Part of the fun of the buildup to Walt Disney Pictures’ reboot of The Muppets brand was the marketing, as footage taken from the 2011 release was re-cut and restructured in preview form to parody trailers for (at the time) recent and/or upcoming movies like The Hangover Part II, Green Lantern and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
So far, however, that approach has not been carried over to the trailers for this year’s Muppets Most Wanted, a sequel that sees Kermit and company getting caught up in an international caper while touring Europe. The trailers for the upcoming Muppet film have featured plenty of classic Muppet humor, but it’s only the latest TV spot (poking fun at Twitter posts) that crosses into fully-realized parody territory; at least, we assume these aren’t real Internet users (it’s kind of hard to tell).
Muppets Most Wanted looks to have the same off-beat comedic style that director James Bobin and his co-writer Nicholas Stoller (working sans Muppets co-writer Jason Segel) brought to the 2011 installment, but it remains to be seen if the story’s as sincere as its predecessor’s – the element that really endeared moviegoers to that film. Still, any flick that includes Danny Trejo and Ray Liotta in a song and dance number has to be at least half-good, right?
Additionally, just like The Muppets included the Toy Story short “Small Fry” when it showed in theaters, Muppets Most Wanted will be preceded by a six-minute Monsters University short titled “Party Central”, as was written/directed by Kelsey Mann – a story supervisor on the Monsters, Inc. prequel – and screened at the D23 convention in 2013.
Here is how EW summarizes the latest Pixar film-based short:
[In "Party Central"], Mike and Sulley and their Oozma Kappa frat brothers try to throw a monster blowout party but are dismayed to find that no one is showing up. Fortunately, they have some extra inter-dimensional doors handy, which they put to creative use (we won’t spoil how here) to get the party rocking.
The colorful (and relatable) personalities of the Oozma Kappa fraternity were certainly among the highlights of Monsters University (read our review), so a few more minutes with the gang ought to be worth their weight in fun. Maybe we’ll even get to see those party-happy ways that got Art (voiced by Charlie Day) some unspecified amount of jail-time.
Muppets Most Wanted opens in theaters on March 21st, 2014.