Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas (1977)
It's a well-documented fact that muppets are adorable, and trying to deny it will result in your inevitable violent death at the hands of murderous Snuffaluffaguses (also known as Anthropophaguses). They've certainly been a well-traveled type of puppets, from properties such as, of course, The Muppets, to Sesame Street, and 1977 TV movie musical Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas...
Emmet is a young otter living in a small lakeside town. He and his mother are very poor, but still want to get each-other a great Christmas present, so they both, without the other realizing, enter a talent competition to win prize money...
Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas is a mixed bag. On one hand, while a bit trite, the plot isn't badly cliched, and it's never boring or poorly written, but I also just never found it to be all that interesting. Also, the climax ends kinda depressingly!...But things all turn out ok following that, obviously, as films like these never want to make you jump off a building for long.
The movie is only 49 minutes long, and I wish it was longer, but it's never rushed, ill-paced, nor does the running time adversely affect the plot, thankfully.
The musical numbers here are nice. The singing is good, as are the lyrics, some of the time. Other times, they're...'interesting'! On a different note, who knew Paul Williams would ever write a song like There Ain't No Hole in the Washtub! But then again, who'd think he'd appear as a Faustian record executive in a Brian de Palma rock-opera 'horror' musical! The guy's sure had a very varied career!
The Jim Henson designed puppets in this film look great! They're not convincing at all, but they're not trying to be. They're well-designed, and most importantly, their actions and dialogue synch up well. The locations are fake in that deliberately obvious way, which'd be fine if not for the strings you occasionally see. Regardless, they're very well-crafted sets!
The acting in this movie is all ok. There are no bad performances, and like I said, the singing's decent.
All in all, I found Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas to be a tiny bit meh, but it is watchable, and has a good soundtrack, so if you're in the mood for Christmas-related hijinks involving adorable Jim Henson puppets, then I recommend it. It's not like it'll eat up too much of your time...