Weekly Blog October 17th, 2021: Muppets Haunted Mansion

Hello Internet!

I hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy. I am currently enjoying this Autumn weather and it’s really getting me ready for Halloween. It’s not too far away now so it’s time to get ready for all the spooks and scares. Since I’m not a big fan of horror, Halloween is more of a casual Autumn holiday full of candy which works perfectly for me. I know some people are big on watching horror movies this time of year but I’d rather just eat some candy corn while watching a less scary movie like the subject matter of this week’s Weekly Blog.

However, before we talk about something that is spooky and Muppet-y, let’s quickly talk about the pieces I’ve published in the past week. Last Sunday I published a Weekly Blog talking all about Netflix’s Castelvania Series. If you haven’t watched the series, just know that the Weekly Blog is full of spoilers. I tried to keep some of it vague, but I’ll just say that you should probably watch it before reading my review of it. Even if you don’t plan on reading the blog, I still recommend you watch Castlevania. The animation is great, the action is great, the villains are great, and the protagonists are great! It’s all great! On Wednesday I published a Haiku titled “Halloween Spirits.” Like I said, spooky season is upon us and very soon spirits and ghouls will start roaming the streets looking to cause quite a fright. So beware these Halloween spirits! On Friday I published the latest chapter in my Dungeons and Dragons inspired series titled “Final Preparations.” Following the important conversations the party has shared among themselves and the King of Mardrec, they have decided that now is the time to make their way to Frost Haven. Even though the army has left them behind, the group convinces Pria that a small group is better anyway. Now there are a few things the group of adventurers must wrap up before they leave. Lastly, I published the latest chapter of my Pokemon Fanfiction titled “Pokémon HGSS #32: Ruins of Alph Part 2.” Jonathan and Beatrice recently traveled from Olivine City to the Ruins of Alph on Morty’s intuition that the strange happenings around the ruins has something to do with the missing Pokemon, Entei. After Jonthan and Betarice solved the puzzle of the Ruins of Alph they find themselves underground in the ruins where strange Pokemon called Unown are found. If you have not read any or all of those pieces and are looking for something to read after you finish this Weekly Blog, I highly recommend you check out those other pieces.

Now moving on from what I’ve published this past week, I want to talk about what I’ve watched this past week. I know that a lot of my Weekly Blogs recently (recently as in anything from now all the way back to June or July) have been focused on what I’ve watched. And that’s in part to the fact that there are so many things to watch. Between all the streaming services, live sports, movies coming back to theaters, YouTube videos, and Twitch streams, there is a lot of content to watch. And I try to cast a wide net with the stuff I watch. I’m watching What If on Disney Plus, Squid Game on Netflix (still haven’t finished it yet but it’s really good), and tons of stuff on YouTube and Twitch. I also read and play videogames but those experiences usually take a lot longer to finish. Like I’ve been reading a novel off and on for a couple months now and I want to make a Weekly Blog about it once I finish, but it’s so hard to find the time to sit down and read. I know, I know. I can already hear you say, “Hey why don’t you just watch less stuff and read more.” What are you, me? Of course I should do that, but it’s all about making the time. That tangent aside, I was really rushing to get a lot of writing done and I wasn’t sure what I was going to talk about in this Week’s Weekly Blog. That’s when I remembered that Disney Plus had just released a new Muppets special, “Muppets Haunted Mansion” and when I saw it was less than an hour, I knew it was perfect. So I watched Muppets Haunted Mansion and I want to share my thoughts with you.

FIrst of all I have to say that I love the Muppets. My Mother grew up with the Muppets and absolutely loved them. She then passed her love of the Muppets onto me and my brothers. We grew up watching Sesame Street and when we got a little older, we watched old episodes of the Muppet Show and movies like Muppets Treasure Island. I still believe Muppet Treasure Island and The Muppet Christmas Carol are the best versions of those stories. Anyway, I’m a big fan of the Muppets. Now Haunted Mansion is something I’m a little less familiar with. I vaguely remember going on the ride when I got to go to Walt Disney World on an 8th Grade Field Trip. I also remember bits of the 2003 Haunted Mansion movie with Eddie Murphy. Honestly most of my knowledge comes from the Documentary on Disney Plus called “The Imagineering Story” which highlights the different eras of the Disney Parks and all the engineering and imagination that goes into them. This documentary made me appreciate a ton about the Disney parks including rides like The Haunted Mansion. Really at the end of the day, I was excited for more Muppets content and a Halloween special centered around The Haunted Mansion sounded pretty good.

So how was it? Well I kind of have mixed opinions about it. The simple answer is that it’s fine. It’s good. If you are watching this as a family with kids, then I’m sure they will love it. It’s the Muppets, what’s not to love? To me though it was just alright. It’s kind of hard to pinpoint the exact reason it didn’t really blow me away, but I feel like it’s just a lot of small things. For me this special comes off as incredibly safe. I don’t really like that criticism a lot of the time, but I feel like it kind of fits this special. The Muppets are fun and wacky and they can get kind of out there. But in this special, things are just kind of bland. The plot is kind of generic, the songs are not that catchy, and the celebrity cameos are just ok. All of it comes together pretty good but just doesn’t really reach a level that I was hoping for. A lot of Muppet things can become instant classics that will make me want to go back to it over and over again, but Muppets Haunted Mansion just doesn’t do that for me. And I want to be perfectly clear. It’s possible that this special isn’t for someone like me. I’m sure kids will watch this and love it. Parents will probably enjoy it too. But since I’m just a single dude in my mid-twenties, I didn’t enjoy the special as much as I hoped. Like I was planning on coming in here and giving this special all sorts of praises, however after watching it I’m just a little disappointed in it.

I really do hope that Disney continues to use the Muppets in interesting ways and continues to put out more specials. The Muppets are beloved and so many people will jump at any opportunity to support anything that is connected to Muppets. And Disney Plus seems like a great place to experiment with the Muppets. They produce so many animated shorts and other one off things for Disney Plus and I think they could use the Muppets in cool ways on the platform. Even their short series they did called Muppets Now took the Muppets and gave them their own online show, like The Muppet Show for the digital era. Was it a good show? Well, not really. Some of the ideas were interesting but the execution wasn’t the best. My worry is that we are in an era where the Muppets are just meh and not iconic. Of course I know it’s silly to worry about an IP that a multi-billion dollar corporation owns, but I just want cool stuff for people to enjoy. I hope that we can look back on this era of the Muppets as just a small rough patch before a Muppets renaissance. 

Thank you so much for reading that Weekly Blog all about Muppets Haunted Mansion. Have you watched the special? If you did, what did you think about it? Did you like it? Love it? Hate it? Do you agree with me that it was just kind of meh? Please let me know your thoughts down in the comments below. If you liked this Weekly Blog (regardless of Muppet opinions) you can let me know by Liking this post. When you like, comment, and share, you let me know what sort of content you really enjoy. You can also Follow me here on WordPress. I’m building a positive and creative space on the internet and I’d really appreciate it if you joined by Following. We are getting very close to 800 Followers and it would make me so happy if we could hit that goal by the end of the year. I really do appreciate all the love and support I get from readers new and old including all my lurkers out there. I want to thank all of you and let you know how much I value all of you. Now if you excuse me I’m going to go watch Muppet Treasure Island.

Thank you again and I hope you have a wonderful week!


Header Photo Credit to Disney Parks Blog

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