Gonzo is contacted by his alien family through his breakfast cereal. But when the men in black kidnap him, it's up to Kermit and the gang to rescue Gonzo and help him reunite with his long-lost family.
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
A deleted subplot followed Statler and Waldorf, who turned up at various points in the movie to comment (and heckle) the main action. See more »
When Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy are having a romantic dinner, the moon is a half moon, but only one night later when the group is stranded in the desert, the moon is full. 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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After the last credit, Animal is shouting,"GO HOME! GO HOME!", then he gets sleepy, "Bye-bye..." then falls asleep. See more »
The longer 97 minute version, as originally released in theaters (in the UK at least) and released on video in the UK in the 80s, contains the following extended scenes:
Extended shots of Kermit entering the El Sleezo Cafe where Fozzie is performing, after the James Coburn cameo.
More of Fozzie being heckled in the bar. He honks a horn which falls apart, then says, "This is not my night."
Extra shots as Doc Hopper and Max watch Fozzie and Kermit dance at the El Sleezo. 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 of "Never Before, Never Again".
Greatly extended version of Rowlf and Kermit dueting on "I Hope That Something Better Comes Along," with about two or three more verses. "A laddie 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).
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 with you guys." All Muppets talk and say funny things over ending credits. Robin says Kermit is a great actor. Fozzie repeatedly asks if 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.
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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