It’s no secret I had a great time in Los Angeles on the Muppets Most Wanted press trip. During that time, I had the opportunity to interview the Muppets Most Wanted songwriter, Bret McKenzie, before attending the red carpet premiere.
Bret McKenzie won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets movie in 2012.
Your song Man or Muppet won an Oscar, While working on the music for this film did you have any pressure to try to meet that kind of standard again?
Bret McKenzie: I was obviously there was a lot of pressure because of the Oscar. But really what could I do? There’s always gonna be downhill, so I just had to meet the standard, you know, I mean I was appreciative but then I had to get on with the job and just forget about that. I didn’t work on the last muppet film to win awards, you know.
So how fun was writing the songs?
Bret McKenzie: Oh it was really fun working on those, James and Nick Stoller sent me the script and they’re lots of fun, great ideas for songs and then I got to add new ideas. The first song “We’re doing a Sequel,” they had the original idea then I just started looking through the history of bad sequels and qualities of sequels and there’s so many.
And there was one lyric, in the first song, the first lyric in the song, (Singing) “We’re doing a sequel, that’s what we do in Hollywood, but everybody knows that the sequel’s never quite as good,” that felt like a great start to the movie ’cause it lets the audience know that first of all it’s a sequel and then we know that it’s possibly not as good as the last one. And it’s, you know, like that’s the way they wanted it ’cause he wants kinda the audience can’t but help go, “Oh is this gonna be better than the last one? Let’s see what they do.” So we kinda let them in on that. And that’s what I love about the Muppets – is they can do that.
The Muppets can turn to the audience and look straight at camera and talk to them about how they’re making a movie. There was one lyric in that I just went through and looked at bad sequels and the qualities in them. Like there was one lyric that Ralph the Dog was gonna sing that is in the soundtrack but not in the movie where he goes, (Singing) “We’re doing a sequel, how hard can it be? We can’t do any worse than the Godfather III.” So yeah, it was a bit of a zinger so we took that one out. But then I like how Piggy can talk about how “there’s no need to disguise,” um, “the studio considers us a viable franchise,” there’s some fun, it was really a fun song to write, yeah. It was good.
Do you get any inspiration from Flight of the Conchords for your songs on the Muppets?
Bret McKenzie: Those guys are a big influence on me. I mean, in some ways it’s the same sort of thing as writing comedy songs. I guess that’s where I learned how to write comedy songs. So I’m using the same techniques, yeah.
Question: Do you have a favorite song from this film that you wrote?
Bret McKenzie: I really like the, um, I really, I mean, I like how all of, sometimes I write songs for these things and they, I don’t like the way they turn out in the final film because I don’t like the video or something changes in the edit and, um, but I–– I really think, uh, the music’s kinda, I think it’s, the film works really well, you know, I really like the–– the final film was made and I guess my favorite would be, I don’t know, I mean, the opening’s pretty fun. I think it really gets the movie off on a–– a great note. But I do like “I’ll Get You What You Want” brackets Cockatoo and Malibu closed brackets, uh, which is–– is the frogs, the bad frog trying to woo Miss Piggy.
Take a look at McKenzie in this video with the beloved Muppets:
Make sure you check out my previous post on attending the Muppets Most Wanted red carpet world premiere. You can also check out the selection of Muppets Most Wanted fun accessories before visiting twitter and searching the #MuppetsMostWantedEvent to look at the entire experience!
Disclosure: I was provided