How to Convince Your Kids to See The Muppets

Two words:

Mahna Mahna.

Here’s the backstory.  I’ve loved the Muppets from even before the episode of The Muppet Show starring both Mark Hamill and Luke Skywalker.  (I still wonder how they managed to pull that off.)  I may have forgotten that adoration over the years, but deep down it was always there.  When my kids were born, I remembered and embraced it. 

We bought the original Muppet Movie and while my oldest did enjoy a few viewings of it, she moved past it shortly after (she was two years old at this point) and never really looked back.

In the few years since, I’ve tried to lobby for holiday viewings of The Muppet Christmas Carol and It’s a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (both highly recommended, by the way), but to no avail.  So I watch them on my own and am content that the kids do enjoy the original Grinch cartoon and Elf.

When I heard that the Muppets were once again coming to the big screen, however, I knew there was some brainwashing to be done.

ME: (casually) Do you guys want to go see the Muppets in the movies?

THEM: No.

ME: We can get popcorn.

THEM: Can we have popcorn here?

Drat.

My wife, though, is a wonderful accomplice.  She convinced them to give me a Muppet-themed birthday dinner.  Since there are no Muppet-themed decorations (can you explain that, Party City?), she focused on gifts.  The first was a gift certificate to the movies to see The Muppets.  The kids couldn’t argue with that – but they didn’t have to be happy about it.  The second, though, was stealthier: The Green Album.  This is a CD with current artists doing Muppet classics.

For me, the album itself was a hit.  My personal favorites are Mr. Bassman by Sondre Lerche and, especially, Movin’ Right Along by Alkaline Trio.  Little did I know (though I’d hoped), that constant playing of it in the car would slowly open a Kermit-shaped window into my kids’ little minds.  Soon they were singing along.  And the one they really liked?  Mahna Mahna (emphasis on the “na”; both times).  Credit to The Fray for doing a faithful and, thus, very entertaining version.

So we’d sing it.  And then, we You-Tubed it.  (When the kids were very young, they thought every CD had an accompanying movie, or at least a video – that’s what you get when you only listen to The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and Shrek soundtracks.  Luckily for me, this time they were right.)  And when they watched it, they loved it.

Now, if you’ve never seen this little skit (it’s been done several times with several variations over the years), here’s one of the earliest (though not quite the original): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8N_tupPBtWQ.

Watch that and maybe we’ll see you at the movie too.

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