The Muppets: Rebooting the Rainbow Connection

The Muppets: Rebooting the Rainbow Connection

How Henson’s characters apply even in today’s world
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There’s a certain joy found in classic films. While I’m a big fan of films with superheroes and car chases, one of my all-time favorite films is The Muppet Movie, which debuted in 1979. This magical film meshes the practical, whimsical puppets of Jim Henson’s imagination with a narrative that holds up against most reboots and original films of today. From Kermit the Frog to Fozzie Bear and Miss Piggy, we go on a journey with them, and it’s one of the most human journeys imaginable, considering the main characters are puppets. The way that The Muppets sing a song to express simple joy or to get through a rough spot offers the message that happiness is found in you, that chasing dreams and traveling endless roads only lead right back to you.

Kermit playing his banjo

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Technically speaking, The Muppet Movie was cutting edge for the late ‘70’s. To see Kermit ride a bicycle or play the banjo were true technical feats. Conceptually, the film followed the great success of Henson’s The Muppet Show, which first aired in 1976. When the film followed, these were already beloved characters. but by showing us their backstories and by weaving their collective story, the world saw old friends with fresh eyes and fell in love all over again. Henson and his team did something very smart with the film. They kept one of the most successful aspects of the weekly TV show -- celebrity cameos -- and amped it up in The Muppets.


WALDORF: "Just when you think this show is terrible something wonderful happens."

STATLER: "What?"

WALDORF: "It ends.”

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Fast-forward from 1979 to today. In an era focused mainly on reboots and screen adaptations of books, there’s been a lack of originality in most films, particularly kids’ movies. Studios and filmmakers seem to be more focused on selling than on telling. That’s why in 2011, I was delighted by director James Bobin’s film The Muppets. Far from a re-boot or re-telling, Bobin and screenwriter and actor Jason Segel, a life-long Muppet fan, re-introduced us to The Muppets. They did so without modernizing the characters and their situations, and without going edgy and dark. (And Bobin and Segel paid homage to Henson and their heroes by giving a nod to the original series and films with celebrity cameos. Dave Grohl’s “Animal” is terrific.)

The Muppets take a stand to save their old theatre in the 2011 film

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The brilliance of this film is that it makes you smile. I personally feel that with the recent installment of 2015’s Muppet TV show, we’re starting to let go of those smiles. The premise of the new show is that ABC has “modernized” The Muppets, mimicking a style last used by The Office. While initially the concept sounded clever, after watching the first episode, I decided not to continue with it. I just couldn’t fathom -- and didn’t want to fathom -- Fozzie Bear having sex with a human, or Kermit and Piggy filing divorce papers. It’s just disregarding the original purpose of the characters and their spirit.

The Puppet Office

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The Muppets immortalize the idea that there’s always some good in the world, and that youalways have a song tucked away inside of you. In the 2011 film by Bobin, the character of Walter is someone people can relate to. Despite the fact that “life’s a happy song,” he feels legitimately lost and therefore goes out to find his dream to join The Muppets, but he stumbles still.

Walter doubts his place in life

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He realizes that sometimes the reality of a current situation isn’t what you had pictured in your head. But Walter finds hope when he finds a broken-down, demoralized Muppet family. In truth, Walter is the most realistic and personal Muppet – he represents both coming to terms with yourself and all that you are, as well as honing in the joy that you find in the world, and sharing it. 2011’s The Muppets is human in every way imaginable. By the time the end credits roll, we realize that what began as a movie about a world that had forgotten The Muppets ends with the happy realization that Kermit, Fozzie, Gonzo and the crew were with us all along.

Cover Image Credit: Mashable

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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15 Thing Only Early 2000's Kids Will Understand

"Get connected for free, with education connection"

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This is it early 2000's babies, a compilation finally made for you. This list is loaded with things that will make you swoon with nostalgia.

1. Not being accepted by the late 90's kids.

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Contrary to what one may think, late 90's and early 00's kids had the same childhood, but whenever a 00's kid says they remember something on an "only 90's kids will understand" post they are ridiculed.

2. Fortune tellers.

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Every day in elementary school you would whip one of these bad boys out of your desk, and proceed to tell all of your classmates what lifestyle they were going to live and who they were going to marry.

3.Bunnicula

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You could never read this book past 8 o'clock at night out of fear that your beloved pet rabbit would come after you.

4. Silly bands.

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You vividly remember begging your parents to buy you $10 worth of cheap rubber bands that vaguely resembles the shape of an everyday object.

5. Parachutes.

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The joy and excitement that washed over you whenever you saw the gym teacher pull out the huge rainbow parachute. The adrenaline that pumped through your veins whenever your gym teacher tells you the pull the chute under you and sit to make a huge "fort".

6. Putty Erasers

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You always bought one whenever there was a school store.

7. iPod shuffle.

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The smallest, least technological iPpd apple has made, made you the coolest kid at the bus stop.

8. "Education Connection"

You knew EVERY wood to the "Education Connection" commercials. Every. Single.Word.

9. " The Naked Brothers Band"

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The "Naked Brothers Band" had a short run on Nickelodeon and wrote some absolute bangers including, "Crazy Car' and "I Don't Wanna Go To School"

10. Dance Dance Revolution

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This one video game caused so many sibling, friend, and parent rivalries. This is also where you learned all of your super sick dance moves.

11. Tamagotchi

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Going to school with fear of your Tamagotchi dying while you were away was your biggest worry.

12. Gym Scooters

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You, or somebody you know most likely broke or jammed their finger on one of these bad boys, but it was worth it.

13. Scholastic book fairs

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Begging your parents for money to buy a new book, and then actually spending it on pens, pencils, erasers, and posters.

14.Go-Gurt

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Who knew that putting yogurt in a plastic tube made it taste so much better?

15. Slap Bracelets

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Your school probably banned these for being "too dangerous".

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