So, this Monday we are reviewing another “oldie but goodie” that I remembered loving from my childhood. The Muppet Movie. My kids, having been born so long after the death of Jim Henson are most familiar with Henson’s characters from Sesame Street and aside from Kermit the Frog (who appears on a Sing Yourself Silly DVD we have from Sesame Street), they had no clue who Fozzie Bear, Rowlf the Dog, Animal, Dr. Teeth & Electric Mayhem, Gonzo, Miss Piggy, Sweetums et al are. Not to mention two of my faves who make small appearances in the movie: the two old men in balcony who lob insults and the Swedish Chef. (Big Bird makes a cameo as a bird that Kermit and Fozzie offer to pick up and tells them, “No I’m off to NY to try to break into Public Television.) Despite knowing almost none of the characters and the plot being a little bit above their comprehension level, my kids really enjoyed the antics of the movie.
The plot goes like this: Kermit the Frog is on a quest to go to Hollywood to make his dreams come true and “make millions of people happy” only to be “found” by the sleazy Doc Hopper who wants to exploit Kermit by using him as the face of Hopper’s struggling chain of Frog Leg restaurants. Kermit’s quest for fame now includes eluding Hopper. Along the way he teams up with Fozzie who is struggling as a comedian, Rowlf who is playing the piano in a bar, Miss Piggy who he meets when she wins a beauty contest at a fair, Gonzo and Camilla, Dr Teeth and Electric Mayhem and others. In the end, Kermit decides to “stand up to a bully” and confronts Hopper and then makes his way to Hollywood.
Kids love some of the silly antics in the movie (for example, Kermit tells Fozzie to “turn left at the fork in the road” they drive up to a dinner fork stuck tines down into the road and Fozzie says, “Turn left” to which Kermit replies, “I don’t believe that!”). Older kids will also enjoy the plot which has no profanity or violence. And there is lots for adults to enjoy too including cameos by: Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, Milton Berle, Mel Brooks, James Coburn, Dom DeLuise, Elliott Gould, Bob Hope, Madeline Kahn, Carol Kane, Cloris Leachman, Steve Martin, Richard Pryor, Telly Savalas, Orson Welles and Paul Williams. Edgar Bergen passed away during production and the film is dedicated to him and his memory.
And then there is this (that Joey is still singing today):
which was rightfully nominated for an Academy Award. So, if you somehow missed this movie, or haven’t shown it to your kids yet, check it out.