Ryan Dosier – Every year on Thanksgiving Day, I struggle to come up with a post. Sure, I could do the obligatory “Happy Thanksgiving, Muppet Fans” post (Happy Thanksgiving, Muppet fans, by the way), but I always feel like I should give a little more to those I’m so thankful for. So, inevitably, every year I post a “What I’m Thankful For” article. Usually, it just includes Muppet things I’m thankful for… and usually it’s hastily written because I’m being drawn by enticing smells at the time of writing. One of these usuallys will occur below, the other might not. I don’t really know. I’m still riding the Muppet high of yesterday so I’m a little off my game, I admit.
What I’m Thankful For…
I am thankful for so very much this year, when I think about it. But I think above all I’m 100% excited and thankful for a brand new Muppet movie in theaters. I’m not just thankful that there is a new movie, I’m thankful that there is an excellent new movie. The Muppets is currently among not only the best reviewed films of 2011, but with 97% fresh ratings at Rotten Tomatoes, it sits among the best reviewed films of the past couple years, at least–which is just nuts. I really just can’t explain how thrilled and proud and ecstatic I am for the Muppets and The Muppets. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I had no part in production of this movie, but I feel such a deep, personal connection to it that every time someone says they love it, my heart swells like a proud father. I just keep quoting “Life’s a Happy Song” (because, hey, why the heck not?!), but, “Everything is great, everything is grand, I’ve got the whole wide world in the palm of my hand! Everything is perfect, it’s falling into place, I can’t seem to wipe this smile off my face!”
Of course, I’m also beyond thankful for everyone involved in making The Muppets and making it a success. From director James Bobin, to producers David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman, to the set designers, the choreographer, the make-up people, the costume designers, the puppet builders, all of the cameo stars, Rashida Jones, Chris Cooper, Amy Adams, Nicholas Stoller for co-writing the script, and, of course, Jason Segel, whose passion and drive and idea made this movie a reality. However, the people I’m most thankful for are the Muppeteers, Steve Whitmire, Dave Goelz, Eric Jacobson, Bill Barretta, Matt Vogel, David Rudman, and Peter Linz. They say that every movie is the sum of its parts, and having one person out would change it completely. Well, having these seven unbelievably talented men on the project absolutely would have changed the film for the worst. Kermit’s soulfulness, Gonzo’s insanity, Fozzie’s gentle goofiness, Rowlf’s hilarity, Floyd’s perfect attitude, Scooter’s return to prominence, and Walter’s beyond perfect entrance into the Muppet family… none of these things would exist in The Muppets if not for the Muppeteers. So, above all, I’m thankful for them, their families, and their characters for everything they’ve done for the world, and everything they’ve done for me. I can never show them enough thanks.
I’m also thankful for Sesame Street and Sesame Workshop. Yes, with all of the excitement of The Muppets, the show that has been sweeping the clouds away for 42 years has sort of taken a back seat, unfortunately. But that doesn’t mean that Sesame has stopped, by any means. Every day, the Street and the Workshop help kids all over the world, and there is honestly no more important thing they could be doing. These noble people who delight children with Big Bird, Elmo, Grover, Abby Cadabby, and everyone are some of my heroes. Their work defines children’s lives, and shapes them for the better.
And, of course, I’m thankful for my unbelievably supportive family and friends, who make all of this possible. Without their support and love I couldn’t do all of this… for many reasons. Thank you all!
The thing I’m most thankful for, though, is you. Yes, you. You’re here, you’re reading The Muppet Mindset, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that. Yesterday we hit our highest number of visitors ever, with exactly 4,500 in one day. That is absolutely unreal to me… and I honestly wish I could thank each and every one of you personally. Thank you so much for your fandom, your support, your help, your comments, your likes, your retweets, your mentions… it honestly means more than the world. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, and again, and again… if it weren’t for all of you, there would be no Muppet Mindset. I’m thankful for you.