It’s been a couple of months since the first teaser trailer for the new Muppets film, Muppets Most Wanted was released. So, seemingly in an effort to make up for the agonizing delay, Disney (the film’s distributor) has released two new trailers – one for the UK and one for the US.The 2011 film starring Jim Henson’s beloved puppet characters (simply titled The Muppets) was successful (it’s currently sporting a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes) largely because it unashamedly borrowed elements from another successful comedy film, The Blues Brothers (1980). Both were about a group of performers traveling the country in hopes of “getting the band back together,” in an effort to raise enough money to save building they hold dear (an orphanage in The Blues Brothers; an old theater in The Muppets). Additionally, both featured numerous cameo appearances by celebrities and elaborate musical numbers – though that has long been the standard for Muppet features.
Based on the new trailers, Muppets Most Wanted takes a lot from another successful comedy film series: The Pink Panther. It’s got capers, mistaken identities, and globetrotting (the UK trailer boasts of “Epic Locations” like Dublin and Madrid); Ty Burrell (Modern Family) even plays a French inspector with an over-the-top, Peter Sellers-esque accent. This is in no way a bad thing; the Pink Panther movies, excluding the two Steve Martin remakes and a couple of the later films, are considered comedy classics.
Right alongside the starring Muppets (always promoted as themselves rather than the puppeteers playing them), Burrell, Tina Fey, and Ricky Gervais also feature. Plus, let us not forget the cadre of guest stars including – but definitely not limited to: Christoph Waltz, Lady Gaga, Salma Hayek, and Danny Trejo (who does a “spot on” Fozzy impression).