Muppet Movie [1979]

Director: James Frawley
Stars: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, Dave Goelz
Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family
Rating: G (General Audience)
Runtime: 95 minutes

Jim Henson vaulted Kermit, the famous floppy-armed frog, and his Muppet pals to the big screen with this charming 1979 musical adventure. Like the TV show that inspired it, Henson and director James Frawley playfully acknowledge movie clich├ęs and conventions and allow the characters to address the camera in asides, like a Hope and Crosby road film for the 1980s. The ambitious singing frog decides to leave his swamp and conquer Hollywood, gathering a group of friends along the way (Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, and more) and bumping into oodles of guest stars making tongue-in-cheek cameos (my favorite is the tip-of-the-hat appearance by Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy). Meanwhile, despicable fast-food king Charles Durning pursues Kermit, hoping to make him the spokesfrog for his Frogs-Legs restaurant franchise. Austin Pendleton costars as Durning's sad sack henchman while guest stars include James Coburn, Dom DeLuise, Madeleine Kahn, Steve Martin, Milton Berle, Bob Hope, Carol Kane, Cloris Leachman, Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, Telly Savalas, Elliot Gould, Orson Welles, and Big Bird. Paul Williams penned the bouncy, song-filled score. You'll believe a frog can sing! --Sean Axmaker

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