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YMMV / The Muppets' Wizard of Oz

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  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Quentin Tarantino's cameo comes right the flip out of nowhere, drags everything to a screeching halt, has little (if anything) to do with the actual movie itself, and upon its conclusion is never mentioned again. It also is a rather jarring shift in tone and seems to serve no other purpose than for the movie to say "Hey, look everyone! We got QT! Isn't that awesome?!" The page linked under So Okay, It's Average below insisted that the scene would have been funnier if it showed up directly after a commercial break.
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  • Fanon Discontinuity: Widely considered to be the worst Muppet movie and was quickly swept under the rug when a much-more appealing one came along six years later.
  • Heartwarming Moments:
    • Dorothy going back to the house with in the midst of a tornado just for Toto. It's especially sweet because he's a prawn rather than something traditionally cute, so you know she really cares about him.
    • Gonzo helping Fozzie cross the log.
    • The musical number "I'm With You". While it's nothing special admist the other songs in the Muppet music library, it is rather cute since we get a scene that exhibits the characters truly care about each other. This widely called out as one of the few good things about the film.
    • Dorothy's goodbye to the Muppets.
  • He Really Can Act: Many believe one of the film's only bright spots is Rickey Boyd's spot-on Scooter. He was so good that, apparently, Dave Goelz and Steve Whitmire both complimented him afterwords for how good it was. While David Rudman does a great job as Scooter too, one wonders why Rickey's stint as Scooter consisted of this film and nothing else...
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  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Queen Latifah (Aunt Em) and David Alan Grier (Uncle Henry) would later go on to co-star in NBC's live musical version of The Wiz as the Wiz and the Cowardly Lion respectively.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The Wicked Witch tries to murder Dorothy, the Lion and Toto alive with buzzsaws and before that, she has her minions shred the Scarecrow and Tin Man to pieces...literally. Why hurt the latter two? Just For the Evulz!
  • Older Than They Think: A lot of ideas are taken from The Wiz, especially in the stage show. Word of God confirms ABC at one point wanted to remake The Wiz, so it is possible it somehow turned into the Muppet project:
    • Glinda reprimanding Locasta (Addaperle/Tattypoo) for not telling Dorothy that the Slippers could have taken her home before with her giving the excuse that this it would have otherwise ruined the story. In the original book, we could have excused her as genuinely believing that only the Wizard could send Dorothy home and being unaware of the Slippers' true power. She does point out Glinda could probably help in the book, but mentions that she is even harder to travel to than the Wizard.
      • Locasta's counterpart being able to see Dorothy off in the end.
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    • All four witches being portrayed as sisters, although Locasta's counterpart is really the only one who acknowledges this in both. Keep in mind none of them are related in Baum's original story. This was downplayed in the movie version of The Wiz, mind you, where only the two bad witches are said to be sisters.
    • Johnny Fiama's character resembles Evilene's Lord High Underling, a Wiz character who was also cut from the film version, more than anyone in the original book. Most of the Witch's minions are meant to be unwilling slaves.
    • Aunt Em's role as the well-meaning Fantasy-Forbidding Father, with Uncle Henry being the one who keeps the peace, also resembles their portrayal in Broadway version of The Wiz. Admittedly, this is closer to their portrayal in the original books (i.e. Uncle Henry is the one Dorothy is closer towards, especially since is implied to be her dead mother's brother), so this could be a coincidence.
    • The Poisoned Poppies as a Night-Club, the Winged Monkeys as a Motorcycle Gang, and Dorothy telling her friends they never needed the Wizard's help in the first place are all famously taken from the 1978 film. Dorothy's companions are more than content with placebos in the book and the 1939 film.
  • The Scrappy: Aside from Ashanti’s poor acting, Dorothy herself isn’t exactly the most popular. She constantly complains about everything and acts disrespectful to her aunt and uncle. It doesn’t help that most of her dialogue consists of Sassy Black Woman wisecracks.
  • So Okay, It's Average: At least by the standards of modern Muppet productions. Even those who liked the movie had at least one gripe with something.
  • Squick: Pepe touching Gonzo's nipples. Just... UGH.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: The first Good Witch's interaction with the Munchkins.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • It's actually pretty sad to watch Gonzo and Kermit, two beloved Muppet characters, get ripped apart by flying monkeys. Thankfully, we see that they're still alive and aren't torn up about it later, but we did not know that to begin with. It doesn’t help that Miss. Piggy (who we all know loves Kermit to death) ordered the monkeys to do this.
    • Gonzo was turned into a robot by the Wicked Witch so he could never love his beloved Camilla again and without Camilla, he had nothing to live for.
    • Fozzie getting laughed at by Statler and Waldorf while trying to cross the bridge. Unlike the other times they make fun of him, it’s not played for laughs. Not even in the slightest.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: We are supposed to relate to Dorothy for wanting to be famous and sympathize with her for being friendless, but she really comes off as a spoiled brat who is ungrateful for everything she has, that it’s hard for us to sympathize with her when she misses her aunt and uncle.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: After their previous literary adaptations, an adaptation of The Wizard of Oz starring the Muppets had the potential to be a lot of fun. Instead, we got a blatant knockoff of The Wiz with bad casting choices, cringe-worthy attempts at adult humor, and dated pop culture references.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: From casting Ashanti as the lead, the pop culture references, and the hip-hop music, you could call this a product of its time. There’s even a Girls Gone Wild reference! What?
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: One of the main criticisms of this movie is the amount of adult humor in it. Most of which wasn’t even prominent in other Muppet productions.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?
    • Since Kermit the Frog isn't the most brainless Muppet, the casting of him as the Scarecrow ensures that he appears prominently in the film more than it does fit a character to his personality.note  It actually would have made sense to make Kermit the Wizard (i.e. both like green, both know how to put on a show, both are leaders).
    • The casting of Pepe the prawn as Toto, originally a dog, seems to make even less sense. Presumably, he was only cast as Toto for no other reason than because they wanted him to play a prominent character (and likely also because he, like Toto, is small). Granted they do give a relatively reasonable explanation (this incarnation of Auntie Em is allergic to furry animals, so Dorothy had to get a pet that doesn't have fur).
    • When the film was first announced, most people were hoping Miss Piggy would play Dorothy (which she had during a Wizard of Oz-themed production number in the TV special The Muppets Go To The Movies in 1981, and a Muppet Babies take on The Wizard of Oz). It does not help that Piggy comes with her own dog.
    • To a degree, even with a human Dorothy, there is a whole slew of Muppet Dogs that could have been Toto, notably Rowlf (who did play Toto in the Muppets Babies version of The Wizard of Oz) or Rufus.
    • The Wizard's alternate forms being crappy CGI, when the Henson Company has been known for their lavish, realistic puppets, for some. Some viewers have defended this as a hint to the Wizard's true nature, and puppets being treated as puppets would be a Mind Screw for younger viewers.


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