HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Love & Basketball
JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
Trapped
We Need to Do Something
Falbalas
Vanguard
A-X-L
Injustice
Bigfoot Hunters
Armitage III: Polymatrix
Girls Nite Out
Moxie!
Five Women for the Killer
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
   
 
Newest Articles
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter 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 2454 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: