The Muppet Movie (1979)

G   |    |  Adventure, Comedy, Family


The Muppet Movie (1979) Poster

Kermit and his newfound friends trek across America to find success in Hollywood, but a frog legs merchant is after Kermit.

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7.6/10
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  • Miss Piggy in The Muppet Movie (1979)
  • The Muppet Movie (1979)
  • Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy in The Muppet Movie (1979)
  • Fozzie Bear in The Muppet Movie (1979)
  • Miss Piggy in The Muppet Movie (1979)
  • Kermit the Frog in The Muppet Movie (1979)

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Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast



Director:

James Frawley

Writers:

Jerry Juhl, Jack Burns

Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews


22 April 2004 | kintopf432
9
| Misunderstood
MINOR SPOILERS

Misunderstood classic remains one of Henson's finest and most personal films. It may seem funny to call a movie as beloved as this one 'misunderstood,' but people do seem to remember this one mostly for Jerry Juhl's snappy screenplay and Paul Williams's knockout songs. Now while these things are admittedly great, as is the movie's formal playfulness (screenplay-within-the-screenplay, film break, etc.), what distinguishes 'The Muppet Movie' from the other Muppet films is the serious, wistful thread that runs through the picture. It's a road movie, all right, but like most road movies, the pleasure is in the getting there, and the achievement of the characters' goals is tempered by uncertainty, and by the knowledge that they can never really go back again. Throughout the film, we are shown the down side of show business, even before the Muppets have 'made it': Piggy abandons Kermit without a second thought at a phone call from her agent, Gonzo expresses the loneliness and regret of a performer's life on the road in his haunting 'I'm Going to Go Back There Someday,' and, worst of all, Kermit is continually tortured and tested by Doc Hopper, who wants him to commercialize his art for the unholiest of purposes. (One can only wonder what Henson would have made of his family's management of the company after his death.) Kermit himself agonizes over his choices in the desert conversation scene, and the final 'Magic Store' number questions whether it's all been worth it, before concluding that it probably doesn't matter either way. All this is punctuated with the expected Muppet chaos and satire and deliciously awful jokes, and of course the serious stuff wouldn't work if it weren't. But 'The Muppet Movie' isn't just another jokefest, as the rest of the diminishing-return Muppet films would become. No, it's a lovely, gentle metaphor about the relationship between art and entertainment and business, and it's every bit as effective today as it was 25 years ago. 9.5 out of 10.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Orson Welles plays a studio executive named Lew Lord who draws up a standard rich-and-famous contract for The Muppets, a reference to real-life Producer Sir Lew Grade (later Lord Grade). When Jim Henson was trying to find a producer to make The Muppet Show (1976) happen, no American network understood, nor was interested in the concept, Grade recognized Henson's vision and made the show possible.


Quotes

Statler: I'm Statler.
Waldorf: I'm Waldorf. We're here to heckle "The Muppet Movie".
Gate Guard: Gentlemen, that's straight ahead. Private screening room D.
Statler: Private screening?
Waldorf: Yeah, they're afraid to show it in public.


Goofs

The Ford Woody Wagon the Muppets all travel in alternates colors between blue and brown.


Crazy Credits

After the last credit, Animal is shouting,"GO HOME! GO HOME!", then he gets sleepy, "Bye-bye..." then falls asleep.


Alternate Versions

The longer 97 minute version, as originally released in theaters (in England at least) and released on video in England in the 80s, contains the following extended scenes:

  • Extended shots of Kermit entering the bar where Fozzie is performing, after the James Coburn cameo.
  • More of Fozzie being heckled in the bar. He honks a horn which falls apart. "This is not my night."
  • Extra shots as Doc Hopper and Max watch Fozzie and Kermit dance in the bar. A little bit more dancing and more of the crowd manhandling Kermit and Fozzie.
  • An extended commercial for Doc Hopper's Frog Legs. More of Doc Hopper asking Kermit to be his spokesman.
  • Extra Fozzie in "Moving right along." "A bear in his natural habitat - a Studebaker."
  • Even more Doc Hopper trying to convince Kermit. "Shut up, Max!"
  • In the church, an extended recap of the entire movie by Dr. Teeth - we see shots from previous scenes. It's not clear if this was actually in the version which screened in theaters, or if it was added for the video version, as the laserdisc version seems to have been edited on video.
  • Doc Hopper and Max chase Kermit and Fozzie. Max asks what his cut of a million is. A whole extra car chase scene of Max trying to catch up to Fozzie and Kermit, and failing.
  • An alternate musical arrangement on Never Before, Never Again.
  • Great extended version of Rowlf and Kermit dueting on "I Hope That Something Better Comes Along," with about two or three more verses. "A laddy needs a lassie." "Come father's day, the litterbug's gonna get ya."
  • Extra shot of Giant Animal laughing at the bad guys (possibly deleted because Animal's fingers were thought to look unconvincing - just a guess from me).
  • Extra reaction shots in Orson Welles scene.
  • A lot more explosion and set destruction footage when Crazy Harry blows up the set at the end, before "Life's like a movie." Seems like padding really. It's set to circus-y music.
  • Extended and alternate ending in the movie theater - Sweetums says "I just knew I'd catch up to you guys." All Muppets talk and say funny things over ending credits. Robin says Kermit is a great actor. Fozzie wants to hear that he was funny in the movie, but no one will tell him that except Kermit. Muppets are in character for the entire credits. Music is also different in this section.


Soundtracks

Can You Picture That
Music and Lyrics by
Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher
Performed by Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, and Dave Goelz

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Adventure | Comedy | Family | Musical

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