20 Movies Improved By Muppets
The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
The Original: Will Smith and son Jaden is the uplifting true-life tale of Chris Gardner, a homeless guy who became a successful stockbroker.
With Muppets: Kermit The Frog takes nephew Robin under his arm as they try to make it big in showbiz in New York.
However, when Robin discovers that Kermit can't spell happiness, they're forced to take refuge in urban learning district, Sesame St.
Key Scene: Robin walks away from Kermit in disgust but only gets halfway up the stairs before realising he loves Kermy really.
Freddy Got Fingered (2001)
The Original: Tom Green's yuckfest about gross slacker Gord's attempts to win over pa Rip Torn by getting his gross-out comedy routine onto TV.
With Muppets: Lew Zealand plays a performer who dreams of having his fish-throwing routine picked up by the networks, incurring the displeasure of pops (Crazy Harry).
We’re calling it Fozzie Got Fingered , by the way. You work out why.
Key Scene: Exactly as you see here... except Lew at least have a reason for drinking milk from a cow's udders. How else is he going to convince people there's more to him than just throwing fish?
The Island of Doctor Moreau (1996)
The Original: John Frankenheimer’s disastrous adaptation of the H.G. Wells horror novel, famous for a surly Val Kilmer and Marlon Brando wearing a nappy on his head
With Muppets: Dr Bunsen Honeydew’s experiments have created a strange menagerie of mutated creatures, including Pepe The talking prawn, Sweetums and the tragic Gonzo.
Can intrepid Kermit free the beasts before he is experimented on?
Key Scene: Bunsen plays piano to the mutated Pepe, which - in true Muppet tradition - descends into an anarchic, showstopping musical extravaganza.
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
The Original: Clint Eastwood's Oscar-winning weepie, in which his washed-up boxing trainer gets another shot at fatherhood when white-trash pugilist Hilary Swank rocks up.
With Muppets: None of the Muppets like Bobo the Bear, so when Miss Piggy asks him to train her he says yes, even though she continually baits him for his sluggish, clumsy ways.
Miss Piggy does all of her stunts. This isn't a stretch.
Key Scene: Bobo pulls the plug on the paralysed Miss Piggy, partly because she asked him to but mainly because he's sick of her bitchiness.
Sex Lives of the Potato Men (2004)
The Original: Reviled Brit-com with Johnny Vegas and Mackenzie Crook as the titular spud boys intent on getting laid.
With Muppets: Bert and Ernie's desperate attempt to avoid typecasting through swearing, boozing and random sex.
Neither has worked since.
Key Scene: Ernie's search for his rubber ducky ends in tragedy when he realises Bert is using it as a sex aid. (How? Don't ask.)
The Original: First of Stephanie Meyer’s all-conquering teenage vampire rom-horror, in which Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) would be happy to have it off with Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) if he wasn’t a vampire.
With Muppets: Bella falls for dashing stranger Count von Count, despite her friends and relatives' attempts to warn her off.
However, she can't resist...especially when he helps to become top of the class in Maths.
Key Scene: Bella wants to know how old the Count is, so he recites Pi to 40,000 decimal places. He tells her;: "I've had a lot of time to learn it, ah ah ah!"
Twilight: New Moon (2009)
The Original: More bloodless emo with Bella and Edward, this time further complicated by the arrival of werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) into the most unlikely love triangle since Lembit Opik, Sian Lloyd and whichever Cheeky Girl it was.
With Muppets: Even Bella's getting pretty sick of all the arithmetic, so when swaggering monster Sweetums arrives in town she's got a hard choice between brains and brawn.
Key Scene: The Count and Sweetums battle in a dance-off, with The Count's tempestuous tango besting Sweetums' Riverdance moves.
Mr Bean's Holiday (2007)
The Original: Unwanted sequel to the misadventures of Rowan Atkinson's titular idiot, now going intercontinental after winning a holiday to Cannes.
With Muppets: Fozzie The Bear is in Cannes to drum up funding for his long-cherished comedy film, but everybody treats him like an idiot and a nobody.
But when he strikes up a friendship with street rat Rizzo, the two hatch a plan to start filming anyway.
Key Scene: Fozzie and Rizzo kidnap an acclaimed critic and force him to watch Fozzie's film.
"It's better than The Brown Bunny," he tells him, inadvertently upsetting a passing rabbit.
How To Get Rich Or Die Tryin' (2005)
The Original: Fiddy Cent's autobiographical tale of drug peddling, getting shot and making music.
With Muppets: The rags-to-riches story of Delmar 'Cookie' Johson, who realises that he can make serious coinage getting everybody hooked on biscuits.
With the help of his posse (Elmo, Grover and Shakey Sanchez) he earns such a fearsome rep that it's not long before the street knows him only as the Cookie Monster.
Key Scene: High on chocolate chips, the Cookie Monster records a novelty single consisting entirely of him shouting "Cookie!"
The Original: Penthouse boss Bob Guccione's notorious prestige-meets-porn biopic of the Roman Emperor, mixing acting heavyweights (McDowell, Gielgud, O'Toole) with lots of naked ladies.
With Muppets: A star vehicle for Electic Mayhem drummer Animal, co-starring his band mates and featuring songs from their repertoire.
Plot-wise, the film recounts Caligula's attempts to marry his sister (Janice) while killing pretty much everybody else in fits of primal rage.
Key Scene: The ending, as Animal watches his guards massacre his enemies while he plays an extended drum solo.
