Movie of the Week: The Muppet Movie (1979)


James Frawley directs Jim Henson, Frank Oz and Dave Goelz in this road movie prequel following Kermit from swamp to Hollywood as he picks up his troop of felt and fur based performers. 

This championed my vague memories of watching it as a kid. Absolutely trumped them. It is perfection. The sheer scale of The Muppets Movie is ridiculous. We crane in from the heavens to a singing frog. We have a script more meta than Charlie Kauffman’s wet dreams. We have a long shot of a soft toy riding a bicycle unaided. The cameos have a bizarre charm to them – people who were amazingly famous in the seventies being treated as average extras by puppets who will be timeless icons. Only Steve Martin’s indolent waiter manages to steal the limelight from Kermit and Miss Piggy. And then only for 90 seconds. I haven’t been able to get the strange, haunting, beautiful refrain of The Rainbow Connection out of my head for all of the last week.


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