While living the quiet life in a swamp, Kermit the Frog is approached by a Hollywood agent to audition for the chance of a lifetime. So Kermit takes this chance for his big break as he makes the journey to Hollywood. Along the way, Kermit comes across several quirky new friends including comedic Fozzie Bear, beautiful but feisty Miss Piggy, and the Great Gonzo. But Kermit must also watch out for ruthless Doc Hopper, who plans to use him as his spokesman for his frog legs food chain.Written by
The sequences where Fozzie, Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the gang cruise around in that old Studebaker seem effortless, but they were a logistical nightmare. Kermit and Piggy each required a puppeteer, Fozzie required two, they all needed monitors, and none of them could appear in the shot. So four men squeezed underneath the dashboard of the car with their video monitors to accomplish this movie magic, but the engineering didn't stop there. James Frawley told SF Gate that they also "had a little person in the back of the car, steering and driving. We had a video camera on the nose of the car so he could see where he was going." See more »
When Kermit the Frog goes into the El Sleezo Café, he leaves his banjo outside. He is not seen to retrieve it before getting into the Studebaker with Fozzie, but he somehow reacquires it when he plays and sings "Movin' Right Along" with Fozzie. The banjo can in fact be seen in his lap just before Fozzie drives away from the cafe, it's just difficult to see. See more »
I'm Waldorf. We're here to heckle "The Muppet Movie".
Gentlemen, that's straight ahead. Private screening room D.
Yeah, they're afraid to show it in public.
[they laugh as their car proceeds forward]
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Over first few credits, Sweetums bursts out of the screen, followed by many Muppet gags See more »
A scene in which Fozzie Bear is menaced by a sailor brandishing a broken bottle was cut by the New Zealand censors as being too violent for children. See more »
A bunch of full-length movies featuring the Muppets, created by Jim Henson & Co, have been made, but "The Muppet Movie" was the first one of them all, and the first in the original trilogy, which also features "The Great Muppet Caper" and "The Muppets Take Manhattan". It was released seven years before I was born, so I obviously didn't get to see it at the time (nor did I get to see its two successors when they were first released). However, I saw a lot of the Muppets during my childhood, mostly after Henson's premature death in 1990. I finally got around to seeing this movie for the first time around the mid-nineties, after hearing the soundtrack. Unsurprisingly, I liked it at the time, and revisiting it in recent years hasn't exactly been disappointing.
One day, while Kermit the Frog sits in a swamp with his banjo after singing "Rainbow Connection", a Hollywood agent named Bernie comes by in a boat and urges him to pursue a career in Tinseltown. Kermit takes his advice and goes west. He soon meets Fozzie Bear, an unsuccessful stand-up comedian in a restaurant, and convinces him to come along. The frog is also noticed by Doc Hopper, the owner of a frog leg restaurant chain who wants Kermit to be his mascot. As a frog, Kermit is disgusted by this, so he refuses and leaves with Fozzie. On their road trip across the country, Kermit and Fozzie meet other Muppets who join them, including Miss Piggy (who soon becomes Kermit's love interest) and Gonzo. Unfortunately, as they all try to make their way to Hollywood, Doc Hopper, assisted by Max, is willing to do anything to force Kermit to become his restaurant chain's mascot, so Kermit finds himself in increasing danger!
One thing many people praise this film for is the songs, and I can understand why. There is, of course, the Oscar-nominated "Rainbow Connection" at the beginning, and more good tunes follow, such as Kermit and Fozzie's catchy road song, "Movin' Right Along", and "I'm Going to Go Back There Someday", a poignant ballad sung by Gonzo. "Never Before, Never Again", the song Miss Piggy sings when she first sees Kermit, is the only one I would consider rather weak, and their romance seems awfully sudden. The Muppets in this movie are generally lovable, just like they are on TV, and some of them provide a lot of the humour, including Fozzie, making his first appearance in the film hopelessly trying to entertain people in a restaurant with his stand-up, and, well, if you're familiar with these famous Muppets, you should know what to expect from each of them. Some of the live actors who appear briefly in the film can also be funny, such as Dom DeLuise as Bernie the Agent and Steve Martin as the "Insolent Waiter." Also, it's not 100% comedy. There are serious parts of the film which they also did well.
Watching this original Muppet movie again this year was my first time watching any of them since seeing "Muppets from Space" (one of the Muppet movies made after Henson's death, released in 1999) for the first time last year. I was very disappointed when I saw that film, which had never happened before when I watched any film or TV show featuring the popular puppet characters! Not only is that movie not very funny, I also think it's a tad too dark and cruel for the Muppets, as I stated in my review of it! However, I can't say I think the same of any of that movie's predecessors, including this one, released twenty years earlier. "The Muppet Movie" seems to be the most popular of the bunch, and since it has so much to like, not just for kids, that's understandable. I highly doubt there's much left to say about "The Muppet Movie" that hasn't been said at some point in the past thirty years, but today, it remains good family entertainment.
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