Melissa McCarthy and her partner take on a case that dares to bare the string in The Happytime Murders trailer.

News Den of Geek Staff

May 18, 2018

Just when you thought you had seen every type of buddy cop film, here comes one you never could have expected: a puppet comedy noir. Indeed, The Happytime Murders is a deliciously high-concept film in the vein of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, in which puppets and humans interact as seamlessly as they do any Muppet film… save the puppets in this are getting murdered by a serial killer. It’s Chinatown meets A Muppet Christmas Carol, which is likely why Brian Henson–the director of A Muppet Christmas Carol–is helming this one himself. Here’s what you need to know.

You can watch the trailer here:

The Happytime Murders Release Date

The Happytime Murders opens on Aug. 17, 2018. So prepare yourself for the dog days of summer to be made of barking puppets.

The Happytime Murders Story

Selling the concept better than any synopsis, Melissa McCarthy gave this statement about the film: “When a really good script combines puppet strippers, Los Angeles’ underbelly, and comedy, it’s like my fever dream has finally come true.”

But if you’re still not sold, here is the official synopsis for the movie:

In a world where puppets and humans live side-by-side the puppet stars of the iconic TV show The Happytime Gang are some of the biggest celebrities around. But off camera, the family-friendly cast leads the kinds of lives that would make a tabloid writer blush. When the stars of “The Happytime Gang” are mysteriously murdered, two mismatched detectives – one a type-A, take-no-prisoners human with a secret, and the other a crass, hard-drinking puppet with a connection to one of the victims – must put aside their huge differences to stop the killings and catch the culprit, while resisting the temptation to murder each other.

From further casting information though, we can deduce that the plot of this “comedy noir” to be more specifically focused on a puppet private eye and disgraced cop named Phil Phillips (Bill Barretta), a gumshoe investigating the murder of his brother. He soon learns the killer is operating deep in the felt-underbelly of LA and is also knocking off cast members of The Happytime Gang family show from the 1980s. Worse still, the mysterious murderer is also targeting Phil’s ex-girlfriend, Jenny (Elizabeth Banks). So Phil will need to team with his ex-partrner on the force, Det. Edwards (Melissa McCarthy) to bring the fiend to justice.

The Happtyime Murders Cast

The film is directed by Jim Henson Company stalwart Brian Henson, who previously directed The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island, as well as various television projects. So it’s clear he is a man who has his hand on the pulse of what audiences want out of puppet entertainment. But its human cast is also absolutely stacked with fleshy talent too.

Obviously, the lead role is Melissa McCarthy as Det. Edwards, a character described as “type-A” and one with a secret. The film also features Elizabeth Banks as Jenny, a burlesque dancer and Phil’s ex-lover. Maya Rudolph has been cast as Bubbles, Phil’s secretary, while Joel McHale will play a stern FBI officer also investigating the case.