The Great Muppet Caper

  • Review Date: April 19, 2006
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1981
  • Running Time: 96 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Slapstick action in wonderful retro robbery romp.
  • Review Date: April 19, 2006
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1981
  • Running Time: 96 minutes

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

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

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.

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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."

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:June 6, 1981
DVD release date:July 10, 2001
Cast:Charles Grodin, Diana Rigg, Frank Oz
Director:Jim Henson
Studio:Sony Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Friendship, Puppets
Run time:96 minutes
MPAA rating:G
MPAA explanation:general audiences

This review of The Great Muppet Caper was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 12 years old June 20, 2013
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Excellent film, greatest muppet movie ever!

The Great Muppet Caper is an all-out enjoyable film, I all out loved it. The first time I saw it was on a computer, but the room was too noisy to hear it. Later I found the VHS at Goodwill for a buck and here's what I think about it. The film has a great premise with great songs, exeptional plot, and one of the most awesome opening, climax, and ending. All the muppets are loveable and hilarious and the Statler and Waldorf heckles are hilarious (There are only a few, but it's worth it) I do have one problem with it, and that's, the 4-minute Miss Piggy's fantasy scene, it took so much effort to make, but I find it unnesscary and annoying, but other than that I proudly proclaim this film as a must-see and here's where it stands on my list of my favorite films of ALL TIME!!! 1) The Great Muppet Caper 2) The Muppet Movie
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Parent of a 13 year old Written byTsion December 7, 2008
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

The Best!

I watched this film with my kids when they were very young; four or five. I was always amused by it, though other adults might not enjoy it. Regardless, it's a great film for kids. The songs are catchy and the characters are great. There is no sex, language or violence, though in one threatening scene (the most tense in the movie, but it's still comical) one man brandishes a gun. Great movie.
Teen, 13 years old Written byZackDaMan May 24, 2015
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

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 every child's heads. A Muppet, Janice, mentions wanting to be living on a beach and walking around naked. Some cartoonish violence. Mostly just slapstick. One villain pulls a gun. Some drinking at a club. Some kissing. The word "Hell".
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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