The Muppet Movie

Last updated

The Muppet Movie
The Muppet Movie.jpg
Theatrical release poster by Drew Struzan
Directed by James Frawley
Produced by Jim Henson
Written by
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Isidore Mankofsky
Edited by Christopher Greenbury
Production
companies
Distributed by Associated Film Distribution [lower-alpha 1]
Release date
  • May 31, 1979 (1979-05-31)(United Kingdom)
  • June 22, 1979 (1979-06-22)(United States)
Running time
  • 97 minutes [2] (UK version)
  • 95 minutes (US version)
Country
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$8 million [3]
Box office$76.6 million [4]

The Muppet Movie is a 1979 musical road comedy film and the first theatrical film featuring the Muppets. Directed by James Frawley and produced by Jim Henson, the film's screenplay was conceived by The Muppet Show writers Jerry Juhl and Jack Burns. An American and British venture produced by Henson Associates and ITC Entertainment between the first half and the second half of The Muppet Show's third season, the film depicts Kermit the Frog as he embarks on a cross-country trip to Hollywood, California. Along the way, he encounters several of the Muppets—who all share the same ambition of finding success in professional show business—while being pursued by Doc Hopper, an evil restaurateur with intentions of employing Kermit as a spokesperson for his frog legs business.

Musical film film genre

Musical film is a film genre in which songs sung by the characters are interwoven into the narrative, sometimes accompanied by dancing.

Road movie film genre in which the main characters leave home on a road trip, typically altering the perspective from their everyday lives

A road movie is a film genre in which the main characters leave home on a road trip, typically altering the perspective from their everyday lives. Road movies often depict travel in the hinterlands, with the films exploring the theme of alienation and examining the tensions and issues of the cultural identity of a nation or historical period; this is all often enmeshed in a mood of actual or potential menace, lawlessness, and violence, a "distinctly existential air" and is populated by restless, "frustrated, often desperate characters". The setting includes not just the close confines of the car as it moves on highways and roads, but also booths in diners and rooms in roadside motels, all of which helps to create intimacy and tension between the characters. Road movies tend to focus on the theme of masculinity, some type of rebellion, car culture, and self-discovery. The core theme of road movies is "rebellion against conservative social norms".

Comedy is a genre of film in which the main emphasis is on humour. These films are designed to make the audience laugh through amusement and most often work by exaggerating characteristics for humorous effect. Films in this style traditionally have a happy ending. One of the oldest genres in film, some of the very first silent movies were comedies, as slapstick comedy often relies on visual depictions, without requiring sound. When sound films became more prevalent during the 1920s, comedy films took another swing, as laughter could result from burlesque situations but also dialogue.

Contents

In addition to the Muppet performers, the film stars Charles Durning and Austin Pendleton, and features cameo appearances by Dom DeLuise, James Coburn, Edgar Bergen, Steve Martin, and Mel Brooks, among others. Notable for its surreal humour, meta-references and prolific use of cameos, The Muppet Movie was released in the United Kingdom on May 31, 1979, and in the United States on June 22, 1979, and received critical praise; including two Academy Award nominations for Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher's musical score and their song, "Rainbow Connection". In 2009, the film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Charles Durning American actor

Charles Edward Durning was an American actor, with appearances in over 200 movies, television shows and plays. Durning's best-known films include The Sting (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Tootsie (1982), Dick Tracy (1990) and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000). He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for both The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) and To Be or Not to Be (1983). Prior to his acting career, Durning was a WWII soldier decorated for valor in combat.

Austin Pendleton American actor and director

Austin Campbell Pendleton is an American actor, playwright, theatre director and instructor.

Dom DeLuise American actor, comedian, chef, director, producer, author

Dominick DeLuise was an American actor, voice actor, comedian, director, producer, chef and author. He was the husband of actress Carol Arthur and the father of actor, director, pianist, and writer Peter DeLuise, and actors David DeLuise and Michael DeLuise. He starred in a number of movies directed by Mel Brooks, in a series of films with career-long best friend Burt Reynolds, and as a voice actor in various animated films by Don Bluth.

The success of The Muppet Movie led to several other feature films starring the Muppets: The Great Muppet Caper (1981), The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984), The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), Muppet Treasure Island (1996), Muppets from Space (1999), The Muppets (2011), and Muppets Most Wanted (2014).

