The Muppet Movie (1979)

Ahhhhh yeah! When I blogged about The Muppet Christmas Carol and posted a link over at Librarything, one of the people over there suggested I make 2021 The Year of the Muppets for the movies I watch. I liked that idea so much that I decided to act on it. This is the first installment of that plan.

A bit of background.

The Muppets tv show had been going strong for a couple of years and it was decided to leverage that into a big Hollywood movie. About Kermit going to Hollywood to make a movie and become famous. That sort of self-referential gag runs through this movie the entire time. It’s great. No knowledge of the tv show or the Muppets in general are needed to understand anything in this movie. While I am sure that having knowledge of the tv show would make this a stronger movie, a lack of knowledge doesn’t make it weaker (if you can follow that). This is an Origins story and as such each main Muppet character is introduced with their various quirks and personality traits on full display.

The gist of the movie is that Kermit is going to Hollywood to audition for a movie and along the way picks up a disparate crew of other Muppets and they all believe in themselves and sing and dance their way across the country. At the same time Doc Hopper, a fast food franchise owner, wants Kermit to do the commercials for his Frog Legs chain of restaurants. He’s chasing down Kermit and that ends with in a western style showdown in a deserted ghost town. Then the Muppets make it to Hollywood and get Orson Welles to give them “the standard Rich and Famous” contract. All this takes place AS a movie within the movie, with the muppets watching its debut in a private theatre. It is just genius. There is singing, there is muppet dancing, there are cameos from a lot of A-List actors, many of whom I have no idea who they are now, and there is a lot of feel good fun the entire time.

The movie opens with the 2 Grumpy Old Men (Statler and Waldorf) driving into the debut and making wisecracks about how bad it is going to be. It perfectly set the humorous tone for the movie. The movie ends with all the muppets hanging around the theatre and talking while the credits roll. It was like watching an after movie party of stars. From beginning to end, this felt consistent.

I found myself bobbing my head and singing along to the various songs. I was laughing and grinning the entire time as well. This was just a Good Time Movie that kids, adults and even fractious grumps could enjoy. I am quite happy that I bought this and plan on watching it again (although not writing about it). I can see this becoming a Happy Background Movie for me.

I would call this a complete success!

35 thoughts on “The Muppet Movie (1979)

          1. But cinema is a temple of filth, and even something wholesome like The Muppet Movie must be defiled by having screening in such houses of iniquity. And I’ve heard that their living room is impacted with paper plates and ground-in gravel.

            Liked by 2 people

              1. I’m just saying, you can’t attack all cinema as immoral on Saturday, and then start running film reviews on Sunday. I’ve got my ear defenders on and sheltering from the blast as the inherent contradiction in his logic is revealed, I suggest you do the same.

                Liked by 2 people

    1. So, until I read your further comments, I wasn’t sure how to respond. I think I’ve got a handle on it now though. So this might get lengthy.

      I have given this subject a bit of thought through the years. I don’t go to cinemas, never have and never will because I do believe that the physical buildings are Temples to Self-Indulgence, etc. They exist for no other reason than to satiate Self. And to be honest, going to some place where I know a movie is being played right next to me that goes against everything I believe, well, I can’t compartmentalize that. So in that regards I am fully carrying out my principles to their end. No hypocrisy whatsoever.

      I would like to point out, that the above paragraph is soemthing just for me. I don’t expect anyone else to hold that standard, not even other Christians. However, as for movies in general, what I think I do apply to other Christians but not to unbelievers.

      Now, as to “cinema” as movies in general, that is definitely a bit broader and is something I do struggle with. I think the question you asked without actually asking, was how can I watch any movies at all since I railed against bad movies/movie culture in general? Does that seem a fair summation of your thoughts? I’m going to answer that as best I can. If your objections were something else, let me know and we’ll go from there.

      I judge each movie on it’s own, which is how I can watch movies. The Bible has some standards in it for what Christians can and cannot do and principles are derived from those. So while the Bible says nothing about movies (obviously), the principles that the writers expound upon can be applied to movies and any other form of entertainment.

      But taken as a whole, yes, movies are made by broken people about broken situations and with broken viewpoints and I believe a lot of it is deliberate on the part of the culture of Hollywood.

      Just like in Germany in the 1920’s onward, there were good people there. But no one is going to say that the overarching Culture was good. There can be good movies but the overall Culture of Hollywood isn’t.

      Hey, that actually wasn’t as long as I thought. If you have a long response, shoot me an email because this level of discussion, at least how I am going about it, seems to warrant that.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think the constant satiation for “something new” and to be entertained naturally leads people into the easier path of “filth” than “cleanliness”. It seems to be that for some reason I’m sure I’m not able to fully comprehend, is that “filth” seems to be more entertaining than “cleanliness”. Why? I believe it does say somewhere in the Bible that the devil rules the physical earth ( don’t shoot me if I’m not correct ). I’m trying to think of some other reasons why “filth” would be more entertaining that “cleanliness”.

        Something I was writing about the other day and comes to mind every now and than is that things that once were entertaining can sometimes become “unentertaining” because that path in the brain has been rode before so many times, it’s so wide it no longer “tickles”. One might relate this to an addiction for new paths in the brain to form based on new synapsis connections ( sometimes that’s why people laugh ) . . . so then we are even talking about going into maybe not a “bad” logical path in reality, but maybe more of a “dangerous” one leading to more “filth” consumption.

        On the flip side, one could make just as much effort to provide a way for that thing that has become boring to be looked at in a different perspective in order to “tickle once again”.

        I think the problem might stem from when people laugh about other people’s misfortune, which in a search for the “tickle” one can become “unfavorable”.

        https://www.livehappy.com/science/your-brain-humor?nopaging=1

        Liked by 3 people

        1. The “why” I think can be answered because we are fallen, sinful creatures and so what is sinful is more attractive.

          And what you describe is the classic path of an addiction. If something is overindulged, it loses the edge it once had. Which is why people addicted to porn usually end up getting into worse and worse stuff, even if it takes decades. And almost any other vice as well.

          I think one aspect is to never overindulge. Even in something as good as reading books 😉

          Thanks for the link too.

          Liked by 2 people

  1. I feel like the only man alive who thinks this, but The Muppets have always been something I just can’t get more than ten mins into before tiring of them.

    To be honest, anything to do with puppets gets the same treatment. So it’s perhaps more the artistic medium than content

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was just going to say “Oh, this makes me so happy” ….. but then I got distracted by the temple of filth discussion. I think you should make a blog post out of it. Maybe a series. Don’t forget to look up what Christian crime writer Andrew Klavan has to say about art having to face the dark side of life, and the legitimate and illegitimate uses of this.

    I do have to say, as an adult, I enjoy the Muppets. As a kid, I did not. I thought the characters were ugly. I didn’t like that Miss Piggy was a self-absorbed diva, yet somehow still Kermit’s love interest. And I always had trouble following all the back-and-forth, and felt that everything was too chaotic and messy with too much going on at once.

    I also didn’t like having to listen to Bert and Ernie bicker. I know now that they bicker in order to teach kids conflict resolution, but at the time it just stressed me out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know, that sounds like a lot of work 😉

      Your description is so spot on it makes me laugh 🙂 The adult me is just loving all that stuff.

      I never watched Sesame St, so while I know about Bert and Ernie, I never actually saw them.

      Like

  3. The first time I saw the Muppet Movie was at the Nashua, NH library 🙂 I was too young for it; I didn’t understand the whole framing device. Now, though, I really enjoy it! Although Muppet Christmas Carol is still my favorite Muppet movie.

    Liked by 1 person

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