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‘How to Train Your Dragon 3’ Proves How to Finish a Trilogy

MOVIE REVIEW
While not exactly a golden rule, it is known fact that if a movie does well in the box office, chances are good that it will be followed by sequel and more often than not, we’ve come to expect that the sequel won’t measure up to the original. Add a third movie to the mix and you’re just asking for trouble. With animated movies, the expectations are often even lower. (Is anyone really surprised that the Ice Age movies keep getting worse?) But sometimes, as is the case with the Disney/Pixar Toy Story movies, we’re pleasantly surprised. Now you can add How to Train Your Dragon to that short list too.

One thing that DreamWorks Animation has understood about this series is that the story comes first, the hijinks come later. The very first Dragon movie proved that way back in 2010 with a strong story and with each chapter that has come after it, that story just keeps getting better. What started out as a cute kid’s story has become a powerful trilogy. We've seen these chara…

Brian Henson Just Might Be Slowly Killing His Father’s Muppet Empire

Brian Henson
Brian Henson (Wikimedia)

 MOVIES 

Does Brian Henson actually hate his father’s legacy of creating wholesome entertainment for kids as well as their parents? The son of Jim Henson, the famous puppeteer and creator of the Muppets appeared on the very first episode of Sesame Street. This week, Sesame Workshop, the creators of the children’s show, is suing him. Next week, a judge “scheduled a hearing next week to consider a request for immediate relief by Sesame Workshop,” reports USA Today.

Henson’s latest directing project is The Happytime Murders which red-band trailer is being released during some screenings of Deadpool 2. The trailer portrays Muppet-looking puppets performing some very un-Muppet-like behavior (including sex acts) which the lawsuit states that the Sesame Street brand will be harmed. The trailer begins with the words, “After 35 years of entertaining children, the director of A Muppet’s Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island and Muppets Tonight is finally ready to reveal what goes down when kids aren’t around” and then precedes to show puppet prostitutes, puppets getting shot to smithereens, lots of swearing and the words, “No Sesame, All Street.”

The Happytime Murders poster
(STX Films)
The new adult comedy/thriller stars Melissa McCarthy as a human detective investigating a series of grisly puppet murders. The film also stars Elizabeth Banks, Maya Rudolph and Joel McHale. At least one Muppet puppeteer, Bill Baretta, is also involved.

Henson, who also served as the Executive Producer of the animated faith-based film, The Star which was released last year, made headlines for firing Steve Whitmire who was the voice of Kermit the Frog for 27 years. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Henson said that he should have let Whitmire go before he sold the company to Disney in 2004. After making claims that Whitmire was difficult to work with, Henson then said that he felt that Whitmire had “flattened out” Kermit’s personality over the years and thought Kermit had a “wry intelligences” and “a little bit of naughtiness” that didn’t come through with Whitmire’s interpretation. If The Happytime Murders is a reflection of the “naughtiness” Henson is speaking of, count me out. And I’m not the only one. Many longtime fans are crying “foul” in response to the trailer as well.

It should be noted that Disney has no involvement in The Happytime Murders movie. It is being distributed by STX Films and is expected to open in theaters on August 17.

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