<i>The Great Muppet Caper</i> 1981 film by Jim Henson

The Great Muppet Caper is a 1981 mystery musical comedy film directed by Jim Henson, marking his feature directorial debut. The film is about the Muppets who must travel to London to stop a jewel heist. It is the second of a series of live-action musical feature films, starring Jim Henson's Muppets. The film was a British-American venture produced by Henson Associates and ITC Entertainment, and originally released by Universal Pictures on 26 June 1981. It is also the only Muppet feature film directed by Henson. Shot in Great Britain and London in 1980, the film was released shortly after the final season of The Muppet Show.

<i>The Muppets Take Manhattan</i> 1984 film by Frank Oz

The Muppets Take Manhattan is a 1984 American musical comedy drama film directed by Frank Oz. It is the third of a series of live-action musical feature films starring Jim Henson's Muppets with special appearances by Art Carney, James Coco, Dabney Coleman, Gregory Hines, Linda Lavin, and Joan Rivers. The film was produced by Henson Associates and TriStar Pictures, and was filmed on location in New York City during the summer of 1983 and released theatrically the following summer. It was the first film to be directed solely by Oz, who previously co-directed The Dark Crystal with Henson.

<i>The Muppet Christmas Carol</i> 1992 film by Brian Henson

The Muppet Christmas Carol is a 1992 American musical fantasy comedy-drama film produced by Jim Henson Productions and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. Adapted from Charles Dickens's 1843 novella A Christmas Carol, it is the fourth theatrical film to feature the Muppets, and the first to be produced following the death of Muppets creator Jim Henson in 1990. It’s also The Walt Disney Company’s second film adaptation of the Dickens story after Mickey's Christmas Carol in 1983. The film was directed by Brian Henson in his directorial debut from a screenplay by Jerry Juhl, and stars Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge, alongside Muppet performers Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Jerry Nelson, and Frank Oz portraying various roles, including Gonzo narrating the film as Dickens and Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit. Although artistic license is taken to suit the aesthetic of the Muppets, The Muppet Christmas Carol otherwise follows Dickens's original story closely.

Plot

Kermit the Frog lives in a Florida swamp, dreaming of being a movie star. One day, he enjoys an afternoon, strumming his banjo and singing "Rainbow Connection", when he is approached by Bernie, a talent agent who encourages Kermit to pursue a career in show business. Inspired by the idea of "making millions of people happy", Kermit sets off on a cross-country trip to Los Angeles, but is soon pursued by entrepreneur Doc Hopper and his assistant Max, who attempt to convince Kermit to be the new spokesman of Hopper's struggling french-fried frog legs restaurant franchise. As Kermit continuously declines his offers, Hopper resorts to increasingly vicious means of persuasion.

Kermit the Frog Muppet character

Kermit the Frog is a Muppet character and Jim Henson's most well-known creation. Introduced in 1955, Kermit serves as the straight man protagonist of numerous Muppet productions, most notably Sesame Street and The Muppet Show, as well as in other television series, films, specials, and public service announcements through the years. Henson originally performed Kermit until his death in 1990; Steve Whitmire performed Kermit from that time up until his dismissal from the role in 2016. Kermit is currently performed by Matt Vogel. He was also voiced by Frank Welker in Muppet Babies and occasionally in other animation projects, and is voiced by Matt Danner in the 2018 reboot of Muppet Babies.

Rainbow Connection song originally appearing in the Muppet Movie

"Rainbow Connection" is a song from the 1979 film The Muppet Movie, with music and lyrics written by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher. The song was performed by Kermit the Frog in the film. "Rainbow Connection" reached No. 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1979, with the song remaining in the Top 40 for seven weeks total. Williams and Ascher received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song at the 52nd Academy Awards.

A talent agent, or booking agent, is a person who finds jobs for actors, authors, film directors, musicians, models, professional athletes, writers, screenwriters, broadcast journalists, and other professionals in various entertainment or broadcast businesses but also agents. In addition, an agent defends, supports and promotes the interest of their clients. The way old talent agencies specialize, either by creating departments within the agency or developing entire agencies that primarily or wholly represent one specialty. For example, there are modeling agencies, commercial talent agencies, literary agencies, voice-over agencies, broadcast journalist agencies, sports agencies, music agencies and many more.

