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Muppets from Space

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Title.mfs
Released July 14, 1999
Running time 87 minutes
Director Tim Hill
Written by Jerry Juhl, Joey Mazzarino and Ken Kaufman
Original music by Jamshied Sharifi
Studio Columbia Pictures / Jim Henson Pictures
MPAA Rating G
Mfsposter
Gonzolooks
Brick-house
MuppetsFromSpace-UFO-Mania
MuppetsFromSpace-BoardhouseGang
Invisibilityspray1
MuppetsFromSpace-Bobo-and-Singer

Bobo as Rentro and Jeffrey Tambor as K. Edgar Singer

Celebration2

Some of the Alien Gonzos.

Muppets from Space is the Muppets' sixth feature film, released in 1999.

Synopsis

Gonzo has previously been classified as a "whatever," but after he begins to have disturbing dreams of abandonment, he begins to realize just how alone he is in the world. After an alien race appears to be trying to send him a message through his bowl of Kap'n Alphabet Cereal, Gonzo realizes that he may not be so alone after all and climbs to the rooftop to start watching the sky. His dreams are realized when he's hit by a bolt of lightning that serves as a conduit that allows him to communicate with a pair of Cosmic Fish, revealing to him that he is, in fact, an alien from outer space.

While Kermit and his friends refuse to believe his wild ravings, Gonzo is lured into the clutches of K. Edgar Singer (Jeffrey Tambor), a government agent who has also taken note of the aliens' attempts at communication and believes that Gonzo is his key to convincing his superiors that aliens do in fact exist. Kermit and the gang spring into action to rescue Gonzo, with the help of some handy inventions courtesy of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker.

After a talking sandwich reveals to Gonzo the location of the eventual alien landing site, the Muppets (along with a crowd of alien-happy spectators) await their arrival. The ship comes to Earth and the aliens, who all look suspiciously like Gonzo, apologize for abandoning him but welcome him back to the fold. At first Gonzo considers going with them, until he realizes his true home is on Earth with his surrogate family and friends.

Soundtrack

The Muppets' other feature films have been musical comedies. Following a different path, Muppets from Space uses a soundtrack of funk songs from the late 60s and 70s. One song is performed on-screen by the Alien Gonzos, and the Muppets sing a line of the opening song; otherwise, the songs function as a typical movie soundtrack.

The songs in the movie are:

  • "Brick House" (The Commodores, 1977): The Muppets wake up at the boarding house, and prepare for their day.
  • "Get Up Offa That Thing" (James Brown, 1976): Inspired by his otherworldly experience, Gonzo uses the lawnmower to mow a message in the lawn that can be seen from space.
  • "Dazz" (originally performed by Brick, 1976): Gonzo hosts a hot-tub party on the patio for the alien relatives that he hopes will arrive soon.
  • "Survival" (The O'Jays, 1975): Rizzo undergoes a series of uncomfortable experiments in the C.O.V.N.E.T. lab.
  • "Getaway" (Earth, Wind & Fire, 1976): Having rescued Gonzo from the C.O.V.N.E.T. lab, the Muppets run through the hallways, avoiding the security guards.
  • "Outa-Space" (Billy Preston, 1971): Gonzo and the Muppets arrive at Cape Doom to wait for the aliens to arrive.
  • "Celebration" (Kool & the Gang, 1980): The Alien Gonzos greet their long-lost relative.
  • "It's Your Thing" (The Isley Brothers, 1969): The Alien Gonzos celebrate their reunion with Gonzo by loading him into a cannon and shooting him into the air.
  • "Flashlight (Spaceflight)" (originally performed by George Clinton, 1978): Clinton and Pepe the King Prawn duet on a special version of Clinton's hit "Flash Light" over the end credits.

