Better yet, it's the first time Deadly's done anything noteworthy in three decades. Now he gets to show off to a new generation of Muppet fans!
Pixar people briefly stepped in to help with the script. It shows.
The true and triumphant return of Rainbow Connection, further cementing its place as one of the greatest songs in all of fiction. Also counts as a Heartwarming Moment.
Animal also returns to the drums during this song as well. By the end he's hitting them so hard, sparks are flying!
Special mention needs to go to the single continuous shot that the song ends on. We go from watching the sub-plot of Animal's drumming addiction come to a Heartwarming end. Then we seamlessly segue off through a very close fly-over of Kermit & Piggy (pause at the right instant and you could almost call it a close-up shot of them!), highlighting their role as the heart of the Muppets and nodding to the fact that it is Kermit's song being sung. Finally, we zoom out to end on a wide shot of the entire chorus, up on stage together as one complete family (in fact, it was Animal's stepping up to the drums at the begging of the shot that truly completed the group!) This shot practically tells the movie's story of the Muppets getting back together all by itself. It's an insanely brilliant piece of filmmaking and awesome as all hell!
Sure, we all expected the giant mob of fans lining the street outside the theater at the end. But the entire street was packed like it was New Year's Eve at Times Square.
The initial trailers, expertly suckering you into thinking it's some lame cookie cutter romantic comedy before Kermit abruptly shows up.
Walter's whistle solo, all done without missing a beat.
The song "Man or Muppet" did something not even The Rainbow Connection ever has - win the "Best Original Song" category in the Academy Awards, effectively giving the franchise its first Oscar.
Camilla and her all-chicken backup singers doing an epic job of blowing up the radar with a clucked out rendition of C-Lo Green's song.
You know that part in the montage where Scooter is "off to the TED conference"? That actually happened. He speaks on the stage for 5 minutes about the validity of real-life puppets vs. CG, virtual animation in feature films with quite the enthusiasm! And the presentation isn't only for entertainment - he's bringing up valid points!
The airing of the Show Within a Show production of the Muppet Telethon comes complete with a new and complete filming of the show's opening, with a new Couch Gag every step of the way, the first such in nearly forty years. Most of the human cast were children the last time Gonzo's horn made a new ridiculous sound, and several of the younger cameo members weren't even born yet. And that is still Dave Goelz making Gonzo play the horn!
After Tex Richman cuts off the Muppet Theater's power during the telethon, Gary and Mary re-appear in LA and undo the damage.
Gary: I love it when you talk shop.
Gonzo's joining of the group. The guy rips off his business suit to reveal his Daredevil outfit ("I've been wearing this under my clothes for thirty years!") and leaps proudly off the roof of his factory into a box full of packing peanuts. He then detonates his entire business. Using a button labeled "AUTOMATIC DESTROY PLUMBING BUSINESS BUTTON." Even though Gonzo was one of the more successful Muppets after the break-up, you realize that life was never insane enough to handle him.
Kermit seems to have lost everything, and he's obviously on the verge of despair, but he turns to his team of maniacs and gives a brief but powerful Rousing Speech. "It doesn't matter if nobody believes in us, because I believe. I believe in you." It's a tearjerker, but it's also proof that Heart really is an awesome power.
The 2015 series
Just the fact that the Muppets were returning to TV regularly after almost 20 years was enough to get everyone hyped.
Another thing: Minor Muppet Chip is getting a bigger role.
Kermit's Batman Gambit to get Piggy to break up with Josh Groban (before his suggested changes ruined the show): Telling Piggy that the show's name is being changed to Josh Groban Presents Up Late with Miss Piggy.
In "Pig Out" Kermit pulls off another manipulation to get Piggy to stop going out with the crew (and keeping them out all night): remind her that she's a class or two above the common crew members. Kermit points out he learned from the best.
In "Walk The Swine", say what you will about Piggy, but there's no denying that she can do an apology like no one can! It manages to be all three moments at once.
Doubles as a meta moment for the crew as they manage to have Piggy seamlessly picked up off her desk by three male dancers and carried clear across the set in a single shot.
Earlier, she wins a sawing contest by karate chopping the end off.
In "The Ex Factor", Piggy using what Kermit told her about Denise to help him get the perfect birthday present for her, while at the same time slipping in a subtle Take That! to him about making such an awkward request of her by having the jewelry box actually be a music box that plays Kermit and Piggy's favorite couple song.
"Pigs in a Blackout"
To get around having no electricity for the band, Scooter brought in an a cappella band! What a great workaround!
They even managed to get Statler and Waldorf to sing along!
Near the end of "Going, Going, Gonzo", Gonzo (having originally planned to do the Piggy Water-sponsored cannon shoot, but backed out), to the strains of Dave Grohl & the Electric Mayhem playing "Learn to Fly", goes ahead and does the stunt anyway... and pulls it off.
The episode's Stinger: Dave Grohl having a drum duel... WITH ANIMAL!!
Dave Grohl:You win.
Animal:(at the same time) You win.
During the Most Wonderful Time Of The Year number at the end of Single All The Way, Crazy Harry is clearly noticeable, doing something noteworthy for the first time on the show.
Kermit and Piggy seem to be one step closer to getting back together!
The Muppets work their way around Piggy not being able to show her tail on TV... by wearing fake pig tails and showing them off on TV.
Pepe doing an impression of Barack Obama. The impression is spot-on, but still sounds like Pepe. Such a thing is a feat of voice acting that few people short of Mel Blanc could pull off, but Bill Barretta does it without a hitch.
The Muppets doing Up Late from Piggy's hospital room after she breaks her leg really shows that they can work their way around any problems and the result can be awesome (see the Loretta Lynn episode of the original Muppet Show).
The show won the Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Family TV Show, against shows that have been just as successful but were on the air longer, such as The Big Bang Theory, Once Upon a Time, and the previous year's winner Modern Family. Even better, this was despite the initial outcry from Moral Guardians over it not being really all that family friendly.