Muppets Haunted Mansion–In time for Halloween, new Muppets movie looks like the real deal, complete with original performers

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The ninth big-screen film starring Jim Henson′s wacky, warm, and wonderful Muppets is coming direct to your home next month, and bonus–at last we have a Muppets Halloween movie.  Disney+ released the trailer for Muppets Haunted Mansion, and it looks like a combination of the great, pre-Disney classic movies like The Muppet Christmas Carol–complete with ghost Muppets (or are they Muppet ghosts?), and best of all Disney tapped some original performers, including the legendary Dave Goelz (back as Gonzo, Bunsen Honeydew, Zoot, and more), and the brilliant Bill Barretta (back as Pepe, Rowlf, Dr. Teeth, and more) and David Rudman (Scooter, Janice, Beaker, and more), plus hundreds of creative production staff.  Muppets Haunted Mansion is directed by Kirk R. Thatcher, who was behind the scenes on major genre hits like Gremlins, Poltergeist, Return of the Jedi, Star Trek III, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Robocop 2, and you probably saw him in front of the camera at least once, like when he played the guy on the San Francisco bus blaring his stereo–the one who Spock puts out of commission–in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.  And the human leading the show, as the Muppets’ host in a haunted house they must stay in overnight, is the smartly cast funnyman Will Arnett (The Lego Batman Movie).

Check out the trailer below.


In the Disney era we first saw the Muppets return in the 2011 film Muppets (reviewed here), a heartwarming, family-friendly comedy.  In 2014 celebrities known for villains took center stage as cameos returned with our felt heroes in Muppets Most Wanted (reviewed here).  In 2015 a new series called The Muppets came to ABC.

Since then we saw the Muppets’ first motion picture, 1979’s The Muppet Movie, return to theaters in 2019 for its 40th anniversary, in 2018 Frank Oz and others from Henson’s original team arrived in Muppet Guys Talking, and they returned in 2020 with even more behind the scenes antics, in 2019 one of the greatest fantasy television series ever aired (not from Disney) as The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, last year Disney+ released the latest TV series Muppets Now, and this year–finally–all the episodes of 1976-1981’s The Muppet Show are streaming on Disney+.


Jim Henson’s creations have garnered recent impressive retrospectives for your library with definitive books on The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and later this year in Fraggle Rock: The Ultimate Visual History (and don’t forget Brad Meltzer’s sweet I Am Jim Henson).  Yes, nothing will stop Jim Henson’s Muppets.

Here’s the trailer for Muppets Haunted Mansion:

Starring Will Arnett, with Yvette Nicole Brown (Community), Teraji P. Henson (The Karate Kid, Hidden Figures), Darren Criss (Supergirl, Archer), and lots of cameos including Danny Trejo and Ed Asner in his final role, Muppets Haunted Mansion arrives on Disney+ October 8, 2021.

C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg

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