The Original: Paul Verhoeven’s soft-porn backstage camp-a-rama, in which Elizabeth Berkeley shags and dances her way to the top, while taking off her top.
With Muppets: Annie Sue Pig hopes to make it big but ends up as a dancer at the Muppet Theatre, but first she has to usurp star attraction Miss Piggy, who’s porking the Theatre boss, Kermit.
Key Scene: Annie Sue seduces Kermit and they have sex in a muddy puddle outside of the theatre.
Vanilla Sky (2001)
The Original: Cameron Crowe’s uncharacteristic surreal sci-fi flick, in which Tom Cruise, disfigured by a jilted ex, undergoes plastic surgery but finds everything a little bit weirder than he remembers.
With Muppets: Aspiring magician The Great Gonzo gets his nose broken off by psycho suitor Crazy Harry. It is successfully restored, but why has his nose started talking to him?
The answer lies at Muppet Labs, where Dr Bunsen Honeydew has perfected "24/7 Muppet madness."
Key Scene: The cameo by Penelope Cruz, who joins the Guiness World Book of Records as the first actress to complete the adaptation hat-trick: European art-house, Hollywood remake and 'Muppetisation.'
Legends Of The Fall (1994)
The Original: Anthony Hopkins’ three sons (Aidan Quinn, Brad Pitt, Henry Thomas) experience love on a Montana ranch and death in the trenches of WWI.
With Muppets: Life is great for showbiz partners Scooter, Kermit and Fozzie, until the arrival of Miss Piggy at the Muppet Theatre makes them all start to hate each other.
A musical, featuring the songs of Mark E. Smith.
Key Scene: After Fozzie gets machine-gunned, a bitterly jubilant Kermit sings the show’s ballad, “New Face in Hell”
The Original: Roland Emmerich's relocation of Japan's most famous monster to New York. Where the original 'Zilla was created by an American atomic blast, this time it's France's fault.
With Muppets: A perfectly ordinary bird is force-fed in order to turn it into foie gras, but the process goes horribly wrong and creates a monster.
Big Bird goes nuts in the city, pecking passers-by to death and laying giant eggs in Central Park.
Key Scene: The shock ending, as the decision to hold a city-wide banquet of roast bird and omelette looks a bad choice when everybody in Manhattan turns into a Muppet.
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
The Original: Ron Howard's Oscar-winning biopic of mathematician John Nash (Russell Crowe). Nash isn't grumpy, by the way. He's mentally ill.
With Muppets: Oscar the Grouch refuses to leave his trashcan, forcing his long-suffering friend Bruno the Trashman to carry him around everywhere.
But the Government believes Oscar's innovative views on transportation can help them win the Cold War.
Key Scene: Oscar realises that he's been hallucinating Bruno the whole time, and is perfectly capable of walking.
The Last Airbender (2010)
The Original: M. Night Shyamalan's shambolic adaptation of the revered fantasy anime, about benders (stop sniggering) who can can manipulate the elements.
With Muppets: Sam The Eagle plays the titular Airbender ('cause he can fly, see) who has to battle the evil Soundbender Mahna Mahna to reunite the Muppets.
Key Scene: The Benders hold a trial of strength, and Sam is horrified when Mahna Mahna brings out the Snowths on backing vocals. Do doo be-
The Original: Geoffrey Rush's breakthrough role as tortured pianist David Helfgott, who fights off a mental breakdown in order to get back behind the ivories.
With Muppets: Rowlf The Dog loves music, but every note is scorned by sneering owners Statler and Waldorf.
When their criticism gets too much for them, Rowlf ends up in the pound until a kind dog lover (Miss Piggy) takes him in.
Key Scene: Rowlf's fevered performance of 'Roll Over Beethoven,' doesn't impress Statler and Waldorf, who shout to Rowlf that he's kept on rolling to get away from the music.
Lost in Space (1998)
The Original: Stephen Hopkins’ overcooked big-screen outing for the Space Family Robinson, in which do-gooders William Hurt, Matt LeBlanc and Heather Graham fall foul of no-do-gooder Gary Oldman
With Muppets: The unofficial Pigs in Space movie, obviously.
Julius Strangepork leads Miss Piggy and Link Hogthrob on a mission into space that goes awry when evil Bunsen Honeydew (and his robot, Beeker) go on the rampage.
Key Scene: Bunsen unleashes an army of marauding robot chickens onto the deck of the ship.
Edge of Darkness (2010)
The Original: Martin Campbell's unnecessary film version of his TV classic, this time featuring grumpy Mel Gibson as the grieving dad who decides to remake Payback instead.
With Muppets: The Swedish Chef is aghast when he finds somebody has run over his prized Chocolate Moose before he'd had a chance to eat it.
Incensed, he breaks out the meat cleavers, dons his toque blanche and goes on the rampage.
Key Scene: In a running joke, none of the Chef's victims can understand his apparently witty one-liners, so he always ends up killing them while shouting "Börk, börk, börk!" in frustration.
The Original: Gary Ross’ biopic about a Depression-era racing horse, who defied the odds to become a champion of the poor. Yes, really.
With Muppets: Jockey Tobey Maguire is surprised to learn that his latest mount is none other than the Muppets’ Buster the Horse.
Nobody rates his chances, largely because he's carrying a giant 'H' on his saddle, but Maguire soon learns that Muppet horses are powered by the alphabet.
Key Scene: In a tragic misunderstanding, Maguire asks the stableboy to make sure Buster gets his 'H.'