It’s time for another round of Muppet Casting, where we take a famous movie and ask, if Jim Henson’s Muppets made their own version of it (in the vein of The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island), which Muppets would you cast in the lead roles?
This week, it’s Disney’s Beauty and the Beast!
Kermit the Frog as Belle – It requires some crossdressing, but Kermit would be quite fantastic as Belle. If you take the Kermit from the start of The Muppet Movie, who’s starting to yearn for something beyond his old familiar swamp, something like what he’s seen in the movies, then he’s a clear match to Belle’s desire for something beyond her provincial village life, something like what she’s read about in books. Plus, they’re both the only sensible and level-headed characters amongst a cast of eccentric oddballs.
Link Hogthrob as Gaston – The embodiment of male ego and shallowness who can’t conceive of anyone not being enamored with him? It’s just gotta be Link.
Fozzie Bear as LeFou – Fozzie is ideal for the cheerful, devoted, but terribly incompetent sidekick role, even if it’s to the villain instead of the hero this time. I considered Dr. Julius Strangepork for the part, since he’s usually Link’s designated Number Two, but if I went that way, I’m not sure I could have found a role for Fozzie elsewhere in the cast.
Dr. Bunsen Honeydew as Maurice – An absent-minded professor whose curiosity and inventions are more likely to explode or cause huge problems for everyone than anything else. What other choice was there?
Miss Piggy as The Beast – Gender aside, Piggy is perfect for the Beast. The arrogance, the temper, the sense of entitlement, as well as the core (deep, deep down) of a genuinely sweet person: it’s all there. Only downside I see is that Piggy would absolutely refuse to let the Beast costume make her look at all unattractive, so you’d probably get some wacky backstage antics as the other Muppets try to trick her into the costume . . . huh, did I say downside? ‘Cause I meant the opposite of that.
Gonzo the Great as Lumière – Gonzo is a bit more off-kilter and a bit less lecherous than Lumière, but they’re both the guys who, when put in this serious situation, are likely to take it not at all seriously and focus more on the latest escapade.
Sam the Eagle as Cogsworth – What other Muppet can pull off Cogsworth’s stuffiness and ineffectual rebukes of the weirdos around him?
Hilda as Mrs. Potts – The Muppets are already pretty light on female characters. For older, matronly female characters? Hilda’s about all we’ve got.
Elmo as Chip – Even Robin isn’t quite young enough to really be right for Chip. It took dipping into the Sesame Street roster, but I think Elmo can get the job done.
Those are my picks for a Muppet rendition of Beauty and the Beast. What are yours?