Thus revealed, the creature buried its nose in the tire-tilled soil...
May 23, 2005
Over the rainbow and into Hell.

The Muppets are doomed.

So I caught the last hour of The Muppets' Wonderful Wizard of Oz on Friday night -- and bloody hell it was one of the most horrible things I've ever seen. Really, Disney, what the fuck were you thinking?!?! Anyway, Scary-Crayon's got the full review, so check it out!

And if you're left wanting more Scary-Crayon Wizard of Oz related goodness when you finish, be sure to check out our review of The Wizard of Oz for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Ja! 😀

-posted by Wes | 12:10 am | Comments (10)
  • dave says:

    Yeah, I saw part of it, and it was bad.
    Here's a thought.
    Executives can very easily butcher your jokes beyond recognition, leaving you staring at your own skit wondering what about it is even supposed to be funny now. And guess who's ultimately to blame for a bad sketch? The executive producer who decides do be assertive in random purposless areas, laughing at the writer when he uses terms like 'contrast' 'development' and 'narriative arc' or the writer who's original sketch only vaguely matches what made it to screen? Do critics watch and say "Wow, that was very poorly executively produced" or "Wow, that was poorly written"? Seriously. Guess.

    This movie was probably ripped apart by visionless higher ups.

  • Wes says:

    Yeah, I'll admit that we have a tendency to blame the writers (myself included; in this latest review I blamed the exec not for butchering the script but for giving it the go ahead), when it's more likely that a number of cooks spoiled the broth -- and that the writer probably played a small part in the overseasoning session.

    HOWEVER, in this case, I'd guess that the writers had more to do with the crappy final product than anyone else -- but that's only because I have a hard time seeing an executive saying, "HEY, I know! Let's have Gonzo get seduced by a giant CGI chicken!" and "We'll change Toto from a dog to... a prawn!" I do think it's entirely possible that execs came up with the all but doomed premise, though -- The Wizard of Oz starring fucking Ashanti -- but really, that would never have gotten off the ground if writers had said, "That's bloody stupid -- I won't write it!" But they did, so they take the brunt of the blame -- 'cause without them, the project would never have come to fruition.

  • dave says:

    But that's exactly who would say that. Exec: Give me a scene with chickens. Get it? Chickens are funny. Writer: But how does that even make any sense. Exec (Annoyed sigh): Why are you always being difficult? Writer: But that doesn't make any sense - it's the Wizard of Oz.... Exec: Would you just can it and write the script!!!!!!!

    The entire premise was like Muppets= X amount of automatic eyes watching, Ashante = Y amount, and Wizard = Z amount. Mix that up with a little "If the writer gives me one more bit of lip, I'm going to fire him and hire the next writer who'd kill for a couple of bucks, and knows how to say yes" and you've got this movie. Plus they make changes after it's written. Exec: This is all well and good, but Quenten said he'll be in it (XX viewers). Now write in a role for him!!!! Writer: But there's no..... Exec (Turning red) just fucking do it!!!!! Exec: OK, know what? I'll just write it myself. Writer: Wait! no.... (Slumped shouldered sigh) I'll do it. (Damage control of some sort)

  • Wes says:

    Maybe, but the chicken thing isn't entirely ridiculous -- TAB probably knows more about it than I do, but apparently on "The Muppet Show" Gonzo's girlfriend was a chicken, so it does make sense that a giant chicken would get him all hot and bothered. I'm starting to think that the failures of this film weren't (necessarily) because of execs fucking things up, but because there were too many nods to the old Muppet show that I either didn't get or wouldn't have been funny even if I had, because Gonzo dating a chicken just isn't funny no matter which way you slice it. Come to think of it, Muppets themselves aren't funny! But maybe that's because I grew up with them teaching me ABCs and moral lessons and shit.

    You make a good point with the ?If the writer gives me one more bit of lip, I?m going to fire him and hire the next writer who?d kill for a couple of bucks, and knows how to say yes? bit, though. I understand that people have to make a living, but if you're willing to sacrifice your integrity as a writer to make a buck, you've gotta live with the consequences -- and that means enduring a bit o' bashing when your output fucking sucks!

  • Becky says:

    I took one look at those graphics and I had to get away. I'm so spoiled, with my favorite game being of the highest quality of picture that I cannot to go the older ones (you might laugh at me, but it's called Kingdom Hearts).

  • Wes says:

    You think I'd laugh at you for liking Kingdom Hearts? That was a pretty important game -- Disney and Squaresoft teaming to create an RPG! Got great reviews, too. I actually bought it when it was new, but (you might laugh at me here, seeing as how it's been a $20 Greatest Hits title for a while now!) never got around to playing it. I've got tons of PS2 games I've never played and never even unwrapped because I can't bring myself to sit down on the couch and play video games in the living room of my mother's house -- I'd feel like even more of a loser than I already do. 🙁

    Okage: Shadow King and Primal were personal favorites, though... to say nothing of Soul Reaver 2 and Ratchet and Clank. 😉

  • Molly says:

    I watched the whole thing. You probably won't believe me, but it's true -- it started out good, and I was actually laughing and totally enjoying it. And then they got to Oz, and things were a little strange, but still funny... and then they started down the yellow brick road and walked straight into HELL.


    I did sit through the whole thing but after that point I started an art project and barely focused on the TV. But when I did look up or pay attention I was like ummm wtf is this shit? Cuz yes, it got bizarre.

    Redeeming quality -- it was great seeing the muppets again. I spent my toddler years watching Muppet Show reruns and they'll always have a special place in my heart...


  • dave says:

    Wes, that may be true about the chicken, and it follows the same format of another impression I got of the movie - I don't remember exactly what it was, but they made some contemporary cultural references (along the lines of saying 'you're fired' or something like that) and I remember thinking that someone somewhere was defending the unfunny lines by saying "It's funny because it's a reference for adults. 'cause the muppets is for adults too." I imagine the same rationalle went for the chicken. "It's funny because gonzo likes chickens.'" As opposed to there being some kind of humor behind it.
    Also, what's up with a CGI character - it should be a muppet chicken!

    Look at us, a bunch of adults debating why a puppet movie wasn't appealing!

  • Wes says:

    Molly: Interesting -- one of these days I may have to watch the beginning of it, since I admit that I don't really believe you. 😉 They made Toto into a punked out French prawn with a lip ring. Doesn't exactly inspire confidence...

    Dave: Yeah, I remember the "Apprentice" reference, and they had that bit with Quentin Tarantino and a few other references (e.g. the old school "Muppet Show" nods) that would probably go over kids' heads (or should, anyway). But like you suggest, references aren't intrinsically funny!

    As far as the chicken goes, it was actually a CGI Muppet chicken, if that makes any sense -- CGI for the morphing effects and the size of the blasted thing. The scene could've been done entirely with puppets, of course -- say, with a more/less normal-sized Muppet chicken and a miniature Gonzo puppet -- but these days it's probably cheaper to use computer effects to get the job done! I miss the golden days of Jim Henson's Creature Shop.

    Look at us, a bunch of adults debating why a puppet movie wasn?t appealing!

    I think we all deserve a pat on the back for that.

  • Liz says:

    Muppets themselves aren't funny?? What?? Blasphemy, Wes, blasphemy! I liked parts of the movie, but other parts did drag, like when Ashanti took center stage. Miss Piggy was my childhood idol and will be an icon to be forevermore, so I loved every scene with her in it. You need to rent or borrow a DVD or two of The Muppet Show to see what these guys are really like...with Frank Oz as Piggy and Fozzie and Jim Henson as Kermit. Which reminds me...I'd better go to College Park tomorrow and put some flowers by Jim's statue.

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