Fans of Narnia won’t have to wait to long for another Narnia related flick, but this time, CS Lewis’ beloved fantasy world is going to be visited by Jim Henson’s lovable bunch of weirdos The Muppets! Hot off their success from last Christmas’s big screen revival, The Muppets are slated to be featured in a brand new 2 hour special called The Muppets in Narnia!
The Muppets in Narnia follows in the traditions of The Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island, The Muppet’s Wizard of Oz, and the forgotten classics Hey, Cinderella!, The Frog Prince, and Muppet Classic Theater. The special will be written and directed by legendary Muppetman Frank Oz, and is personally coming out of retirement to work on this special project. Fans may not know that back in the late 80s and early 90s Jim Henson’s company was interested in adapting Narnia and had even created original puppets or “creatures” for the production. Based on what I’ve seen from Henson’s work on The Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal and The Storyteller Series, I have no doubt we would have been in for something special. Now at last we will get to see some of that hard work, complete with a story based on an unused script written by the late Jim Henson himself.
The special will not adapt a book, but rather will “borrow” from a variety of Narnia stories and attempt to tell its own original tale. The story will center around Scooter, Walter, and their new friends Susan and Lucy. Lucy is sent by Kermit the Frog to go get some props for a sketch they are working on for The Muppet Show from a strange Wardrobe in the back of the theater. The Wardrobe leads her to the land of Narnia. She returns and no one believes her.
Scooter and Walter go in search of answers to this phenomenon, one that even stumps Beaker and Benson Honeydoo. They go and visit Scooter’s often referenced but never before seen uncle, a professor by the name of Digory Kirke. The professor tells them not only could Lucy’s story be true, he experienced something like this himself. As a boy he and his friend Polly traveled by magic rings, created by his uncles, Andrew and Jacob Ketterley ( Statler and Waldorf). The rings took them to strange worlds, including one called Narnia.
Later, during an Earthquake drill, the four go hide in the wardrobe. They then find themselves in the land of Narnia and their adventure begins as they join Aslan to help free Narnia from the reign of The White Witch, played by Miss Piggy. Other Muppet characters slated to appear include Fozzie Bear plays the bulgy bear who keeps sucking his paw, Rizzo the Rat as Reepicheep, Sam the Eagle plays Farsight, Sweetums as giant Rumblebuffin, Gonzo the Great plays Puddleglum, Rolf the Dog as Maugrim, Uncle Deadly as Tash, and Animal as Animal.
Fans needn’t worry about Aslan. Much as Muppet Christmas Carol used original creatures for the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, Muppets in Narnia will use an original Muppet for Aslan. In fact they plan to use the unused Aslan puppet that was designed by the Henson company. From the sounds of it, it’ll be like nothing we have ever seen before, and will even put the puppet used in the BBC version to shame.
As is tradition with a Muppet feature, several big named stars are joining the fun. Jennifer Lawrence ( X-Men: First Class, The Hunger Games) and Elle Fanning (Super 8) will join the Muppets Scooter and Walter as Susan and Lucy respectively. Muppet Chrismas Carol alum Sir Michael Caine (Alfred in the Chris Nolan Batman trilogy ) plays Professor Digory Kirke, with Freddie Highmore ( Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) as the younger Digory with Chloë Grace Moretz ( Hugo)as Polly . Sir Patrick Stewart is rumored to be voicing Aslan, and James MacAvoy is not only slated to be playing himself as the “very special guest” on the Muppet show, but will also reprise his roll as Tumnus the Faun. When asked why MacAvoy said, “You mean besides the fact I have a contract for at least two more films? I mean, c’mon, It’s the Muppets! And Narnia! How could I say no?”
Featuring original music by Paul Williams (The Muppet Movie and The Muppet Christmas Carol) and David Bowie( Jim Henson’s The Labyrinth) The Muppets in Narnia is sure to be a pleaser. Look for the special airing on ABC on December 21st 2012.
Watch the first trailer here!
UPDATE: APRIL FOOLS! AHHHH Wocka, Wocka!