Muppet domination continues, as marketing for “The Muppets” movie kicks into high gear with the start of fall movie season. Walt Disney Studios released several new stills, a handful of publicity photos featuring favorite members of the troupe.
Walt Disney Studios has also released some fun facts behind the movie, below, which may include minor spoilers for some fans (depending on how much a Muppet groupie you are) and definitely provides trivia for film buffs.
See a gallery of photos from “The Muppets” movie.
Muppets by the Numbers
Disney’s “The Muppets” is the seventh feature film starring our felt and furry friends. More than 120 Muppets appear in the movie.
Of course, there were many human stars on hand, besides stars Jason Segel, Amy Adams and Chris Cooper. Segel and Adams perform with 60 dancers in the opening musical number “Everything’s Great.” The finale dance scene, which reprises the number, features 100 danceres.
Miss Piggy, whose personality is larger than life, has 12 different costume changes in the film – more than anyone else, naturellement. But the largest Muppet in the movie, technically, is Thog. He stands over 9.5 feet tall and is 4 feet wide.
Perhaps is it Mary (played by Adams) though, who looms largest in eyes of many characters. She plays a teacher with 16 students. Such is her influence that 16 perfect apples are placed on her desk.
“The Muppets” filmmakers and behind-the scenes
Director James Bobin makes his film debut, but TV fans might recognize his name. Bob
Bobin co-created HBO’s “Flight of the Conchords,” which he wrote, directed and executive produced.
Another “Flight” member works on the movie. Bret McKenzie of “Flight of the Conchords” wrote and produced three original songs and served as music supervisor for the film.
Walt Disney Studios also notes the importance and history of music for the Muppets films. “The Muppet Movie” was nominated for two Oscars: Best Music, Original Song (“Rainbow Connection”) and Best Music, Original Sound Score.
Dance, too, is part of the Muppets all-around entertainment traditions. Choreographer Michael Rooney,Mickey Rooney’s son, worked on the film. Mickey appears in a camero role, marking the first time father and son have worked together on a movie.
One of the perks of working on “The Muppets,” as least for the director and Jason Segel? Muppet versions of the Bobin and Gary, Segel’s character, were created.
Disney’s “The Muppets” was a green set, environmentally. The set had an an environmental steward who made sure the proper recycling receptacles were utilized on set. Paper products were made from recycled materials and were compostable. Each crew member was provided with aluminum refillable water bottles, with water available on set, to cut down on the use of paper cups and disposable water bottles.
“The Muppets” on location
“The Muppets” features some iconic locations.
- Kermit’s mansion was filmed at Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.
- Miss Piggy’s Vogue Paris office was filmed at the Pink Palace mansion in Bel Air.
- Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) has a 51st floor office, which was shot in the old ARCO headquarters on Figueroa Street in downtown L.A.
Two of the highlights for “The Muppets” movie – some set spoilers – are the chance to see The Muppet Theater and Muppets Studios.
The Muppet Theater, built on Stage 28 on the Universal Studios Lot, incorporated parts of the old “Phantom of the Opera” set into its audience section. The Jim Henson Company gate was turned into the Muppet Studios entrance. A sign showcased a series of tour attractions, along with their sad fates:
- Fozzie’s Joke Room: Closed
- Gonzo’s Cannonade: Closed for Repair
- Rowlf’s Music Parlor: Under Renovation
- Dr. Honeydew’s Laboratory of Fun: Out of Order
And our beloved Muppet fan Walter, himself a Muppet created for the movie, takes tour through Muppet Studios. The locations are actually The Jim Henson Company on La Brea, Crossroads of the World on Sunset Blvd., the outside of Stage 3 on the Disney Lot in Burbank, and two soundstage sets on the Universal Lot. Together, they depict Kermit’s Office and the Muppet Theater interior.
And speaking of “The Muppet Show,” remember the Muppetational opening title sequence? A set design replicates those arches for the movie’s Muppet telethon.
“The Muppets” props and costumes
Those with an eye for details for “The Muppet Show” and Muppet movies will appreciate seeing some of the props.
Rowlf’s original piano has been incorporated into the Muppet Show orchestra.
And Kermit’s banjo is the one from “The Muppet Movie” (1979). Yes – minor spoiler – Kermit will sing “Rainbow Connection,” and in a scene staged with a replica of the log from the first movie. Miss Piggy also appears in a rowboat, evoking the one Dom DeLuise used when he accompanied Kermit in their duet.
Miss Piggy is high fashion, as befitting her role as the editor-in-chief for “Vogue” Paris. Her shoes are Christian Louboutin, made just for her little piggies (pun intended), and she wears a Zac Posen dress in the finale.
Kermit’s no slouch. He wears a Brooks Brothers suit, again custom made, for his outing on the Paris streets with Miss Piggy.
Walter expresses the Muppet fanboy in all of us. He wears a Kermit watch in the movie.
“The Muppets” will be released to movie theaters Nov. 23, 2011.
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