It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie Movie Poster Image

It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie

Classic story retold in funny, touching Muppet romp.
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids will become a little acquainted with the plot and themes of the classic Christmas movie It's a Wonderful Life and the O. Henry story "The Gift of the Magi."

Positive messages

The message is sung by Kermit in the song "Everyone Matters."

Positive role models

Daniel sets a great example by standing up for Kermit (even to the Supreme Being) and trying to help the Muppets when they seem like a lost cause. Kermit shows kids that everyone matters and that they can learn from their mistakes.

Violence & scariness

There are loads of slapstick pratfalls, plus one Muppet walks through lasers that scorch him, and another has a karate battle with a villain.

Sexy stuff

A Muppet couple kisses on a park bench at the beginning of the movie, and Kermit and Miss Piggy share a big kiss at the end.


One character tells another she's going to kick her "butt." A villainous character calls Pepe "Peepee."


Well-known commercial films are referenced with content (not by name), including A Christmas Story and It's a Wonderful Life, as well as the TV specials How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Rudolph the Red-Nosed ReindeerThis movie was made for NBC TV, and the NBC peacock logo appears once, as does the cast of the TV show Scrubs.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some kind of liquid is funneled into Animal's mouth through a hose and he passes out. When Kermit is happy and enthusiastic, others wonder if he's had too much eggnog.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie is a made-for-TV movie originally released in 2002. This homage to the classic film It's a Wonderful Life casts Kermit the Frog as a Muppet George Bailey, who, after the funds to save the Muppet Theater are lost, wishes he'd never been born. Cartoon slapstick and pratfalls are a big part of the humor, including a Muppet-versus-human karate battle. There's also a scene where a Muppet walks through lasers that scorch his "fur." This movie includes two Muppet kisses and some mild potty talk (one "butt" and one "peepee"). One Muppet drinks something that might be alcohol at a Christmas party and passes out, several commercial films and TV programs are referenced by content (although not by name), and the NBC peacock logo is shown once.

What's the story?

In IT'S A VERY MERRY MUPPET CHRISTMAS MOVIE, the banker who held the lease on the Muppets' use of the Muppet Theater has died, and his widow, the greedy Mrs. Bitterman, will stop at nothing to evict the Muppets so she can redevelop the property. Kermit and his pals agree to pool their resources -- even contributing their own salaries -- to come up with the money they need to deliver by 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and Fozzie Bear braves numerous obstacles (some erected by Bitterman and others being hilariously random) to get that money to the bank. When he fails in his task, Kermit feels all hope is lost and that he was foolish to encourage his friends to follow their dreams. He tells a stranger that he wishes he'd never been born. Just as in the classic original It's a Wonderful Life, the stranger turns out to be sent from heaven to show Kermit that, "No man is a failure who has friends."

Is it any good?


The Muppets provide almost universally reliable entertainment, and with It's a Wonderful Life as inspiration, this made-for-TV movie is not only funny and smart, it's also very heartwarming. This charming movie benefits from top-notch acting (including Joan Cusack as a wonderfully comic villain and Whoopi Goldberg as God), and from the Muppets films' trademark clever cameos and references to other popular entertainment -- in this case, all Christmas-y. It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie gives parents a fun, and shorter, way to introduce youngsters to the It's a Wonderful Life story, and the whole family will be amused.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the message of this movie. What does Kermit learn from seeing what the world would have been like if he'd never been born?

  • Did you catch the references to TV shows and other movies? Name the ones you noticed.

  • If you liked this movie, see the original: It's a Wonderful Life.

Movie details

DVD/Streaming release date:November 29, 2002
Cast:David Arquette, Joan Cusack, William H. Macy, Whoopi Goldberg
Director:Kirk Thatcher
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Friendship, Holidays, Puppets
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:PG

This review of It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Educator and Parent Written byknightwriter December 12, 2015

Tedious, inappropriate, offensive

My family usually enjoys the Muppets and their movies. But, this one is shockingly off the mark - - - tedious plot, inappropriate comments and sexual innuendo far beyond what is mentioned in the above review, and offensive portrayal of God and angels. Shrimps being thrown into cleavage, sexual banter between adults, Moulin Rouge as the basis of a long musical number, etc. Why can't the Muppets just be enjoyed by children and children at heart? They try too hard to reach adults - but it ends up being flat and inappropriate for all. Very disappointing movie - and a disappointingly positive, mild review for something so flawed.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 13 years old Written bybratser July 6, 2014

TV Muppet Film is One of the Best Muppet Films!

It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie is one of the greatest muppet films of all time. Far better than the critically acclaimed, but rather dull muppet christmas carol. While many might cite this film as a disappointment, this film is far from one. It has just the right amount of action, heart-felt moments (pun intended), and comedy to amuse and touch audiences of all ages. While the few scenes with Whoopie Goldberg aren't that hilarious and should have been trimmed a bit for the deleted snoop dog and electric mayhem scene (no offense whoopie), the film really doesn't have many other problems. It brought back the muppet theater, not to mention some of our muppet characters in-character (fozzie, piggy), and brought back old favorites with legitimate roles (scooter,robin), and it's a shame that this magnificent classic isn't exactly appreciated by all. I say pick a copy of the DVD, enjoy the film, and watch it anytime of the year.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byJami S. December 18, 2016

Will teach your kids bad words

Oh wow, this was awful! Joan Cusack plays a raging villain who will teach your little kids how to make fun of others and introduce them to lovely name calling like "thanks for calling me skinny. It's more than I can say for you miss porky". Seriously? This type of name calling and nastiness goes all throughout the show. Wil kids learn how to be mean in school? Unfortunately yes. By why intentionally introduce them to it? This movie makes it seem funny to be mean even though the "good guys" who also act like little jerks at time, win in the end. Also the "hero", Kermit, whines throughout and screams about 100 times "I wish I had never been born!!!" Nice, can't wait for my daughter to say that one day when she's upset :(. Honestly, this movie is awful. They also make sexual jokes. This is the muppets! You can appeal to parents in funnier ways that don't involve nasty language and sexual innuendos. I'm so annoyed.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing