Sometimes, a Muppet is just a Muppet


This image released by Disney shows Tina Fey in a scene from “Muppets Most Wanted.” (Jay Maidment/AP Photo/Disney Enterprises, Inc.)

Jeez folks, lighten up.

If you’re looking for messages about US-Russian relations, you’re better off looking at old episodes of the “Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” than examining the new Muppets movie.

So says Mother Jones, which noted a proliferation of Putin references in reviews of the new Muppets movie, “Muppets Most Wanted.” The movie didn’t do so hot this weekend, bringing in $16.5 million compared to top dog “Divergent,” which grossed $56 million.  The villain is a Russian frog named Constantine who tries to get Kermit thrown in a Russian work camp. Production on the movie began in January 2013, long before the current Crimean crisis erupted, but that didn’t stop the New York Times from suggesting that it shouldn’t have been released Friday. It’s difficult to tell if the author, Neil Genzlinger, was serious or not:

The United States government today called on Walt Disney Pictures to delay or cancel the release of “Muppets Most Wanted” on national security grounds. Or at least, it should have. Not only might this movie annoy Russia, with whom the American government is already nose-to-nose over Crimea, but it could also cause any European allies being courted by President Obama to unfriend him and the rest of the country.

The director, James Bobin, has said he just wanted to shoot a “classic cold-war musical comedy,” one rooted in the 1980s, not whatever modern messes have been created since. Mother Jones took aim at the Post’s review, too. At least we didn’t say Miss Piggy looks like German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Soraya Nadia McDonald covers arts, entertainment and culture for the Washington Post with a focus on race and gender issues.

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