Saturday, August 30, 2014

655. The Muppet Movie (1979)

Running Time: 97 minutes
Directed By: James Frawley
Written By: Jack Burns, Jerry Juhl
Main Cast: Jim Henson (voice), Frank Oz (voice), Charles Durning, Austin Pendleton, Jerry Nelson (voice)
Click here to view the trailer


Feeling reinvigorated on THE BOOK project, I decided to use my day off (extra day off this week because of the Labor Day weekend) to knock out one more movie and move me closer to the "150 to go" mark. And hey, being a kid at heart, my wife even decided to join me for this one! Let's get to it...

I'm assuming you all know who the Muppets are, so I'm not going to go into the whole "Kermit's a frog, Fozzy's a bear" spiel. The film opens in the swamp, Kermit's home where he serenades us with a version of "Rainbow Connection" before a Hollywood agent, out for a stroll in his boat, sways by and informs Kermit that Hollywood is looking for a few good frogs. Kermit isn't interested at first, but when he hears that his entertainment could bring smiles to millions of faces, he's all in. He hits the road on his Schwinn and a few miles down the road, ends up at El Sleezo's Cafe where he meets Fozzy (voiced by Oz). It's also at Sleezo's where he encounters Doc Hopper, a frogs legs restaurant owner who wants Kermit to be his new spokes-frog. Kermit, repulsed by the idea of eating frogs legs, turns him down and the chase is on. Fozzy, feeling put out after having tomatoes thrown at him onstage at El Sleezo's, decides to hit the road with Kermit and make it big in Hollywood too. They jump into Fozzy's uncle's Studebaker and they're off (singing the catchy tune "Movin' Right Along"). All the while, Doc Hopper, along with his nerdy assistant Max (Pendleton) chase them the whole way, Hopper knowing that Kermit would make him millions. Also along the way, the muppet duo encounter several other muppets, whom they take along for the ride, including: Miss Piggy, Gonzo and his wife Camilla (a chicken), Rowlf the Dog and the Electric Mayhem (a band composed of Dr. Teeth, Animal, Zoot, Janice and Floyd Pepper). So to sum it all up, The Muppet Movie is a road movie/musical/comedy and should work fine as a family affair.

Being a Sesame Street junkie as a kid, I kind of got a kick out of this cameo. Really didn't expect Big Bird to show up. 

It makes you wonder about the sexual tendencies of Jim Henson that he had Gonzo married to a chicken, but to each their own I always say! By the way, I'm glad they had Kermit at one point during the film ask himself what Gonzo was anyway, because I've always wondered that myself. This movie isn't particularly terrible, nor is it particularly noteworthy, but does serve the purpose of providing a good ninety minutes worth of mild entertainment and really, there's nothing wrong with that. I'm sure people were going apeshit in 1979, because not only were the beloved Muppets (can't decide whether or not that should be a capitalized word) hitting the big screen, but they were being joined by the likes of Mel Brooks, Steve Martin, Milton Berle, James Coburn, Elliot Gould, Bob Hope, Telly Savalas, Richard Pryor and Orson Welles - yes ORSON freaking WELLES is in this! I think I'd heard something about that before, but guess I'd always assumed it was archival footage or something like that. But no, he's in there, in the flesh, interacting with a frog and pig puppet. Seriously, what is it about the freaking Muppets that gets celebrities so giddy?! Anybody who's anybody has guest starred on Sesame Street and I'm told that The Muppet Show had a crap load of celeb appearances too. Add to that the fact that they bagged Orson Welles, the actor's actor and that boggles my mind beyond repair....


Anyway, in summation I watched The Muppet Movie and kind of liked it, though wouldn't really recommend it or anything and probably have no desire to watch it again. The songs are catchy, though as one online writer said, the voices kind of kill them and it's the tunes that stick in your head. I can't really add anymore grand insight into this one, as there just isn't much to say. I don't think it really deserved a BOOK spot, but hey, we've crossed that bridge with multiple movies on multiple occasions, so why thump it again.

RATING: 6/10  It's streaming on Netflix if you're interested. I can't see this one impacting the TOP 20 or anything, but it provided my wife and I with a fine Saturday afternoon.


August 30, 2014  7:16pm


  1. MMmmm..
    I think I will pass on this one. A bit TOO cute and kid stuff for me..
    And yet strangely I'd defend it's place in the book quite strongly....

    1. Agreed that it's just TOO kiddy for my tastes, which is why I can admit that it was decent, yet I'm sure it won't have any bearing on my TOP 20

  2. Maybe this is what I need to watch to find this 'love of the muppets' that everyone seems to have and I don't! Start from the beginning as such, worth a try.

    Anyway, I wanted to let you know that we at Flick Chicks have nominated you for the One Lovely Blogger Award, you can find the details here Greats reviews, keep up the good work!!


    1. Thank you so much Jenna! I love you girls' blog! It's so much fun! I'll get around to this as soon as I possibly can. I'm honored!


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