Best of the Muppets Featuring the Muppets' Wizard of Oz


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Best of the Muppets Featuring the Muppets' Wizard of Oz Review

by Heather Phares

The Muppets: Wizard of Oz is something of a motley release, featuring six songs from the Ashanti-starring ABC TV movie, as well as "The Best of the Muppets," nine favorites from The Muppet Show and the classic Muppet movies. The songs from The Muppets: Wizard of Oz don't hold a candle to the classic Muppet songs -- to say nothing of The Wizard of Oz or The Wiz -- but they're not terrible either. "When I'm With You" is the equivalent of "If I Only Had a Brain," with Ashanti's Dorothy (who now lives in a Kansas trailer park and yearns to be a singing star) commiserates with the brilliantly cast Kermit (Scarecrow), Gonzo (Tin Man) and Fozzie Bear (Cowardly Lion). This song and "Good Life" aren't quite as sharp as the Muppet productions' best songs, but they're pleasant enough and serve the story well. It's only fitting, though, that Miss Piggy (as the Wicked Witch of the West, natch) gets the standout song, the gleefully evil "The Witch Is in the House." Backed by Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem Band, she brings some much-needed bite and wit to the proceedings. "The Best of the Muppets" part of the disc more or less delivers what it promises: a concise collection of Muppets' moments, including "Mahna Mahna," the Electric Mayhem Band's bashed-out cover of "Tenderly," and Kermit's classics "(It's Not Easy) Bein' Green" and "Rainbow Connection." A bigger and better collection of Muppets songs, along the lines of The Muppet Show: Music, Mayhem and More! The 25th Anniversary Collection, might be better for already converted fans, but The Muppets: Wizard of Oz is a decent introduction for kids who are just discovering the magic of the Muppets through this movie.

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