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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Although the movie is for entertainment rather than educational purposes, there's a lesson in teamwork and doing your best to help those you love.
The characters provide strong messages about teamwork and selflessness -- knowing those you love well enough to recognize when something is wrong or someone needs help. The Muppets have really strong friendships, and they would do anything to rescue Kermit, who in turn, loves all of his Muppet pals.
Positive Role Models
Kermit once again is a generous, kind, and clever frog. In fact, he's so good that his Doppelganger nemesis, Constantine, is discovered precisely because he lacks Kermit's signature warmth and friendliness. Even the Russian prisoners respond positively to Kermit's example. The rest of the Muppets eventually realize that success and fame don't mean as much as friendship and working together.
Violence & Scariness
Kermit is mistakenly arrested and thrown in the Gulag, where conditions are tough and the guards all have weapons, mostly big guns. Constantine, who can be very menacing, fights with the armed guards (kicking and hitting) as he escapes the Gulag, whereas Kermit tries to escape via the toilet. Constantine sets off loud explosions, but no one is shown getting hurt. Nadya tasers a prisoner, who's shown twitching from the shock. An item a character wears turns out to be an explosive device.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Muppets kiss; a woman kisses a picture of Kermit and clearly has a crush on him.
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The words "butt," "idiot," and "stupid" are used a couple of times; some occasional swine humor is directed at Miss Piggy.
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Products & Purchases
The Muppets have strong merchandising ties to toys, apparel, accessories, home decor, and -- of course -- their own programs and movies on DVD.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Miss Piggy is offered a glass of champagne; another (adult) character has wine.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Muppets Most Wanted is the star-studded sequel to 2011's musical comedy The Muppets; the tone is definitely light overall, but this one has a little more edge than its predecessor. Families with Muppets fans know to expect sight gags, physical comedy, and some light romance between Miss Piggy and Kermit (and in this case, his Doppelganger, Constantine). There's some playful ridiculing of the leisurely European lifestyle (six-hour lunches, three-week vacations, work days that end at 2 p.m.) and some grown-up-targeted prison humor and pop-culture references. Language is light but includes words like "butt" and "idiot." Since much of the movie takes place in a Russian prison, there are several scenes that feature armed guards holding large guns, as well as a couple of big sequences in which Constantine fights with people and sets off (or tries to) loud explosives -- but no one is shown getting hurt. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
As the musical number We're Doing a Sequel makes clear, "everybody knows the sequel is never quite as good" as the original, but that's not strictly true here. Sure, the charming couple played by Jason Segel and Amy Adams is gone, but this adventure is a return to old-school Muppets: a globe-hopping trip, a case of stolen identity, and plenty of musical numbers that include celebrity cameos from a cast as diverse as the intended audience. (There's also a fair bit of action and even some guns.) Oscar winner Bret McKenzie is back as music supervisor and original-song composer, and his new tracks are witty and silly and everything kids will want. There's no song quite as poignantly powerful as "Man or Muppet," but the actual song-and-dance numbers are every bit as charming and appealing as you'd expect.
As for the story, the celebs are all happy to comply with the silliness: from Tina Fey as a gulag warden and the prison gang featuring Danny Trejo, Ray Liotta, and Jemaine Clement to Burrell as leisurely French Interpol agent and of course Gervais as Constantine's slightly sinister sidekick. But the real stars, of course, are the Muppets themselves. They will entertain audiences of all ages with their meta jokes and knowing songs and their interpersonal conflicts. Miss Piggy is a real standout as the character with the most lose (or gain?) when faced with Constantine's marriage proposal. Is the fake Kermit able to give everyone what they want, or is it only the authentic Kermit who keeps the Muppets together? We already know the answer, but that doesn't mean the adventure isn't a fast and fun ride.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.