The Muppet Movie (1979)
Dir: James Frawley
I love the Muppets!
Last year I was very excited about seeing ‘The Muppets’, the latest in the long series of Muppet films, which was directed by ‘Flight of the Conchords’ co-creator James Bobin and featured songs written by Conchord Bret McKenzie. The film was brilliant, a near-perfect use of these fantastic characters, and did so many things that I loved, with great songs, and some hilarious references. Now that I’ve seen the original ‘Muppet Movie’ though, I can see just how much the new film was inspired by the original.
‘The Muppet Movie’ is a wonderful tale ostensibly about how Kermit and the rest of the Muppets got together and became famous, following Kermit on a road trip to Hollywood with adventures along the way as he’s chased by a frog-leg restaurateur (Charles Durning), and he picks up other Muppets along the way.
Throughout the film there are meta-references, when the characters show awareness that they’re in a film, and make mention directly of that. This is one of the things that was used so brilliantly in ‘The Muppets’ too. The film was also full of cameo appearances from many famous actors and celebrities, including Steve Martin, Bob Hope and Orson Welles.
Music also features heavily in the film, it is essentially a musical, with songs thrown in often. The soundtrack to this won a Grammy award as the best album for children, and the song ‘Rainbow Connection’ was best original song, as well as being nominated for that at the Academy Awards.
Although this film is old and some references and certain cameos wouldn’t make much sense to children now, the humour hasn’t dated, it is still very funny as well as charming in the typical Muppets way.