I’m not usually a fan of movies, or even trailers, that feel the need to reference other things, usually because those “other things” tend to be the most overused, overheated catch-alls from recent pop-culture. The Muppets were always an exception, though – it was literally decades before I realized that Kermit’s song “Lydia the Tattooed Lady” from the Muppet Show LP I owned as a child was actually a Groucho Marx number originally. Jim Henson’s knowledge of music was seemingly encyclopedic and rarely obvious.
So in this look at the new movie’s first musical number, when I see Busby Berkeley and, yes, Groucho Marx allusions again, it makes me happy, even if the Muppets have gone to those particular wells before. The idea that kids don’t need to get the references because they’re cool in and of themselves, independent of context, is what will allow for more rewatchability down the line. Or something.