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MUPPETS FROM SPACE

SYNOPSIS:
The Great Gonzo is depressed: of all the Muppets - Pig, Frog, Bear, Animal, Rat - he is the only one who isn't, um, Something. And he is the only one who is alone. Then he gets messages from outer space (well, he thinks he does, the rest of the Muppets think he is cracked) and he realises his long-lost rellies are actually aliens and coming to find him. Unfortunately the messages are also picked up by K. Edgar Singer (Jeffrey Tambor) an evil bureaucrat in charge of a government spook facility cunningly disguised as a cement works. Gonzo and his best pal Rizzo the Rat are Muppetnapped by the spooks after appearing on UFOmania, a TV chat show fronted by Andie MacDowell - until she's porkchopped by Miss Piggy, that is. Rescue by the rest of the Muppets and a meeting with the extraterrestrial Gonzos is what happens next.

"I saw Muppets From Space with a 4-year-old, who would appear to be the prime target audience. Neither of us found it "hilarious" as the blurb suggests, and although it was nice to see Gonzo in the lead, it became obvious very quickly why he hasn't been a star before. Although the younger member of the party didn't fidget that much, the elder did. We didn't mind the movie, but we weren't exactly rapt. Director Tim Hill trundles the thing along as if driving a cement truck: slowly and carefully. It's gorgeously colourful and lovely to look at, as usual, but Muppet fans may be disappointed that, for instance, real stars like Sam Eagle and Fozzie Bear get so little of the action. (Miss Piggy is piggy as ever, but then isn't she always? And Kermie could have phoned in his performance from a lilypad in Beverly Hills.) Okay for a baking hot afternoon in an air conditioned cinema, but don't expect real Muppet magic."
Diana Simmonds

"The Muppet creators are up to their usual high standard with this latest effort. Sure, modern technology with its whizz bang computerised animation has left them behind. And sure, there are the boring bits for adults. But somehow the people behind the Muppets always give us a film with a heart and enough cute, memorable moments that still keep coming back to us days later to put a smile on our faces. One such moment here is when Rizzo the Rat is sent to the rat experimental laboritories by the bad guys. Weíre presented with a bunch of rats so rich in character that when they are put through their paces by the sadistic scientist, Dr. Tucker (David Arquette), the results are quite hysterical. There are enough other such moments to sustain the film. The question for the real Muppet connoisseur, with Kermit, Fozzy Bear, and Miss Piggy very much in the background, becomes: is Gonzo a big enough star to carry the film as the lead character? Initially it seems doubtful, but as the film progresses how can we not care about someone who feels so totally alone in this world. And besides, he has excellent support from Rizzo the Rat and very cool newcomers Pepe the Prawn (donít call him a shrimp) and Bobo the Bear (always funny). OK, so the attempted satire of the movie never gets past the obvious. Itís a Muppet movie. Just sit back and enjoy the ride."
Lee Gough

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

TRAILER

MUPPETS FROM SPACE (G)
(US)

CAST: Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Bill Barretta, Jerry Nelson, Kevin Clash, Frank Oz, Jeffrey Tambor, F. Murray Abraham

DIRECTOR: Tim Hill

PRODUCER: Martin G. Baker, Brian Henson

SCRIPT: Jerry Juhl

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Alan Caso

EDITOR: Richard Pearson, Michael A. Stevenson

MUSIC: Jamshied Sharifi

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Stephen Marsh

RUNNING TIME: 87 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Col TriStar

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE DATE: December 26, 1999

VIDEO RELEASE: June 28, 2000

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Columbia TriStar Home Entertainment







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