HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Sauvage
Watermelon Man
Wandering Earth, The
Good Fairy, The
Killer Party
Holmes & Watson
Monster in the Closet
Sand, The
Glass
My Brilliant Career
Knife for the Ladies, A
Man in the Attic
Destroyer
Fillmore
Bumblebee
No Kidding
Honkytonk Man
Woman in the Window, The
Shed of the Dead
Dead Easy
Tucked
Widows
Last Movie Star, The
Death Game
Juliet, Naked
November
Arcadia
Sugar Hill
House with the Clock in Its Walls, The
Devil Thumbs a Ride, The
Suspiria
Secret People
Spy Who Dumped Me, The
Beautiful Stranger
House That Jack Built, The
Undercover
White Chamber
R.P.M.
Summer of 84
On Secret Service
   
 
Newest Articles
Outer Space and Outta Sight: Gonks Go Beat on Blu-ray
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
   
 
  Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas The Power Of Cheap MusicBuy this film here.
Year: 1977
Director: Jim Henson
Stars: Jerry Nelson, Frank Oz, Marilyn Sokol, Dave Goelz, Richard Hunt, Eren Ozker, Jim Henson
Genre: Musical, Comedy, Fantasy, TV Movie
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: Emmet Otter (voiced by Jerry Nelson) is a young river dweller who lives with his widowed mother (Marilyn Sokol), and they eke their way through life doing odd jobs and laundry now that the head of the household has gone, not that Pa ever had much luck with keeping or making money in the first place. The pair of them have recently been doing the laundry for the local animals, but finding that even near to Christmas some are delaying paying their bills till afterwards, meaning their own festive season will be pretty impoverished - they cannot even afford to decorate a pine tree, they have to be content with a branch instead. However, there is a sliver of hope that they might be in luck, as a talent show has been announced in the community hall; think of what they could do with the fifty dollar prize money...

The Muppet Show had been on air for at least a year by the time this seasonal special was created by Jim Henson (who narrated as Kermit in one version) and his team of puppet masters. It was intended as an investigation as to what they could make their characters do with a view to applying those techniques to the more celebrated Muppets themselves in the planned work of two years later, The Muppet Movie, where a film-sized budget would be spent on the most accomplished puppetry they could muster. Therefore you could, if you were familiar with the cinematic incarnation, spot many of the stylings it employed were first attempted here, and it had to be said that the Henson community were on excellent form throughout this project, not least because of the overall effect this had on those who tuned in to watch it.

Not that Emmet Otter, based on Lillian and Russell Hoban's book, was dripping in sentimentality, it used a more melancholy tone instead as, for instance, the lead character was obviously struggling without a father and a lack of funds, which lent the air of sadness he was trying not to dwell upon by distracting himself with various brighter elements he discovered in life, such as the power of music. That was the point of the songs, all penned by Paul Williams who would do such sterling work on The Muppet Movie, and if there was no unforgettable standout such as The Rainbow Connection on this soundtrack, there were catchy tunes and one song performed by Ma Otter that would have many a viewer getting teary-eyed at its heartfelt qualities. Both she and Emmet enter the contest independently of one another, hoping to secure that prize.

For his part, Emmet is coaxed into joining his friends in the jug-band of the title, though he has to suffer the guilt of using Ma's washtub to make the bass, while for her part she sells Pa's beloved toolbox to pay for material to make a dress to perform in. All very pathos-friendly, and it succeeded to a point even if you knew you were being manipulated but as with much of Henson's productions it hailed from a generous, humane place so you were not too bothered about him pulling the heartstrings as surely as the puppet's strings. What this was not was particularly humorous, giving the impression of a bunch of cute, furry toys (and the not so cute rock band named Nightmare who mean to win the competition and demolish their rivals) acting out an achingly sincere plea for the audience to take a few chances and they may pay off. As for Emmet, there is a happy ending, though not what you might have expected, but one which if anything is more satisfying than the alternative that seemed possible, and technically it was both charming and ingenious, brilliant even (the rowing boat sequences must have been a nightmare to stage in themselves!).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1107 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Jim Henson  (1936 - 1990)

American puppeteer and creator of the Muppets whose career took off when his puppets were used on children's show Sesame Street. The Muppets got their own show in the seventies, which was successful enough to make the jump to the big screen with The Muppet Movie and its sequels.

In the eighties, Henson went on to direct The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, which both featured his puppets extensively, and on television he came up with Fraggle Rock and The Storyteller.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Rachel Franke
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White
   

 

Last Updated: