The Muppet Movie

Movie review by
Charles Cassady Jr., Common Sense Media
The Muppet Movie Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
First Muppet movie has wonderful songs -- and a few guns.
  • G
  • 1979
  • 94 minutes

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 10 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 10 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. 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 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, which 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!"

Language

A few insults/teasing words.

Consumerism

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

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters in bars; 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 likeable road trip romp with singable songs -- as well as some guns and slapstick violence. Throughout the movie, Kermit (voiced/puppeteered by Jim Henson) is pursued by men with guns, and a couple shots are fired. Miss Piggy (Frank Oz) 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. There's also quite a bit of discussion about preparing/eating frogs' legs, much to Kermit's dismay. But the Muppets always get away from the bad guys in a fun way (often thanks to Miss Piggy's karate chops). There's some flirting and drinking -- Miss Piggy and Kermit drink wine with straws -- and minor characters smoke cigars. Themes include integrity, perseverance, and teamwork, and there are clear messages about following your dreams, getting by with a little help from your friends, and facing bullies.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byRarityfan October 2, 2018

It is the Muppets after all

And so the long row of Muppet specials and movies began. Some scenes could scare some kids, and let's not forget Miss Piggy plus Kermit. It is Muppets so g... Continue reading
Parent of a 2-year-old Written byEthan P. August 29, 2017

Why wait..my parents didn't, and I'm ok

I do agree with the other reviews that there a couple scenes including the early bar scene with about 30 seconds of violence that I didn't love my child wa... 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
Kid, 11 years old April 27, 2013

One of the best movies ever!!!!

Even though the muppet movie is over 3 decades old it is a must-see for ANYBODY AT ALL. The movie is full of wonderful songs (fav. moving right along and i hope... Continue reading

What's the story?

In a classic opening, THE MUPPET MOVIE begins with Kermit the Frog (voiced/puppeteered by Jim Henson) in the swamp singing "The Rainbow Connection" wistfully to himself. 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, along the way, gathering a menagerie of equally ambitious Muppet animals. There's the painfully unfunny standup comic Fozzie Bear (Frank Oz), the unclassifiable Great Gonzo (Dave Goelz), the rock band Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, and the feisty, narcissistic diva Miss Piggy (Oz again), who immediately becomes infatuated with Kermit. But upon seeing the charismatic frog, Doc Hopper (Charles Durning) decides that he'd be the perfect spokes-frog for Hopper's chain of frog-leg restaurants. Kermit isn't interested, but Hopper is fixated, leading to a cross-country pursuit. This sidetracks the Muppets, but eventually they arrive in Hollywood and get signed to the standard "rich and famous" contract.

Is it any good?

Henson's delightful debut Muppet film was a technological breakthrough in 1979 because it was the first time that his beloved Muppet Show characters were shown in full, from head to toe. In one of the movie's most impressive scenes, Kermit pedals a bicycle. But the lasting beauty of The Muppet Movie is that the relatively low-tech magic, innocence, and sweetness of Henson's characters 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.

Adults and kids will have no trouble accepting the Muppets' interactions with humans or each other, even if the Kermit-crazed villain seems like a weak afterthought. If anything's gone stale, it's some of the jokes and puns, seemingly pitched at the younger age range 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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