A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
- 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?
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 ...
- In theaters: June 6, 1981
- On DVD or streaming: 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
- Last updated: August 6, 2020
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