The Muppet Movie

Movie review by
Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
The Muppet Movie Movie Poster Image
First Muppet movie is full of wonderful songs, plus guns.
  • G
  • 1979
  • 94 minutes
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 9 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 9 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Educational value

Intended to entertain, not educate, but kids might pick up a bit about Hollywood and the American movie industry.

Positive messages

Following your dreams and getting by with a little help from your friends are the two big take-aways. And Kermit insists it's better to face a bully than run away. Additional themes include integrity, perseverance, and teamwork.

Positive role models & representations

Kermit is, as always, the slightly self-doubting Everyman frog who gets things done and surrounds himself with loyal friends. Miss Piggy may be flighty, but she's also a strong and heroic female character.

Violence & scariness

Plenty of slapstick, including Miss Piggy's famous martial-arts skills. Kermit is also chased across the country by men with guns, and one particularly menacing-looking frog assassin, and his brains are almost scrambled by electricity so that he can be controlled by the owner of a frog legs restaurant (there's lots of frog leg imagery, too, that makes Kermit sick to his stomach). Miss Piggy is kidnapped, and Kermit and Miss Piggy are tied up and held at gunpoint. Shots are fired at Fozzie on stage, one car lands on top of another; Kermit is twirled around a ceiling fan and falls off; one Muppet really likes dynamite; and a giant Animal Muppet frightens away the bad guys.

Sexy stuff

Miss Piggy and Kermit hug and kiss. In a Miss Piggy dream sequence, she and Kermit frolic in the park; you see Miss Piggy on top, then Kermit. Animal shouts, "Woman, woman!"


Schwinn bicycles get a punny mention, and there's a Studebaker car and Variety magazine.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Characters in bars and the Hollywood agent smoke cigars. Kermit and Miss Piggy drink wine with straws and a woman asks Kermit to buy her a drink. Ralph the Dog sings about having a couple of beers before bed.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Muppet Movie is a pretty likeable road trip romp with singable songs, but with some guns and slapstick violence. Throughout the movie Kermit is being pursued by men with guns and a couple shots are fired. Miss Piggy and Kermit are captured, Kermit almost gets his "brains scrambled" in a crazy electrical machine, and there's a final stand-off with guns drawn. But the Muppets always get away from the bad guys in a fun way (thanks to Miss Piggy's karate chops). There's some drinking -- Miss Piggy and Kermit drink wine with straws -- and minor characters smoke cigars.

User Reviews

Parent of a 4 and 7 year old Written byCourtneydes March 29, 2011

Not so great for little guys afterall

I chose this movie for a movie night with my almost 5 and 7 year old girls because I remembered it being a sweet movie and the girls already knew the songs. Wh... Continue reading
Adult Written byMomInMaine April 23, 2011

Not good for age 5.

I love this movie, but unfortunately I think the violence makes it appropriate for children older than just 5. The idea that people are eating frog legs can be... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byEllen15 April 9, 2008

hilarious, a great family movie

In The Muppet Movie, Kermit the Frog sets off for Hollywood to become a star and make millions of people happy. Along the way he runs into Fozzie the Bear, The... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old March 16, 2017

Great movie that kids will love

I think this is a great movie that kids will love (especially if they have watched Sesame Street). It's a very lighthearted movie with some good songs. Tru... Continue reading

What's the story?

In a classic opening, THE MUPPET MOVIE begins with Kermit the Frog is the swamp singing "The Rainbow Connection" wistfully to himself when he's overheard by a passing showbiz agent (Dom DeLuise), who compliments the amphibian on his talents. Fired up by the thought of performing in Hollywood, Kermit hits the road on a bicycle, heading westward and gathering along the way a menagerie of equally-ambitious Muppet animals. There's the painfully-unfunny standup comic Fozzie Bear, the unclassifiable Great Gonzo, the rock band Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, and the feisty, narcissistic diva Miss Piggy, who immediately becomes infatuated with the go-getter frog. But upon seeing charismatic Kermit, Doc Hopper (Charles Durning) decides he's the perfect spokes-frog for his chain of frog-leg restaurants. The bad guy's cross-country pursuit sidetracks the Muppets, but eventually they arrive in Hollywood and get signed to the standard "rich and famous" contract.

Is it any good?

Jim Henson's delightful debut Muppet film was a technological breakthrough because it was the first time his beloved Muppet Show characters were shown in full, from head to toe. In one of the most impressive scenes, Kermit pedals a bicycle. The beauty of The Muppet Movie is that the relatively low-tech magic, innocence, and sweetness of Jim Henson's characters still hold up. It's wondrous how alive and likeable a piece of felt like Kermit can be with just a smirk or tilt of his fabric head.

Grownups and kids will have no trouble accepting the Muppets' interactions with humans or each other, even if the Kermit-crazed villain seems a weak afterthought. If anything's gone stale it's the jokes and puns, seemingly pitched at the younger scale of the Muppets' global fandom. Still, adults will have more than one occasion to smile, especially at the parade of celebrity appearances, including Steve Martin, Richard Pryor, Orson Welles, and Mel Brooks.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the lasting appeal of The Muppet Movie. This film was made in 1979. Why do you think it endures? What gives it all-ages appeal?

  • Parents can talk about all the cameos, from Orson Welles to Richard Pryor, and talk to kids about what makes the actors and comedians so influential.

  • How do the characters in The Muppet Movie demonstrate perseverance, integrity, and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

Character Strengths

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Themes & Topics

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For kids who love offbeat humor

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