The Happytime Murders is many things: a murder mystery, a crime drama, a buddy cop story, a tale of diversity and inclusion, and a fallen hero’s redemption.
But it’s not safe for children.
This is the most outrageously NSFK (not safe for kids), R-rated comedy of the summer, showing how puppets behave behind closed doors without children around.
Featuring the comedic geniuses of Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, Joel McHale and Elizabeth Banks, along with the Miskreant Puppets from Henson Alternative, the film is a hilarious whodunit that is decidedly no Sesame Street.
Set in Los Angeles, The Happytime Murders explores a world where humans and puppets coexist. Like most humans, puppets run the gamut of personalities, occupations, interests and vices.
Although puppets are living among humans, they are still viewed as second-class citizens with discrimination, bigotry, and violence as they attempt to find their place in the world.
The film focuses on the fractured relationship between McCarthy as Los Angeles Police Department detective Connie Edwards, a volatile veteran of the force with issues and a wicked sugar addiction, and Bill Barretta as Phil Phillips, her disgraced former puppet partner.
The two were once a star team and the pride of the department until an incident led to Phillips’ dismissal. Having left the police force, he is now a private investigator in the City of Angels.
When several cast members of The Happytime Gang – a beloved children’s programme from the ’90s – are murdered, Edwards and Phillips must grudgingly reunite to track down the serial killer. Hilarity ensues as they fall into their old routine of constant bickering and trading insults while they infiltrate the fuzzy underbelly of Los Angeles.
Having delighted generations with their puppet creations in both TV and film, The Jim Henson Company extends its legacy with adult-focused comedy with The Happytime Murders, the first feature film from Henson Alternative, the company’s banner for exclusively adult content, and the first R-rated movie with the full support and authenticity of the Henson brand.