While The Muppets became a force to be reckoned with in the television world, but their global takeover didn’t really take off until they left for the film industry. Even if someone has never seen an episode of The Muppets Show, chances are they are familiar with the Muppets movies. Is there anyone in the world who hasn’t experienced the joy of seeing Tim Curry as Long John Silver in Muppet Treasure Island?
That said, just because you have some of the Muppets movies, that doesn’t mean you have to sit back and assume that’s enough. You really should watch them all so you can appreciate the evolution of their comedy – and at the same time appreciate how much of it has stayed the same. To facilitate a complete rundown of Kermit and the gang’s movie adventures, here’s a guide to the Muppets movies!
The Muppet Movie
The first Muppet film gave us the long-awaited secret origins of The Muppets. Released in 1979, between seasons 2 and 3 of The Muppets Show, this road trip movie focuses on Kermit the Frog’s original cross-country trip to Hollywood. Along the way, Kermit meets some of the Muppets – who join him on his journey to find success in show business. Needless to say, the film – like Kermit’s journey – was a resounding success.
You can currently stream The Muppet Movie on Disney +.
The Great Muppet Caper
It’s a heist movie with the Muppets! That’s the only elevator pitch you need. Do you want more details? Okay: Kermit and Fozzie Bear play twin journalists (YEP) who are entangled in a jewel heist while investigating a robbery in London. The film was released in 1981, after the final season of The Muppets Show, showing most of the gang that joined Kermit & Fozzie on their European adventure.
You can currently stream The Great Muppet Caper on Disney +.
The Muppets take Manhattan
This is the one where Kermit is hit by a crazy car – easily the most traumatic development in any of the Muppets movies. This 1984 film focuses on the Muppets’ efforts to conquer Broadway, a task that proves even more difficult than their introduction to Hollywood. Lots of celebrity songs and cameos follow, leading to a surprise wedding we wouldn’t dream of spoiling here.
You can currently stream The Muppets take Manhattan on Prime Video.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Alfred Pennyworth himself, the great Michael Caine, helped the Muppets cross into the 90s by playing Ebenezer Scrooge in their 1992 version of A Christmas song. You haven’t really enjoyed the classic Charles Dickens story until you’ve seen it populated with Muppets – including Gonzo the Great playing Dickens, as the narrator. Caine is fantastic, as expected, but also wise enough to know that this is the Muppets movie, not his.
You can currently stream The Muppet Christmas Carol on Disney +.
Muppet Treasure Island
In imitation of The Muppet Christmas Carol, this 1996 adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic once again cast live-action actors (like the aforementioned Tim Curry) in the lead roles, while Muppets run amok in the supporting roles. Kermit plays Captain Smollett, Piggy plays a female version of Gunn. . . you get the idea. It’s a fun hundred minutes for fans of the book or The Muppets.
You can currently stream Muppet Treasure Island on Disney +.
Muppets from Space
Notoriously known as the movie that put the Muppets movies on hold, Muppets from Space certainly tried to differentiate itself from its predecessors. First, the film does away with the musical aspect always associated with the Muppets. Second, the story focuses heavily on Gonzo as he tries to find out his true origin. A non-musical story about the origin of Gonzo? It’s okay, but people weren’t that fond of it. We want songs!
You can currently stream Muppets from Space on Prime Video.
Jason Segel saved the Muppets from limbo and gave us the most delicious Muppets film so far in this great 2011 comeback. The Muppets Recognize the franchise’s waning popularity and use it as a springboard to launch a hilarious “Let’s Put On a Show” story that will bring our beloved characters together in the new millennium. And the songs are back. Lots of songs.
You can currently stream The Muppets on Disney + and Netflix.
Muppets Most Wanted
Segel then left The Muppets, happy to have restored his beloved franchise to its former glory. The rest of that creative team came back for 2014 Muppets Most Wanted, and the result was a very worthy sequel. The movie takes a lot of fun with the idea that Kermit has an angry twin brother who takes his place while sending our favorite frog to a Siberian gulag. And what do you know? Lots of great songs here too!
You can currently stream Muppets Most Wanted on Disney + and Netflix.
Which of the Muppets movies is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!
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