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Muppet Movie, The (1979)

Jim Henson’s beloved, zany puppets made their feature film debut in this entertaining adventure relating Kermit the Frog’s inspirational journey from Georgia swamp tadpole to Hollywood star.

Kermit is first seen sitting on a lily pad in a swamp. Encouraged to try his luck in Hollywood, he sets off on the long trek west and in a tacky nightclub meets Fozzie Bear doing a comedy act.

Fozzie tags along with him and in the Mid-West they meet Miss Piggy entering a beauty contest. She too sets off west with them, and they share a lot of crazy adventures.

Comedy director James Frawley imposes pleasing order on the charming proceedings while Henson and his long-time associate Frank Oz delightfully dominate as the manipulators and voices of Kermit and Miss Piggy.

An indication of how big the Muppets were at the time is the more than a dozen silly star cameos. Orson Welles is a movie mogul whose office is invaded by the Muppets in search of an audition. His super-efficient secretary is played by Cloris Leachman.

Bob Hope and Richard Pryor appear as an ice cream vendor and a balloon salesman respectively at a county fair. Elliott Gould plays MC at the beauty contest which Miss Piggy enters, and its judges are ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his famous dummy Charlie McCarthy.

James Coburn plays the owner of a rowdy cafe where Madeline Kahn is a bar girl who flirts with Kermit and arouses the wrath of tough guy Telly Savalas. The piano player who introduces Fozzie’s act is Paul Williams, who also wrote the film’s disappointingly forgettable score with Kenny Ascher.

The Hollywood agent who discovers Kermit is played by Dom DeLuise, and Mel Brooks plays a maniacal scientist who tries to force Kermit into doing commercials for a fast food chain run by villainous Charles Durning.

Other guest spots are filled by Carol Kane who shares a cross-country gag with Kermit, and Milton Berle as a fast-talking used car salesman.

Kermit the Frog/Rowlf/Dr Teeth/Waldorf
Jim Henson
Miss Piggy/Fozzie Bear/Animal/Sam the Eagle
Frank Oz
Floyd Pepper/Crazy Harry/Robin the Frog/Lew Zealand
Jerry Nelson
Richard Hunt
Gonzo/Zoot/Dr Bunsen Honeydew
Dave Goelz

James Frawley