Notes

  • The film was originally meant to take a different direction, where Gonzo was not in fact an alien. The original premise was that aliens had seen his acts on The Muppet Show beamed up to their ship from a satellite and wanted to visit him on Earth. Gonzo would believe he was one of them until he discovered the truth at the movie's conclusion.
  • A similar story was written by Kirk Thatcher, called "Muppets in Space." In the screenplay, aliens abducted Kermit because they believed him to be their leader, leading the other Muppets to attempt to save him. A set of Welch's Jelly Glasses were produced based around this theme.
  • This is Scooter's first appearance since Richard Hunt's death.
  • The trailer features a few scenes that are not in the finished film. They include a scene during the breakfast sequence where Pepe says "The kitchen is closed!" (which appears in the outtake reel on the DVD) and a scene with Rizzo talking to Gonzo on the roof. The trailer also briefly includes the song "Rescue Me", which doesn't appear in the movie.
  • During the breakfast scene, Kermit reads the "Hensonville News Observer."
  • The film was nominated for a 2000 Young Artist Award for Best Family Feature Film - Comedy; it was beaten by Stuart Little.
  • During the scene where the Swedish Chef says that the raspberry flapovers went "ka-boom-boom!" Pepe says they will now be serving bologna sandwiches, but with no bread. However, when Kermit is talking to Gonzo a moment later, Gonzo is seen starting to eat toast.
  • For many of the set days, Frank Oz was not available; so stand-in performers puppeteered his characters, including Peter Linz (Miss Piggy), John Kennedy (Fozzie, Sam Eagle), and Rickey Boyd (Animal), and Oz dubbed the voices in later.
  • This film marks the first major role for Pepe the King Prawn in a Muppet movie, as well as the first time he appears without his Muppets Tonight cohort, Seymour.
  • This film was shot at Screen Gem Studios in Wilmington, North Carolina, along with The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland.
  • The fourth wall is broken down in the scene where everyone is at Cape Doom waiting for the spaceship and a boy standing with Pepe, Clifford and a girl and the boy says the situation "is like something out of one of those sci-fi movies." Pepe proclaims, "But this is a Muppet movie! It's much more realistic and... romantic, okay."
  • While promoting Die Muppets in Germany, Kermit told ENERGY Berlin 103,4 that "with all due respect to Muppets from Space, um, you don't want that to be the last movie you ever do. You want to do a better one." (YouTube)

Cast

MFSMuppeteers
MuppetsFromSpace-BrianHenson-and-TimHill

Brian Henson and Tim Hill.

Mfs-closing
  • Muppet Performers
Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Bill Barretta, Jerry Nelson, Brian Henson, Kevin Clash, Frank Oz, Rickey Boyd, Alice Dinnean-Vernon, John Henson, Adam Hunt, John Kennedy, Peter Linz, Drew Massey, Ed May, Andy Stone, Kim Allen, Evy Berman, John Boone, Dennis W. Britt, Tyler Bunch, Lisa Consolo, Rowell Gormon, BJ Guyer, Greg Jarnigan, Rob Killen, Jim Kroupa, Bruce Lanoil, Bob Lynch, Pamella O'Connor, Tim Parati, Thom Stanley, Lisa Sturz, Mark Sutton, Allan Trautman, Jay Tyson, Gregg Wallace; Uncredited: Kristina Donnelly
  • Human Cast
Jeffrey Tambor as K. Edgar Singer
F. Murray Abraham as Noah
Rob Schneider as UFO Mania Producer
Josh Charles as Agent Barker
Ray Liotta as Gate Guard
David Arquette as Dr. Tucker
Andie MacDowell as Shelley Snipes
Kathy Griffin as Female Armed Guard
Pat Hingle as General Luft
Hollywood Hogan as Man in Black
Katie Holmes as Joey (uncredited)
Joshua Jackson as Pacey (uncredited)
Gary Owens as "UFO Mania" Announcer (voice, uncredited)

Muppet Cast

  • Muppet Characters
Gonzo, Rizzo the Rat, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Pepe the King Prawn, Animal, Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, Bobo the Bear, Dr. Phil van Neuter, Ubergonzo, Robin the Frog, Clifford, Statler and Waldorf, the Swedish Chef, Scooter, Sweetums, Sam the Eagle, Sal Minella, Johnny Fiama, Bean Bunny, Cosmic Fish, Bubba, Fast Eddie, Troy, Shakes, The Birdman, Dr. Teeth, Floyd Pepper and Carter
  • Background Characters
Janice, Zoot, Lew Zealand, Link Hogthrob, Beauregard, Rowlf, Marvin Suggs, Crazy Harry, Chip, Zondra, Zippity Zap, , Baab the Sheep, Dr. Julius Strangepork, Chickens, Cows, Fish, Moose Head, Alexis the Giraffe, Lydia the Ostrich, Tommy the Thomson's Gazelle, Doreen the Camel, Penguins, Alien Gonzos
  • Photograph Characters
Ma Bear, Andy and Randy Pig

Credits

Gallery

See also

Theatrical Feature Films
1979: The Muppet Movie
1981: The Great Muppet Caper
1984: The Muppets Take Manhattan
1992: The Muppet Christmas Carol
1996: Muppet Treasure Island
1999: Muppets from Space
2011: The Muppets
2014: Muppets Most Wanted
(more productions)

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