Great Muppet Caper [1981]

This second motion-picture outing for the adventurous Muppets finds them in London hunting down jewel thieves while staying at the city's most cheerfully derelict dive, the Happiness Hotel. Filled with song and dance (and swimming!) numbers, this Jim Henson-directed feature is worth seeing, if for nothing else than to see the cantankerous Charles Grodin (Beethoven) swoon over Miss Piggy. But The Great Muppet Caper has a lot more going for it: cameos by John Cleese, Peter Falk, and Oscar the Grouch, among others; Miss Piggy parading down a catwalk; and Kermit the Frog on a bicycle. The Muppets are fond of breaking down that pesky fourth wall, which gives the movie some of its cleverest moments and will elicit the biggest laughs from the kids. (Kermit to Miss Piggy: "You're overacting. You're hamming it up.") By the time a framed Miss Piggy is freed and the real jewel thieves are caught, you'll forget the occasional slow spots and remember the musical numbers and the banter. --Kimberly Heinrichs

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