Why Generation X loves the Muppet Movie

GOOD NEWS on the culture front: Yes, the latest “Twilight’’ film topped the box office last weekend, but a lot of Generation Xers dragged their kids to “The Muppet Movie’’ instead.

This is partly a matter of deftly marketed nostalgia: Now that a generation raised on consumer culture is immersed in parenting, everyone is trying to cash in. This holiday season, Toys “R’’ Us is re-airing vintage 1980s ads. Nickelodeon is thinking of airing “Brady Bunch’’ reruns at night, with pop-up thought bubbles that tell us what Carol was really thinking. At the movies, I’ve sat through computer-updated versions of “The Smurfs’’ and “Alvin and the Chipmunks,’’ all of which seemed calculated, unnecessary, and largely unfunny.

“The Muppet Movie’’ feels different: not a reboot for modern sensibilities and wallets, but an effort to recapture something lost. At the multiplex last weekend, it was the parents who were laughing the loudest, bouncing up and down blissfully at the sight of that old “Muppet Show’’ set. The world of the Muppets is as crudely low-tech as ever; Kermit the Frog’s head presumably still has a hand inside it. But even to jaded GenXers, his personality feels real.

Read the rest of the column from the Boston Globe here.

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