HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Simon
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas The Power Of Cheap Music
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 MovieBuy from Amazon
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 1651 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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: