The Muppets scoops Best Song at the Oscars

The Muppets were celebrating once again The Oscars 2012 victory as they scooped the Oscar for Best Original Song at the 84th Academy Awards, for “Man or Muppet,” music and lyric composed by Bret McKenzie.

In his acceptence speech, McKenzie said, ”I grew up in New Zealand watching the Muppets on TV. I never dreamed I’d get to work with them.”

Joking about meeting Kermit for the first time, he said, “like many stars here tonight, he’s a lot shorter in real life.”

During the press conference, McKenzie discussed creating “Man or Muppet,” adding, “this was one of those musical numbers where everyone did such a great job. James Bobin, the director, did such a cool video – Jason Segel went really deep in his performance both in the recording and on screen and it just felt like one of those things that fell into place very easily.” The ceremony took place at Hollywood’s Kodak Theatre, last night, 26th February.

Released in the UK on 10th February, The Muppets has proved a huge hit with UK audiences and critics, having taken £12.8million at the UK box office to date.

The Muppets have long been known for their big musical numbers, so filmmakers made sure that Disney’s “The Muppets” not only maintained the tradition but hit it out of
the park. Both original songs and classic audience favourites are featured in the film, designed to maximize the fun and envelop audiences in the best of Muppet mayhem.

Director James Bobin, noted, “I knew Bret from ‘Flight of the Conchords, we used to watch ‘The Muppet Show’ quite a lot when we were writing ‘The Conchords’ together. We’d watch ‘Mah Na Mah Na’ and ‘Hugga Wugga’ during breaks. In one of our ‘Conchords’ episodes, we even included a Muppets tribute. So we love the Muppets. We thought about songs from the previous movies and how that would feel now. We thought about the actors Jason Segel and Amy Adams – Jason’s a good singer and has some moves, and Amy’s obviously a fantastic singer and dancer. The music is incredibly important because of the rich tradition of Muppet music.”

Bret McKenzie adds, “Music was always an integral part of the original Muppet show and Muppet films,” adds McKenzie. “It’s hard to think of the Muppets without thinking of songs like ‘Rainbow Connection’ or ‘Mah Na Mah Na,’ or Animal smashing a drum. Kermit is probably the world’s most famous banjo player. I loved the original Muppets sound and I wanted this film to stay in that world. I tried to use as much banjo as possible.”

Disney’s “The Muppets” is directed by James Bobin (“Flight of the Conchords,” “The Ali G Show”) and produced by the Academy Award®-nominated team David Hoberman andTodd Lieberman (“The Fighter,” “The Proposal”) with a screenplay written by Segel & Nicholas Stoller (“Get Him to the Greek”), who also serve as executive producers along with John G. Scotti and “The Muppet Show” veteran Martin G. Baker.

Bret McKenzie, who created, co-wrote, executive-produced and starred in the hit HBO television series “Flight of the Conchords,” is the music supervisor as well as the writer/producer of three original songs. Original score is by Christophe Beck, Michael Rooney is the choreographer, Rahel Afiley is the costume designer, and James Thomas is the editor. Steve Saklad is the production designer, and Don Burgess, ASC, is the director of photography.

The cast, which includes Kermit the Frog (“The Muppet Movie,” TV’s “The Muppet Show”), Miss Piggy (“The Muppet Christmas Carol”), Segel (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Bad Teacher”), three-time Academy Award® nominee Adams (“The Fighter,” “Doubt”), Fozzie Bear (“The Muppets Take Manhattan”), Gonzo (“The Great Muppet Caper”), Walter and Academy Award winner Cooper (“The Town,” “Adaptation.”), also features Rashida Jones (“Parks and Recreation,” “The Social Network”). Honoring the Muppet tradition, celebrity cameos include Donald Glover, Leslie Feist, Alan Arkin, Kristen Schaal, Eddie “Piolín” Sotelo, Ken Jeong, James Carville, Rico Rodriguez and Judd Hirsch. “There are more cameos, but I can’t talk about them,” says Kermit. “One of the ways the Muppets get big stars to be in our movies is by promising not to tell anyone about it—besides, it’s more fun when you’re watching the movie and are surprised by who shows up.

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