A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Muppets is as kid-friendly (and fun for adults) as all of the popular Jim Henson characters' early movies. Families familiar with the Muppet gang will know to expect a romantic subplot from Kermit and Miss Piggy, some slapstick stunts/humor courtesy of Gonzo, and silly jokes thanks to Fozzie the Bear. There's also one scene with a fist fight/brawl, some romance between human characters Gary and Mary, the words "butt" and "idiot," and some mild insults aimed at the Muppets. Expect a few noticeable product placements and tons of celebrity cameos.
What's the story?
Gary (Jason Segel) and Walter (voiced by Peter Linz) aren't just brothers; they're best friends. When Gary announces that Walter can come with him and his girlfriend, Mary (Amy Adams), on a trip to Los Angeles, Walter -- the Muppets' biggest fan -- immediately makes plans to visit the Muppets' studio. But when they get there, Walter discovers that an evil oil baron named Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) plans to tear down the now-crumbling studio for the oil underneath it. The only loophole is that the Muppets have one week to pay $10 million to buy back the building. Walter enlists Gary and Mary to track down Kermit (Steve Whitmire) and spur him to action. Kermit agrees that the only way to raise the money is to put on a show, so the four of them travel across the country (and beyond) to reunite Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, and all of the retired Muppets for one all-or-nothing telethon to save the studio.
Is it any good?
Whether you're planning to relive your childhood, introduce your kids to the Muppets, or just see a movie together, THE MUPPETS is a joy for the entire family. For many of today's parents, the Muppets are an immediate catalyst of nostalgia -- and they, along with all kids (whether they're already fans or are discovering Jim Henson's legendary creations for the first time) will delight in the reintroduction of everyone's favorite felt friends. Self-proclaimed puppet lover Segel lovingly depicts the story of the Muppets' biggest fan (clearly a stand-in for himself) and how one person's faith convinces Kermit and the gang to reunite. Kermit, as usual, is the heart of the story, but he's joined by the charming Walter, who -- as the newest addition to the Muppet family -- is a winning combination of funny, humble, and sweet. Segel and Adams make an adorable on-screen couple, and their ability to project innocent fun is irresistibly charming.
A series of celebrity cameos -- including everyone from The Devil Wears Prada's Emily Blunt to Whoopi Goldberg -- is a treat for grown-ups. The music mixes Muppet favorites like "Rainbow Connection" with catchy covers like "Forget You" and original songs written by Flight of the Conchords star Bret McKenzie.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's messages about sibling unity and teaming up to make a difference. How are Walter and Gary different than most on-screen brothers? What do the main characters learn about themselves during the movie?
Which characters in the movie are meant to be role models? How can you tell?
Do the Muppets still appeal to audiences of all ages? What makes them so popular? How are the actors' interactions with the Muppets different than movies that feature CGI creatures?
- In theaters: November 23, 2011
- On DVD or streaming: March 20, 2012
- Cast: Amy Adams, Jason Segel, Steve Whitmire
- Director: James Bobin
- Studio: Walt Disney Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Friendship, Music and Sing-Along, Puppets
- Run time: 98 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: some mild rude humor
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.