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Kermit's Swamp Years (2002)

G  |  Video  |   |  Comedy, Family, Fantasy  |  3 September 2002 (USA)
5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 785 users  
Reviews: 20 user | 7 critic

At 12 years old, Kermit the Frog and best friends Goggles and Croaker travel outside their homes in the swamps of the Deep South to do something extraordinary with their lives.

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(teleplay), (teleplay) (as Joseph Mazzarino) , 1 more credit »
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Title: Kermit's Swamp Years (Video 2002)

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Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
...
Waldorf (voice)
...
Goggles / Turtle #1 (voice) (as Joseph Mazzarino)
John Kennedy ...
Alice Dinnean ...
...
Statler (voice)
...
Pilgrim / Kermit's Mom (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jarrod W. Amos ...
Ryan H. Amos ...
William Bookston ...
...
Hampton Dixon ...
Carolyn Green ...
Drew Haggard ...
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Storyline

Kermit the Frog (Whitmire) whilst on his travels back to the swamp he grew up on, remembers one of his earlier adventures. Kermit, Croaker (Barretta), Goggles (Mazzarino) and Blotch (Kennedy) are sent on a wild adventure into the outside world, when Croaker and bully Blotch and kidnapped and placed in a pet store. It's now up to Kermit and Goggle, with help from a friendly dog called Pilgrim (Summer) to save them. But someone else has his eye on them. Dr Krassman (Hostetter) wants to buy all the frogs and use them in biology lessons. Written by Film_Fan

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

His true story, warts and all.

Genres:

Comedy | Family | Fantasy

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

3 September 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Rainbow Connections  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Kermit, Croaker and Goggles are saved by Arnie the Alligator from Dr. Krassman and his assistant Mary. Arnie the Alligator is the same gator that attacks Bernie the Agent that tells Kermit about the auditions for frogs in Hollywood in "The Muppet Movie". However, they use a Muppet alligator for this movie instead of a realistic looking mechanical alligator. See more »

Goofs

In the scene where Young Kermit, Croaker, and Pilgrim are under the bench in George Washington High School, a dark moving figure (possibly Bill Barretta) is seen moving with Croaker. See more »

Quotes

Waldorf: It sure was nice of the frog to let us be in this movie.
Statler: So people could see how young we look?
Waldorf: No, so we wouldn't have to watch it!
See more »

Connections

Follows Muppet Classic Theater (1994) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
"Kermit's Swamp Years" Does Not Reach Jim Henson's High Standards, but Kids May Like It
30 October 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I try not to rip on films made specifically for young children because I know there were films I loved when I was a kid that established movie critics trashed. For instance, I have fond memories of watching "The Chipmunk Adventure" (1987) as a child. However, at the time it was released into theaters, Siskel & Ebert were unabashed at expressing their hatred for the film, stating how the Chipmunks' and Chipettes' voices annoyed them the most, and the diamond theft operation plot was unoriginal. Hey, I still love the movie, even though it was a box office flop.

"Kermit's Swamp Years" is a direct-to-video film that will probably appeal to children, but probably not to adults. I admired some things about the story, but it has nothing on "The Muppet Movie" (1979), "The Great Muppet Caper" (1981), or "The Muppet Christmas Carol" (1992).

This movie could be considered a prequel to "The Muppet Movie", since we see Kermit in the beginning of that movie famously playing a banjo in his swamp homeland. Here, Kermit returns to the swamp, and breaks the fourth wall by telling the viewers about when he was 12, and his frog friends Croaker and Goggles, decide to venture out from the safety of their swamp into the "real world". Almost immediately after seeing the dirt road outside the swamp area, Kermit and company are hunted down by haughty, 9th grade biology teacher Hugo Krassman (John Hostetter) and his cute, but inept, assistant Mary (Kelly Collins Lintz). While escaping them, Goggles is captured by a well-meaning pet shop owner and taken into the town of Leland. Kermit and Croaker, with the help of a stray dog named Pilgrim, go into the town to find him, and the story really takes off.

The main strength of this movie is the conflict, namely frog versus world. I liked how the climax involved a high school biology class, and how frogs were routinely taken in to be dissected (in my high school, we dissected pigs, but that's another story). While John Hostetter was delightfully over the top, I couldn't help but think of Peter Ustinov when I watched him act. I suppose that's good for his character. If Ustinov was alive today, this would have been a great role for him.

While the conflict had the power to elicit a good story, I wasn't a big fan of Goggles. I got that he was an obsessive compulsive frog who was afraid of, or allergic to, everything, but he came off as very whiny to the point of sheer annoyance. Of course, Kermit had to put up with other Muppets with annoying character traits on "The Muppet Show", so it would be natural to still save his friend anyway. I have always respected that nobility of Kermit. Seriously.

I also thought there was a nice subtle tribute to Jim Henson in this movie, as Kermit walks along and passes by a boy who sees him. The boy is standing in front of his house, and the mailbox you see has the name "Henson" on it. The closeup on the mailbox wasn't necessary, though, as if the audience couldn't figure that one out for themselves. Also, I wish the boy did more than just look at Kermit.

Probably one of the main reasons this film went directly to video was because the songs weren't very memorable. There could have been a better song written for Kermit to sing as he gases upon a star in the sky. "When You Wish Upon A Star" (from "Pinocchio" (1940)) can't be the limit to songs about stars in kids films. I also thought the song the rabbit sang about how great it is to be a pet was not good enough. Given the great songs Paul Williams wrote for "The Muppet Movie" and "The Muppet Christmas Carol", it was a shame they could not get him to write songs for this movie.

Also, being a huge Muppet fan, I was a little let down that only two Muppets from "The Muppet Show", Statler & Waldorf a.k.a. "The Two Old Guys On The Balcony", made a cameo in this movie. Although an overload of Muppets would have hurt this movie, I thought it would have been cool to have Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker appear even briefly in the high school lab. The voice of the star calling for Kermit sounded quite a bit like Miss Piggy too, yet that cameo would have been a stretch, especially considering how hard it must be to hire Frank Oz these days.

The film also had a missed opportunity to see the other frogs all grown up. The familiar older Kermit serves as a framework for this story. When it ends, it shows him heading into the swamp because, he says, he is still friends with Croaker and Goggles. You hear their voices, but you don't see them, and that made for a clunky ending.

So Muppet fans like myself may be disappointed that this film doesn't live up to the high quality of the previous, theatrically-released Muppet films. However, I bet kids will like it, and I can't fault them for liking such a movie. If "Kermit's Swamp Years" obtains a cult following, what right do I have to tell people they can't like a film? It's something I try not to do anyway.


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