So, I personally love the Muppets. Genuinely, I think Jim Henson struck a rare goldmine with that particular fiction that evolved into an incredible world with entertaining characters. The movies, the shows, variety hours, pop culture cementation across mediums and genres, etc.: I have watched virtually every incarnation at some point. Suffice to say, I was excited when a new variety special for Halloween was announced set to premiere on Disney+ this October. Admittedly, I might have set my expectations too high jonesing for some new Muppets content, and, to be perfectly frank, the new special, Muppets Haunted Mansion, was very okay.
Yeah, it wasn’t terrible, but there was hardly anything remotely memorable or particularly interesting either. The writing was about what you would expect for a mass market appeal Muppet special (funny enough but not too edgy or attempting to be subversive, sarcastic, or anything even potentially controversial). The acting from both the Muppets and live actors was fine. No one phoned it in, and the live cast certainly does seem like they are having fun being in a Muppets production, but again nothing noteworthy. The music was good. Well played and crafted, but no earworms or songs that will become synonymous with the Muppets by a long shot. The effects were okay, especially for a television style production, but there was a definite reliance on CGI and computer effects which is an odd choice for a Muppets production, but once more nothing too egregious.
I would still say that the special is entertaining enough for a watch or background playlist during a Halloween party. If you already are a DisneyPlus subscriber, definitely check it out. It’s a short, fun, Muppets filled ride that you will probably forget about an hour after viewing, but sometimes that is all you really need or want. However, after watching this one, you should most assuredly check out the other Muppet titles available on the streaming service, in particular, the grossly underrated The Muppets. (2015) television series that only got one season. Seriously, that is definitely worth a watch.