HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
Can You Keep a Secret?
Women in Revolt
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Muppet Movie, The Search For Stardom
Year: 1979
Director: James Frawley
Stars: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Richard Hunt, Jerry Nelson, Dave Goelz, Charles Durning, Austin Pendleton, Steve Martin, Mel Brooks, Dom DeLuise, Orson Welles, Elliott Gould, Cloris Leachman, Paul Williams, Madeline Kahn, Carol Kane, Bob Hope, Edgar Bergen
Genre: Musical, ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Statler and Waldorf arrive at a big Hollywood studio to be in the preview audience for the latest production by the Muppets. But this is not a stage show or even a television extravaganza, it's a fully-fledged movie starring the usual cast, all to tell of how the Muppet performers were assembled. Once everyone settles down, and Kermit the Frog (Jim Henson) has tried and failed to give an introductory speech, the movie begins. We first see Kermit singing and playing the banjo in the swamp where he grew up, and he seems content until an agent (Dom DeLuise) rows up to him to tell him he should audition for Hollywood stardom. Kermit is unsure, but the idea is undeniably attractive and soon he has begun his journey...

When The Muppet Movie was initially released, the response was curiously lukewarm, as if the transfer of a big television hit to the silver screen was somehow a betrayal of what made the original so successful. The puppets were much loved in their small screen incarnation, appealling to all ages equally, and the guest stars that lined up to appear with them were an impressive collection. And so it is that the film has guest stars also, only this time they seem to be packing in as many as possible in as short a period as ninety-odd minutes will allow, with some, like Bob Hope or Telly Savalas, receiving barely one line to make their presence felt.

This approach looks as if all these guests were intended to make the film worth seeing, when it's really the Muppets and their special interplay that hold the magic. Taking the form of a road movie, the story features Kermit bumping into the recognised Muppets and having them join him on his pursuit of showbiz. It also features more intricate puppet work than that of the series, with such show-off items as Kermit riding his bicycle or dancing - and we can see his legs while he does. His first port of call is a rough bar whose patrons throw out its owner (James Coburn) and just happens to have a comedian onstage in the shape of Fozzie Bear (Frank Oz).

The corny gags are there in abundance, as when Fozzie defuses his hostile reception in the bar by saying the drinks are on the house, whereupon everyone rushes outside and climbs on the roof to find them. Kermit and his new friend then hit the road in Fozzie's car, but there's a complication: yes, this film has a villain, here Doc Hopper (Charles Durning) who wants the talented Kermit to front his advertising campaign for his frog's legs restaurants. And he's persistent, too, turning from offering suggestions to outright threats to persuade. But Kermit is having none of it, and does his best to evade capture, more intent on following his dream.

And following your dream is the message of the film, although here it's absurdly easy for a bunch of good-natured puppets to be successful; life's what you make it, they say. And so we are treated to the first meeting of Kermit and Gonzo (Dave Goelz), complete with a chicken called Camilla - there may be romantic involvement there - and more importantly the green one's heavily significant encounter with Miss Piggy (Oz again) where she has just won a smalltown beauty pageant and their eyes meet through the crowd. Yet more pop up in unlikely settings - Dr Bunsen and Beaker in a ghost town for example.

The most charming aspect of the Muppets is that they do their best never to let down their friends, even if their best is sometimes none too good - their flaws make them more endearing. Paul Williams and lyricist Kenny Ascher provide some perfectly judged songs, with humorous ones matched by some surprisingly touching, sentimental ones ("The Rainbow Connection" particularly stands out as bringing a lump to the throat for that just-something-in-my-eye moment). And everyone's favourite Muppet should be represented here, from drummer Animal (now giant sized!) to the Swedish Chef, however briefly, so that The Muppet Movie is by no means unlikeable; in fact, it's as cosy and amiably appealling in it own way as the television series was. It was followed by a whole string of similarly-pitched sequels and related productions, on both TV and film.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5655 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: