The Great Muppet Caper

Movie review by
Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
The Great Muppet Caper Movie Poster Image
Parents recommend
Slapstick action in wonderful retro robbery romp.
  • G
  • 1981
  • 96 minutes

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Old-school Hollywood musicals are a major source of the spoofing here, especially those starring Esther Williams.

Positive Messages

Fozzie tells the other Muppets they're stopping a jewel heist for "justice, freedom, and honesty." There's some bravery and friends stick together. It's very refreshing when the full-figured Miss Piggy hits the runway in a swimsuit to thunderous applause.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo stick together and enlist help when they need it to stop a crime. Miss Piggy lies to Kermit about who she is and where she lives, but then comes clean. She's also pretty brave and determined in the face of danger.

Violence & Scariness

Mostly slapstick violence throughout. Gonzo falls or throws himself in front of cars a few times. Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo are thrown from planes and busses; Miss Piggy throws someone out of a truck and another man into a pond, and also uses her signature karate chopping moves. A Muppet is electrocuted (but OK), and a gun is pulled, threatening Kermit. A crazy Muppet cab driver crashes straight through the hotel. A mention that someone might get killed when all the Muppets start planning to thwart the jewel heist.

Sexy Stuff

A Kermit-Miss Piggy smooch and Nicky tries to kiss Miss Piggy. Plus some innuendo meant for adult laughs: Animal runs after the models shouting "woman, woman"; Gonzo claims he's photographing kneecaps when he's found in a dressing room; Miss Piggy throws a man into a lake yelling "get your filthy hands off me!"; Waldorf and Statler talk about bikini-clad models; and a man confesses he's out to dinner with a date other than his wife.

Language

A mention in the song about the Happiness Hotel that it's "gone to hell."

Consumerism

Quick mention of American Express.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Miss Piggy, Kermit, and Fozzie drink champagne at a fancy restaurant and one non-Muppet smokes a cigar.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is your typical fun Muppet entertainment with some big musical numbers mixed in. Violence is mostly slapstick -- lots of getting thrown from or in front of moving vehicles -- and there's some sexual innuendo that kids will probably miss. Of course, Kermit and Miss Piggy get to smooch once. They also have a glass of champagne at a restaurant.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMichelle Z. June 28, 2020

Great movie, but one uncomfortable scene

This is a fun movie with lots of laughs for both kids and grownups. For those of us who first saw Muppet movies, it is nice to see that they mostly stand the te... Continue reading
Parent of a 4 and 7-year-old Written bymadame pierre February 23, 2019

Fun and zany

Like all Muppet Movies, this one is fun and zany with great cameos. Our 4-year-old wasn’t fully engaged with it, but our 7-year-old thought it was great.
Teen, 13 years old Written byZackDaMan May 24, 2015

A true Muppet masterpiece

While this is undoubtedly one of the funniest Muppet movies of all time, it is a lot edgier then the newer movies. Some innuendo that will go over pretty much e... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old June 20, 2013

Excellent film, Great Heist Comedy.

It is hard to imagine that a second muppet movie could top the first, but this film goes above and beyond making it probably the best muppet film in the series.... Continue reading

What's the story?

In THE GREAT MUPPET CAPER, Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear portray twin brothers –- though they look nothing alike -– who are cub (and frog) reporters. With their jobs in danger unless they come up with a big story, the duo fly to London to interview celebrity fashion designer Lady Holiday (Diana Rigg) victim of a series of jewel robberies. After checking into a Muppet-filled dump called the Happiness Hotel, Kermit meets Lady Holiday and they fall in love –- except that it's not really Lady Holiday but Miss Piggy, a would-be model who has taken a job as the dressmaker's secretary. She pretends to be her own employer to woo Kermit, unaware that the real thief is Lady Holiday's own playboy brother Nicky (Charles Grodin). He tries to frame Miss Piggy for the crimes, but the Muppets rescue her from jail and catch the culprits in the act.

Is it any good?

This second Muppet movie is just as good as the first –- maybe even better; we won't argue. It set the mold for Muppet movies to follow, as really a shift back to what made TV's The Muppet Show a worldwide smash: witty, full-length versions of the parodies and variety skits in which the Muppets played stock roles for relax-folks-it's-only-a-movie satires.

The Great Muppet Caper is a sparkling takeoff on old-fashioned Hollywood romance musicals cross-bred with a heist thriller. But actually the whole plot is a light framework on which Muppet creator Jim Henson (directing this time) and his team hang their clever jokes and Muppet wizardry. Kermit and Miss Piggy pedal around a London park in a bicycle ballet, while Miss Piggy herself swims underwater in a musical fantasy. Sometimes the song-and-dance business takes up a lot of storyline time, but we challenge viewers big and small to watch the antics and try to figure out how they did all that with wired marionettes. No wonder it's called "Muppet Magic."

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the Muppets. Which movies are your favorites? Have you seen the classic TV show?

  • What gives movies or TV shows an all-ages appeal? What movies manage to entertain adults and kids equally?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love comedy

Themes & Topics

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