The Muppets' Wizard of Oz

  • Review Date: March 22, 2006
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Raucous Muppet spoof of a classic gets a wee bit edgy.
  • Review Date: March 22, 2006
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2005
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

Age

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Toto has, for some reason, been replaced by a crustacean who, for some reason, is a stereotyped Latino street dude.

Violence & scariness

No worse than the fantasy stuff in the 1939 movie -- which means both the Scarecrow and the Tin Man get torn apart, then reassembled. Streetfighting between the Wicked Witch Miss Piggy and Dorothy.

Sexy stuff

Some talk on what constitutes "sexy." Leading-lady Ashanti wears some provocative outfits (for which she is upbraided by her aunt), and the Wizard at one point materializes as a Lara Croft-style super-hot videogame vixen in revealing CGI clothes.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this Muppet caper operates on two levels, with numerous gags that mainly adults will understand. The movie includes mischievous references to R-rated movies (Kill Bill, Passion of the Christ) and pretty far-out rock and roll, like the legend that Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" album has been used as an "alternative soundtrack" to the 1939 Wizard of Oz with trippy results.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In THE MUPPETS' WIZARD OF OZ, pop/R&B diva Ashanti plays Dorothy, a sassy wannabe music star who's bored to death living the slow life in Kansas, working at her Auntie Em's (Queen Latifah) diner. Dorothy misses her chance to audition for a travelling "Star Search" type show run by the Muppets, then she's swept up by a tornado and deposited in Oz. To get back to Kansas, she must appease the mysterious Wizard by going on a quest to get the magic eye of the Wicked Witch of the West. In clever casting, Kermit the Frog is the Scarecrow, Fozzie Bear is the Cowardly Lion, and Gonzo is the Tin Man. Miss Piggy plays three different witches, good, bad, and narcissistic. Honeydew and Beaker show up as high-tech henchman who pull off the illusions of the Wizard (Jeffrey Tambor), and -- in a very clever touch -- the Wizard of Oz takes a completely different form depending on whoever gazes upon him.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Muppets' Wizard of Oz premiered on prime-time TV in America, and the video box bears the curiosity of two sets of ratings: a TV "PG" and a theatrical equivalent of a "G." This does seem to be edgier in its humor than previous, G-rated Muppet-brand-name fare. But it never stops reminding you that it's only a movie, making mention that one of the top Muppet talents is actually named Frank Oz. At the climax, action-director Quentin Tarentino appears as himself, excitedly describing to a quivering studio-exec Kermit how violent he can make the next scene.

Ashanti is pretty good when it comes to reacting to Muppets, but the ending moral is a little questionable -- Dorothy, returned to Kansas, gets Auntie Em's blessing to go seek music celebritydom after all. Translation: There's no place like stretch limos and lots of bling, either. We wish this were made into another Muppet joke, but it seems more like the filmmakers wanting their hip-hop heroine to have it both ways.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the fact that a human actor -- Ashanti -- is in the main role, rather than Kermit or some other Muppet. Was it as entertaining as other Muppet movies, where the puppets are center stage? How well did this version work, compared to other versions of the L. Frank Baum classic?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:May 20, 2005
DVD release date:August 9, 2005
Cast:Dave Goelz, David Alan Grier, Jeffrey Tambor
Director:Kirk Thatcher
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Music and sing-along, Puppets
Run time:100 minutes
MPAA rating:G
MPAA explanation:general audiences

This review of The Muppets' Wizard of Oz was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Written byAnonymous January 14, 2013
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

What Disney. You need a name change & plus Name change to the Channel too. The Touchstone Channel/ Pictures for not keeping the sex out of stuff.

I'm glad that saw this at 17 Years Old. R Rated stuff in a G Rated Film = Not for kids 16 & Under. Sex is in this movie. You can't see in the 1939 Movie. Violence is in this and in the 1939 Version. Yeah that Disney can't keep the sex out of a lot of stuff can't they.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old March 5, 2010
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

The most mature muppet movie ever

This movie is stupid. no, very stupid. this is a crappy movie. this movie is too mature!!! Skip it
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 6 and 9 year old Written bysojournersong April 9, 2008
AGE
0
QUALITY
 

Why change the original story?

My daughter (7) and my son (4) sat down with some popcorn along with my husband and I to watch this movie. We were looking forward to a "feel good" movie because we are really fond of the Judy Garland version of OZ. Instead we got a very different version and we were really appalled when Miss Piggy shows up in tight leather biker pants as the Wicked Witch of the West and orders that they shred Kermit. Her goons popped off Kermit's head and trounced his body so violently that both of my children became quite upset. Camilla the chicken, Gonzo's love, was so sexy near the end of the movie along with the Barry White sexy clip that I was embarrassed for my children to be watching it with me. I almost turned it off completely. I am very disappointed. It was not an innocent 'G' movie!
Parent Written byjaa347 May 9, 2014
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

Horrible

I never write reviews on websites, but I felt the need to prevent any parent from letting their child watch this movie. My daughter, age 5, is really into Wizard of Oz, so I got this movie from the library. It is among the worst movies I've ever seen. I'm amazed that this is a Muppets movie. It is inappropriate for children. Just don't waste your time!

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass