The Muppets (2011)
Most recent appearance…
Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
Best known role…
The world’s biggest Muppet fan.
“Your fans haven’t left you, the world hasn’t forgotten! Sure, it’s impossible, but we have to try! It’s time to play the music…”
WHO IS WALTER?
Walter is one of the first new major Muppet characters in 15 years. Walter’s first major role of any sort was playing himself in The Muppets (2011). In the movie, Walter plays the world’s biggest Muppet fan and brother of Gary (Jason Segel). Walter started out life feeling like he didn’t belong because he was small and… well, his other differences are a little fuzzy. When Walter first saw the Muppets watching an episode of The Muppet Show with his brother, he became elated in seeing people who were like him for the first time, and thus, Walter’s love for the Muppets began.
Walter’s life truly took a turn for the incredible when his brother Gary invited him to go to Los Angeles with he and his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) and visit The Muppet Studios and The Muppet Theater. While on the tour of the studio, Walter discovers the nefarious plan of oil baron Tex Richman, and runs away screaming (see right). Walter convinces Gary and Mary to help him find Kermit the Frog so he can save the studio and the theater from Richman’s desire for “Oil, see, sweet, sweet oil!”
When Walter found Kermit’s house, he was so desperate to get in to tell Kermit about Richman’s plan, that he was ready to be thrown into an electric fence for his hero–twice. As Kermit returned home to find his three guests, all it took was one “Hi-ho” for Walter to completely pass out. A true Muppet fan if there ever was one.
Once he finds Kermit, and does a little fan-boy convincing, Walter embarks on the most incredible journey of his life, joining alongside Kermit to help reunite the rest of the Muppets and put on one big show to save the theater and the Muppets. In fact, it takes Walter’s love and admiration to convince Gonzo to return to the stage where he belongs. After the Muppets were back together, Walter assisted in cleaning The Muppet Theater, acting as a sponge at then end of Fozzie Bear’s broom handle.
With the theater cleaned and the show being planned, Kermit asks Walter if there’s an act he would be able to perform on the show. Walter panics, telling Kermit that he doesn’t have a talent–at least not a talent as great as the rest of the Muppets. Can Walter find his talent and help save The Muppet Studios and The Muppet Theater? Will he find where he truly belongs? Go see The Muppets today and find out for yourself!
When Walter returned for Muppets Most Wanted in 2014, he continued to play a major part in the plot of the film. After he discovered that Dominic (Ricky Gervais), their new tour manager had been bribing journalists to write good reviews about the Muppets’ World Tour, Walter realized that the Kermit he thought was Kermit was actually Constantine, the World’s Most Dangerous Frog. From there, Walter took Fozzie and Animal to save Kermit from a Russian gulag and win the day.
WALTER AND PETER LINZ
Walter is the first major Muppet character performed by longtime puppeteer and Muppeteer Peter Linz. Peter, along with four additional performers, auditioned for the role of Walter early in the development stages of the movie. In a New York Times interview, Peter recounts the audition, “I did fine, but it was something of a nightmare from a puppeteer’s standpoint. The guy who auditioned before me was a profuse sweater—I mean, just profuse—and so Walter was soaking wet and cold when I got him.” This just goes to show that a little hard work and sweat (not necessarily yours) get you places in this industry. Peter has performed Walter for numerous promotional appearances and will continue to perform Walter when he (hopefully) returns for future Muppet projects.
WHY DO THE MUPPETS NEED WALTER?
Walter is a wonderful addition to the already fantastic cast of Muppets because he represents an area of the Muppet world never before explored on screen: the Muppet fan. Walter is one of us. He’s you and me… the only difference is, he’s actually Muppet, and he’s living the dream we all wish we could be living. But that’s what makes Walter so great… we can live vicariously through him. This is why we relate to him so deeply in The Muppets, because we are Walter. All of us. We may as well just start calling Muppet fans “Walters” from now on. Walter is endearing, charming, adorable, and hilarious and I for one sincerely hope that he sticks around for a long time. The character that Peter Linz has brought to life is unbelievably delightful and impossible not to love, and I’m so glad that Walter was chosen to headline this new movie… because he’s perfect.
But why do the Muppets need Walter, you ask? Because Walter reminds the Muppets of why they do what they do. Walter gives the Muppets hope that someone, somewhere loves their work and appreciates their talents. The Muppets need Walter for the exact same reason they need us: because he keeps them going. Walter reminds the Muppets why singing, and dancing, and making people happy is so noble. He reminds them why they should write their own endings. The Muppets need Walter because he needs them. It’s a beautiful relationship based on love and amazement, and it plays out so perfectly in The Muppets that you will sincerely wonder if Walter was modeled after you.
Welcome to the Muppet world, Walter. We’re so glad to have you.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, firstname.lastname@example.org