The Muppet Movie (1979)

The Muppet Movie is a 1979 American musical comedy film and the first of a series of live-action feature films starring Jim Henson’s Muppets.

Notable for its surreal humour, meta-references and prolific use of cameos, the film was released in the United States on June 22, 1979, and received critical praise; including two Academy Awardnominations for Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher’s musical score and their song, “Rainbow Connection”.

Austin Pendleton recalled that the film was shot on “a very unhappy set, because Jim [Frawley] was very unhappy directing that movie. And I noticed that was the only time the Muppet people used an outside person to direct a Muppet movie. They never did that again. After that, it was either Jim Henson or Frank Oz. And I would have liked to have been in one of those, because those sets were very harmonious. But this was not.”

The Muppet Movie uses meta-references as a source of humor, as characters occasionally break the fourth wall to address the audience or comment on their real-life circumstances; for example:

Fozzie [to Big Bird]: “Hey, there! Wanna lift?”
Big Bird: “Oh, no thanks. I’m on my way to New York City to try to break into public television.”

(This refers to Big Bird’s future “career” on Sesame Street.)

Story of a frog, a bear and a pig (portraying themselves are Kermit the FrogFozzie Bearand Miss Piggy) on the road to Hollywood. Kermit claims it is “approximately” the way the Muppets began. While on their nationwide trek, they encounter Doc Hopper who plans to make Kermit his spokesman for his Frog Leg restaurant chain. Muppet characters’ first outing in the movies features cameos in the double digits and safe family fun.