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Muppets Haunted Mansion is a disappointment, making the Muppets subservient to a theme park ride

  • "Few brands are better suited to mine preexisting intellectual property than the Muppets," says Daniel Fienberg. "From A Christmas Carol to Treasure Island to countless parodic sketches and interludes, the synthetic ensemble has demonstrated a unique ability to smartly insert its myriad felt archetypes into almost any story. Of course, because everybody knows the resilience of the Muppet brand, too often there’s an attempt to shoehorn the beloved characters into properties with a high concept but no actual story. That’s probably why Disney+’s new holiday special Muppets Haunted Mansion doesn’t quite feel like a cash-in violation, but definitely feels like a disappointment. The Muppets are actually astonishingly well suited to the flexible outline offered by the popular Disney attraction, yet it’s a waste to make them subservient to a theme park ride rather than weaving the merits of a theme park ride around the Muppets. Muppets Haunted Mansion has almost no story, makes sparing use of its guest cast and, at only 49 minutes, still feels pointlessly padded, like getting stuck in a Doom Buggy with Gonzo and Pepe the King Prawn — surely not the worst fate in the world, but far from living up to ample potential."

    TOPICS: Muppets Haunted Mansion, Disney+, The Muppets, Halloween, Holiday Programming