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Similarities between It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie and The Muppets

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The basic plot outlines for the 2002 TV movie It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie and the 2011 theatrical film The Muppets are very similar on the surface: The Muppet Theater is in trouble, and the Muppets have to raise money to win back their beloved stage. The similarities don't end there:

The Muppets have to save their theater from antagonists with villainous names.
Rachel Bitterman owns Bitterman Bank and Development (BBAD). Tex Richman owns Richman Oil.


The villain wants to own the theater in order to replace it with a more lucrative venture.
Bitterman plans to turn the theater into a trendy nightclub that sells watered-down drinks, Club Dot. Richman wants to tear down the theater and drill for oil.


The villain plans to exploit a legal loophole.
Bitterman changes the only copy of the contract to force a default on the Muppets' mortgage. Richman lies to Statler and Waldorf, and uses the deadline for ownership of the theater to his advantage.


A character outside the group overhears the villain's plan and informs Kermit.
Separated from the group, Pepe reaches out to Kermit to foil Bitterman's plan. Walter seeks out Kermit to stop Richman.


The Muppets must raise money to save their theater.
Bunsen calculates that they will have enough money to pay off their mortgage if they all forgo salaries for a year. Gary tells Kermit that they need $10 million to save the theater.


An outsider and admirer of the Muppets, dressed in bygone era attire, becomes concerned with the Muppets' situation, and steps in to motivate Kermit.
Daniel is sent down to Earth. Gary, Mary and Walter travel to Hollywood.


The Muppets put on a show to raise the needed money.
The Muppets put on a Christmas spectacular. The Muppets put on The Muppet Telethon.


The chickens, clad in sequins and feathers, perform a clucking rendition of a current pop music song.
"Lady Marmalade" "Forget You"


"Smells Like Teen Spirit"
Penguins squawk along with the guitar riff similar to the way it was used in Moulin Rouge. Sam the Eagle, Rowlf the Dog, Link Hogthrob and Beaker perform the song as a barbershop quartet.


In order to save the theater, the Muppets have to reach a certain amount of money in a race against the clock.
They have until midnight to get the ticket sale profits to Bitterman. (However, in changing their contract, Bitterman changes the deadline to 6pm) They have until midnight to raise the money at the telethon.


The Muppets showcase questionable taste in entertainment.
Luc Fromage showcases "Cirque du So Lamé" Fozzie Bear showcases "Fart Shoes".


Kermit calls some famous friends, to bring star power to the project.
Kermit calls Kelly Ripa, Molly Shannon, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Madonna and Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog. Kermit calls Jimmy Carter, Molly Ringwald, Cyndi Lauper, Barbara Walters, Brooke Shields and Corey Feldman among others.


The gang convinces Kermit that they need Miss Piggy to put on the show. Kermit reluctantly agrees, and asks Piggy for help.
Kermit goes to the set of Scrubs, where Piggy is playing a corpse under a sheet. She claims that she's "Must-See TV" now, and that she's too big for the Muppets. When she's fired from her prime-time gig, she returns to the Muppet Theater. Kermit and the gang go to Paris, where Piggy has become the plus-size editor at Vogue. Piggy declines the offer, because Kermit won't admit that he needs her.


Kermit appeals to the villain's sympathies, and tries to talk his way into getting the theater back.
When Fozzie accidentally delivers a bag of laundry to Bitterman instead of the money, Kermit goes to speak with her in her office. Bitterman gloats about her plans. Facing the reality that they don't have enough time to rehearse, and that they still haven't found a celebrity host, Kermit takes the gang to Richman's office, where Richman turns them down in song.


When faced with defeat, Kermit retreats, convinced that he's let everyone down.
Kermit takes the full weight of responsibility for the Muppets' failure. He tells an angel that he wishes he was never born, creating an alternate reality. Unable to get a celebrity host for the telethon, Kermit walks away. Piggy takes over, and leads an assault on Jack Black's trailer.


To illustrate the cynicism of the world since the Muppets were relevant, their innocence is juxtaposed with over-the-top TV programming.
In Kermit's alternate reality, a Fear Factor contestant's head is locked in a cage and forced to eat a live rat -- Rizzo. CDE's newest hit show is called "Punch Teacher".


To counter the purity of the Muppets, the audience is shown unsavory counterparts.
In the world in which Kermit had never been born, Bunsen is a rude doorman, Beaker is a bouncer, Statler and Waldorf buy drinks for young ladies, Sam the Eagle is a raver and Scooter is a cage dancer. Kermit, Piggy, Animal, Rowlf, Janice and Fozzie have doppelgangers in The Moopets.


"The Rainbow Connection" is used as a point of reflection.
Kermit views a statue of himself in a park, erected in dedication "for the lovers, the dreamers and you". Kermit, Miss Piggy and the Muppets sing the song as part of their telethon.


With victory in sight, Kermit and Piggy kiss on stage.
With the knowledge of having lost the theater, Kermit is otherwise ecstatic to have his life back. In a moment of jubilance, he pounces on Piggy and kisses her. With the telethon going well, Kermit and Piggy share a kiss during "The Rainbow Connection".


The Muppets think they have the money needed, only to find out they don't, thanks to Fozzie.
Thinking he had the money needed, Fozzie delivers the bag of cash, only to find out he's got the wrong bag. Thinking they needed just $1 more, Fozzie hits the telethon counter causing it to reveal that the Muppets had actually raised less than 1% of the necessary $10-million.


A showdown occurs with the villain.
Piggy and Bitterman engage in a kung fu movie fight. Uncle Deadly confronts Richman.


A parody of kung fu style and movie conventions.
Piggy and Bitterman engage in a kung fu style fight with poorly synched vocal dubbing and dialog. Miss Piggy leads the Muppets in a Tarantino-style kung fu kidnapping attack on Jack Black.


An estranged Muppet, allied with the villain, has a change of heart and foils the villain's plans.
Pepe goes behind Bitterman's back to secure historic landmark status for the Muppet Theater. Uncle Deadly proudly declares himself a Muppet and stops Richman's sabotage attempt.


The Muppets are unable to meet their goal, but they emerge triumphantly anyway.
Although Bitterman still owns the theater, it can never be destroyed or modified because Pepe has registered it as a historical landmark. The telethon fails to bring in the cash, but during the film's epilogue, Gonzo hits Richman with a bowling ball, giving him the ability to laugh. In his delirium, he gives the Muppets back their theater and name.


Whoopi Goldberg appears.
As The Boss. Making a cameo as herself.


Business establishments that first appeared in The Muppet Movie make their return.
Doc Hopper's Frog Legs exists in Kermit's alternate world. Sweetums is seen working at Mad Man Mooney & Son.

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