The Muppets gave long-time friends a new reason to rejoice while introducing a new generation to the magic of Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie and the gang. It was a box office smash and an Oscar winner that reinvigorated the Muppets brand. So expectations were high for its follow-up Muppets Most Wanted. But while the reviews were generally good, the consensus from critics was that this sequel felt not nearly as fun or impressive as the 2011 Muppets reboot.

Audiences appear to be underwhelmed as well, as Muppets Most Wanted made just $17 million opening weekend, or $12 million less than The Muppets. Even though Muppets Most Wanted was a little more than a mediocre movie, we're still hungry for more from the these beloved puppets. So, with that in mind, we're offering five guidelines Muppet moviemakers should follow moving forward.

Keep The Gang Together
Mistake: Muppets Most Wanted split up its heroes for three different plotlines, most painfully of all cutting Kermit off from his friends for most of the movie. This move made the story unexpectedly depressing. When Kermit is astonished no one noticed he was gone, Walter and Fozzie make a quick joke and we're meant to move on, but it was an ugly moment that reflected how screenwriters James Bobin and Nicholas Stoller misread the room here. The Muppets can and should bicker, but the conceit that they'd not notice an impostor in their midst was insulting and a bit grim.

Adjustment: The Muppets are at their best when they are working together toward a common goal, be it getting to Hollywood, saving the Baseball Diamond, hunting for treasure or trying to save their old theater. A plot where everyone is separated and pulling for himself or herself isn't just a buzz kill, it's contrary to their whole message of banding together to put on a show! I have no clue what the next movie will be about, but if its makers want it to be as fun and uplifting as the best of the Muppets' movies, they better keep this loud and zany ensemble together, then cause chaos from there.

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