Melinda Sue Gordon
Liane Bonin
July 30, 1999 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Sure, they’re made out of little bits of felt and have plastic eyeballs, but that doesn’t mean the fuzzy stars of ”Muppets From Space” don’t have something important to say. ”I think we’ve become a very cynical society, and even though the goal of this movie is to entertain, there’s an underlying layer about being compassionate and caring for other people that’s very positive,” costar Andie MacDowell, who plays Miss Piggy’s newscasting nemesis in the movie, tells EW Online. ”It’s not fluff.”

And it’s not just greasy kid stuff, either. MacDowell, who admits that she ”completely believes she’s talking to Miss Piggy” once the cameras are rolling, thinks we could all use a Muppet infusion to get in touch with our inner children. ”Look at the types of programs that are on TV,” says the mother of three. ”I think our society has declined to a certain degree with the Jerry Springer-type shows. You wouldn’t have seen that even 20 years ago. Any moment we can have relief and be childlike, we should grab it.”

Well, not any moment. The actress doesn’t give the thumbs up to every Teletubby or Power Ranger that aspires to the Muppets throne. ”The Muppets are a higher art form,” the 41-year-old actress concedes. ”I’ve watched ‘Barney,’ and I don’t want to give ‘Barney’ a hard time, but it’s just not the same thing (as the Muppets). The Muppets are made for children but can still captivate an intelligent mind, and that’s why they’ve lasted.”

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