Kermit meets Fozzie Bear, working as a hapless stand-up comedian, and invites him on his journey. The two set out in Fozzie's 1951 Studebaker. Their travels introduce them to a variety of eccentric human and Muppet characters. They meet the rock band Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem and their manager Scooter, who receive a copy of the film's script from the pair (one of a number of self-references). They meet and are joined by Gonzo, who works as a plumber, and his girlfriend Camilla the Chicken. They trade in their failing vehicle at a used car lot, where they meet Sweetums.

Fozzie Bear Muppet character

Fozzie Bear is a Muppet character known for his lack of innate and effective comedy skills. Fozzie is an orange bear who often wears a brown pork pie hat and a red and white polka dot necktie. The character debuted on The Muppet Show, as the show's stand-up comic, a role where he constantly employed his catchphrase, "Wocka Wocka!" Shortly after telling the joke, he was usually the target of ridicule, particularly from balcony hecklers Statler and Waldorf. Fozzie was performed by Frank Oz until 2001; Eric Jacobson has since become the character's principal performer.

Studebaker Champion car model

The Studebaker Champion is an automobile which was produced by the Studebaker Corporation of South Bend, Indiana from the beginning of the 1939 model year until 1958. It was a full-size car in its first three generations and a mid-size car in its fourth and fifth generation models.

Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem fictional Muppet rock house band that debuted on The Muppet Show

Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem are a fictional musical group that debuted on The Muppet Show in 1975. They are the house band for The Muppet Show, with personalities and appearances inspired by prominent real-life rock music and jazz performers. Following The Muppet Show, they appeared in various Muppet movies and television specials and have also recorded album tracks and covered numerous songs. Dr. Teeth and Animal were designed by Jim Henson, Zoot was designed by Bonnie Erickson, while the rest of the original band members were designed by Michael K. Frith. They made their debut in 1975's The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence and the pilot for The Muppet Show.

The group also meets Miss Piggy at a county fair, and she immediately becomes love-stricken with Kermit. While Kermit and Miss Piggy form a relationship over dinner that night, Hopper and Max kidnap Miss Piggy and use her as bait to lure Kermit. Using an electronic "cerebrectomy" device, Professor Krassman tries to brainwash Kermit into performing in Hopper's advertisements, but an infuriated Miss Piggy knocks out Hopper's henchmen and causes Krassman to be brainwashed by his own device. However, Miss Piggy receives a job offer, and promptly abandons a devastated Kermit.

Miss Piggy Muppet character

Miss Piggy is a Muppet character known for her breakout role in Jim Henson's The Muppet Show. Since her debut in 1976, Miss Piggy has been notable for her volatile diva personality, tendency to use French phrases in her speech, and practice of karate. She was also known for her on-again/off-again relationship with Kermit the Frog, which began in 1978 and has been on a hiatus since 2015. Frank Oz performed the character from 1976 to 2000 and was succeeded by Eric Jacobson in 2001. Miss Piggy was inspired by jazz singer Peggy Lee.

Joined later by Rowlf the Dog and reunited with Miss Piggy, the Muppets continue their journey to Hollywood. Fozzie's 1946 Ford Woodie station wagon breaks down in the New Mexico desert. Sitting at a campfire, the group sadly realizes that they may miss the audition the next day. Kermit wanders off, ashamed for bringing his friends on a fruitless journey, but is reinvigorated after consulting a more optimistic vision of himself. He returns to camp to find that The Electric Mayhem have read ahead in the script, thus knowing where to find the stranded Muppets, and have arrived to help them the rest of the way.

Just when they have renewed optimism, the group is warned by Max that Hopper has hired an assassin, Snake Walker, to kill Kermit. Kermit decides to face his aggressor and proposes a Western-style showdown in a nearby ghost town. There, they find Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and his assistant Beaker, who invent materials that have yet to be tested. Confronting Hopper, Kermit explains his motivations, attempting to appeal to Hopper's own hopes and dreams, but Hopper is unmoved and orders his henchmen to kill Kermit and his friends. They are saved when one of Dr. Bunsen's inventions, "insta-grow" pills, temporarily turns Mayhem drummer Animal into a giant, causing Hopper and his henchmen to flee.

