Media Review: “Muppets Haunted Mansion”

With the Halloween season fast approaching, a time for great  creative ideas and spooky settings, it’s surprising that the Muppets have not capitalized on this season with a special like they have done for Christmas several times before. That is, until this year, with Muppets Haunted Mansion being released this past week. As the Muppets first full scale dive into the Halloween season, they pulled it off very well, with many tributes to the original Haunted Mansion story from Disneyland and horror movies in general. 

The special centers around Gonzo and Pepe as the former is invited to a mansion owned by the Great MacGuffin, a magician who disappeared one hundred years ago. The duo tries to survive the night, rather than go to a Halloween party with their friends. Along with Gonzo and Pepe, there are also appearances by Will Arnett as the Ghost Host, Darren Criss, Taraji Henson, and other well known faces who show up. In their adaptation of the classic Haunted Mansion story, the Muppets make several of their own comedic twists and turns with different characters being represented by Gonzo’s cast of friends. One of the most notable scenes of this caliber comes from when a group of ghosts, led by ghosts of Kermit and Fozzie, sing “Life Hereafter,” warning Gonzo and Pepe of their inevitable doom within the mansion. The other songs included in the movie are also very enjoyable with that typical Muppet charm, including Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem’s cover of “Dancing in the Moonlight,” originally by King Harvest. Another notable highlight of the movie was Pepe;  as like many Dickinson students on Yik Yak, he spent the night looking for where the party would be. 

Ultimately, Muppets Haunted Mansion is a very enjoyable twist on the Haunted Mansion story with the lovable cast of the Muppets that shows the power of being able to overcome your fears. The comedy and music are on point with the high expectation that comes with the Muppet name, and it fits perfectly with the feeling of other beloved Muppet classics. It is currently streaming on Disney+, and is a great fit for a cozy movie to watch on a dark, cold October night.