The Muppets (U)

Starring: Amy Adams, Jason Segel, Chris Cooper

It's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights... it's time to revisit the simpler days of your childhood with favourite felt-based friends The Muppets.

This revival, at once innocent and knowing, makes a little joke of arrested development in its pairing of Jason Segel and his "brother" Walter, a Muppet. Nobody bothers to doubt their connection – they're blood, and that's it. On a trip to Hollywood, Walter uncovers a plot by a dastardly plutocrat (Chris Cooper) to destroy the clapped-out Muppets studio and drill the land for oil. So Walter decides to reunite the old gang for a show that will raise the $10m needed to save the place.

A flurry of early gags pokes fun at the showbiz contrivances – Segel, on handing his fiancée (Amy Adams) a wilted bunch of flowers, says, "Sorry, that must be from the dance number I was just doing." Even the villains get to comment on their own conventions: "maniacal laughter," commands Chris Cooper of his henchmen. The jokes flag after a while, though the charm stays strong, even when the promised Celebrity Cameo turns out to be Jack Black. Is he really on a par with Miss Piggy?