The Rainbow Connection Redux: A First Look at “The Muppets”

Now THIS is what we call a Muppet show.

Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie and their friends are ready for their much-anticipated return to the big screen in “The Muppets,” and in the first image from the film, the stars look just as spry as they did in their debut feature 31 years ago, 1979’s “The Muppet Movie.”

Joining Jim Henson’s beloved stable of characters is co-star Jason Segel, a longtime Muppet fan who also wrote the film with his "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" director Nick Stoller. Following that film’s inspired Dracula puppet musical, hopes run high that the anarchic nature of the characters will be back in force for the new movie, directed by “Flight of the Conchords” and “Da Ali G Show” helmer James Bobin.

Other Muppet perennials spotted in the shot include Animal, the Great Gonzo, Scooter, the Swedish Chef, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, Sam the Eagle, Statler and Waldorf, Rizzo the Rat and a rodent pal, Camilla the Chicken, the giant ogre Sweetums and one of the earliest Muppet stars, Rowlf the Dog.

That fresh-faced newbie holding the iPhone is Walter, a young Muppet who becomes entranced by the classic troop and helps Segal attempt to save the Muppet Theater from destruction – at the hands of a greedy oilman eager for the crude underneath it – by putting on a show that needs to draw 10 million viewers.

Yep, we’re sold.

Joining Segel among the non-felt members of the cast: Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Rashida Jones. The film’s set to hit theaters during the 2011 holiday season.

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