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The Academy Awards has been drawing plenty of criticism this year for everything from predictable nominees to swapping hosts to dashing our dreams of seeing the Muppets perform their Oscar-nominated song live. Perhaps to appease those dismayed by this last decision, the producers of the 84th annual Academy Awards have asked The Muppets true stars, Kermit and Miss Piggy, to serve as presenters at the award ceremony's live broadcast on February 26th.
THR notes this will mark the fifth appearance of The Muppets at the Oscars. And though there's no word on what category they'll be assigned, I was somewhat satisfied with this peace offering... until I spied Deadline's headline declaring the avant-garde performance troupe Cirque du Soleil has been slated to perform. Let me say it again: The Muppets--who are sort of nominees this year--will not perform at the Oscars, but Cirque du Soleil will. No to "Man or Muppet," but yes to French-Canadians with bodysuits and hula-hoops.
This performance is being billed as a "one-time-only event" that will feature more than 50 performers, making it the largest Cirque cast ensemble ever. The specially created act will be executed to music from Academy Award-nominated composer Danny Elfman, and should serve as great exposure for the company and their upcoming 3-D feature Cirque du Soleil Worlds Away. Executive produced by James Cameron and featuring a kind-of greatest hits of Cirque du Soleil's various shows, the movie is sure to be a stunning spectacle with top-notch cinematography. Yet I can't shake the bizarre offering that Cirque du Soleil brought to the 2002 Academy Awards:
Remember this? It was an ode to stunts, or special effects, or something--because the Academy hasn't disrespected stunt performers enough.
Now, I'm sure that if you're actually in the Kodak Theater during the Cirque Du Soleil performance it will be dynamic and exciting. However, for the rest of us, who Oscar desperately hopes will tune in to watch, this will be a strange and likely overlong segment that'll probably urge us to take bathroom breaks or channel surf. The Muppets on the other hand, are literally made to please! And as an awards show that is regularly accused of being out of touch with the modern moviegoer, you would think they'd want to revel in the opportunity to piggyback on the success of a winsome comedy that was critically heralded and adored by audience members young and old!
But no, leotards and Danny Elfman music. That's good too, I guess.