A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Muppets Haunted Mansion is an hour-long special inspired by the famous Disneyland ride. It follows Muppets Gonzo and Pepe as they attempt to stay in a haunted mansion overnight. Will Arnett (doing a take on Vincent Price) plays the mansion's "ghost host," and tons of celebs make cameos -- including John Stamos, Darren Criss, Yvette Nicole Brown, and many more. As on the ride, gravestones come alive, and the deceased's deaths are explained in comic ways. Other spooky moments and images may be hard for younger or more scare-sensitive kids, including a red-eyed, screaming puppet goat. But for families who like their fun a little on the creepy side, this is a great watch-together option for Halloween.
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What's the story?
While the rest of the Muppets are partying for Halloween, Gonzo (a weirdo, voiced by originator Dave Goelz) and Pepe (a king prawn voiced by Bill Barretta) have chosen to take up a Halloween challenge: spend a night in the great magician MacGuffin's mansion. Pepe is hoping to meet some celebrities, but it seems like everyone they meet on the property is pretty weird. Gonzo makes his way through the mansion, advised to seek room 999 for all the answers he needs to escape. Meanwhile, Pepe falls under the spell of a lovely woman (Taraji P. Henson) who may want to spend forever with him ... but what exactly does that mean?
Is it any good?
Recent Muppet offerings haven't always quite hit the tone of their earlier hits, but this hilarious (and a little scary!) special gets pretty close. Gonzo and Pepe make a great team, the guest stars are game (especially Arnett and Henson), and the puns are on point. A handful of new songs and a fantastic cover of Van Morrison's "Dancing in the Moonlight" will keep toes tapping.
Fans of the Disneyland ride will recognize lots of Easter eggs, including music cues and a request for no flash photography, and Muppet fans will see tons of their favorite puppets (with wild cards like the fish-throwing Lew Zealand, Uncle Deadly, and even an otter). Plus, the messages about facing your fears are woven in seamlessly with the goofy fun. A new classic? It could be.
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