I love the idea of this being a movie within a movie. It opens with the Muppets gathering at the studio for the screening of their story, of how they met, arrived in Hollywood, and became stars. What a neat idea. I especially love how Kermit the frog’s nephew asks if the movie is really how it happened, and Kermit responds in typical fashion that it is basically the truth, leaving home for that Hollywood exaggeration.
The soundtrack is just amazing. It opens with The Rainbow Connection, which has become a classic. Other songs are more upbeat, but they are all ever so appropriate for this Muppet picture.
One of the delightful aspects to The Muppet Movie is how many Hollywood stars signed on to play an array of cameos. It is really a collection of talent that you do not find in many films. From legends like Bob Hope to modern types like Richard Pryor, the list is long: Milton Berle, Dom Deluise, Elliot Gould, Madeline Kahn, Telly Savalas, Edgar Bergen, Steve Martin, Cloris Leachman, Orson Welles, Paul Williams (he actually wrote much of the musical soundtrack), Carol Kane, Mel Brooks, and James Coburn.
The plot is not without danger. Kermit is always having to escape the frog-leg loving, Hopper, who has a chain of restaurants that specialize in frog legs as a main course. He is desperate for Kermit’s limbs. Charles Durning plays the part so well. You just despise him.
Jim Henson, Frank Oz, and the rest of their crew bring the Muppets to life for kids and adults alike. It is a great follow up to these characters who got their start on television. Seeing how they all met, the impetus of the Kermit-Miss Piggy love affair, and the development of the friendships is delightful.
You really gain an appreciation and love for the strength of Kermit the Frog. We see his hopes and aspirations, how he cares about Miss Piggy and deals with her constant rejection as she strives for stardom, and how he accepts the responsibility for the other Muppets who are headed to Hollywood with him. It is just a full range of humanity, or should I say, frogity that hits the spot.
This is a class movie for all ages.