own divine ambitions. Every pain alerts us to the fact that we are not the Almighty.

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