The Muppets finally reach Hollywood. They get past a secretary, Miss Tracy, when their fur causes her to have an allergic reaction, finally meeting studio executive Lew Lord. Lord signs the Muppets to a movie deal, and they attempt to make their first movie as a surreal pastiche of their journey. The first take goes awry when Gonzo crashes into the prop rainbow, breaking it in half and sending it falling onto the rest of the set, while Crazy Harry pulls levers in the control room which overload the electricity circuit, causing an explosion that blows a hole in the roof of the studio. As the Muppets stand in stunned silence, a natural rainbow suddenly shines through the hole and right onto the Muppets. The Muppets, joined by other characters from The Muppet Show, Sesame Street , Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas , and the "Land of Gorch" segment of Saturday Night Live, sing the final verses of "Rainbow Connection."

Cast

Muppet Performers

Frank Oz appears in a cameo as a biker who beats up Fozzie Bear while Steve Whitmire appears as a man in the Bogen County Fair. Also, director Tim Burton is one of the puppeteers in the final shot of the film. John Landis is also in the final shot, performing Grover. Landis and Burton were both uncredited.

Many other long time members of Jim Henson's team also provided puppeteer services, including Steve Whitmire, Kathryn Mullen, Bob Payne, Eren Ozker, Caroly Wilcox, Olga Felgemacher, Bruce Schwartz, Micheal Earl Davis, Buz Suraci, Tony Basilicato and Adam Hunt.

Cameo guest stars

(in order of appearance)

Production

The main obstacle the filmmakers were faced with during the development of The Muppet Movie was whether the Muppets would transition seamlessly from television to film. In 1978, director James Frawley, Jim Henson, and Frank Oz filmed several camera tests outside London to test how the characters would appear in real-world locations. [5] 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." [6] Filming locations included Albuquerque, New Mexico. [7]

To perform Kermit static on a log, Henson squeezed into a specially designed metal container complete with an air hose (to breathe), a rubber sleeve which came out of the top to perform Kermit and a monitor to see his performance, and placed himself under the water, log, and the Kermit puppet. [8] He was also assisted in this operation by Kathryn Mullen and Steve Whitmire. This scene took five days to film. Before this, no film had a hand puppet act with its entire body appearing on-screen. That is, hand puppets were only seen from the waist up, and it became a major plot point to show Kermit with legs. To have Kermit ride a bicycle in a full-body shot, a Kermit puppet with legs was posed onto the seat and his legs and arms were attached to the pedals and handlebars. An overhead crane with a marionette system held the bicycle through strong strings invisible to the camera, guiding the bicycle forward. The crane and system was out of the camera's frame of vision. [5]

Other shots required Muppets standing and acting in a full-body shot. Specially-made, remote-controlled puppets were placed on the set and controlled by puppeteers out of the frame. A dancing Kermit and Fozzie Bear were operated by Henson and Frank Oz in front of a blue screen, and were composited onto a separate reel of the stage. Both of these effects and the bicycle effect would be used again, and refined, in subsequent Muppet films.

The closing reprise of "Rainbow Connection" featured a crowd of more than 250 Muppet characters—virtually every Muppet that had been created up to that point in time. According to Henson Archivist Karen Falk: "137 puppeteers were enlisted from the Puppeteers of America (along with the regular Muppet performers) to perform every Muppet extant. Prior to the day-long filming of the shot, Henson gave the enthusiastic participants a lesson in the art of cinematic puppetry. Amazingly, it did take just one day." The Muppet Show Fan Club newsletter answered the question of "How did they do it?" The response was "There are 250 puppets in the last shot of the film, and they're all moving. How? 150 puppeteers in a 6' deep, 17' wide pit, that's how. They were recruited through the Los Angeles Guild of The Puppeteers of America and almost every puppeteer west of the Rockies reported for pit duty." [9] In September 1978, Edgar Bergen, Henson's idol who appeared in a cameo role, died shortly after completing his scenes. Henson dedicated the film to his memory.

Style

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. In one scene, Kermit and Fozzie encounter Big Bird on the road, offering him a lift to Hollywood, but he declines, heading to New York City to break into public television, referencing the character's role in Sesame Street .

In a particularly meta-fictional plot twist, Kermit and Fozzie actually give the screenplay to Dr. Teeth, who later uses it to find and rescue them after they have been stranded in the desert.

Prop vehicles

Several classic cars were specially selected by Henson for appearances in the film. The most prominent were a pair of 1951 Studebaker Commander Coupes driven by Fozzie Bear in the film. One car was painted but unmodified and driven by a person in the front seat. It was used for long, traveling shots. The second car was driven by a person in the trunk, who viewed the road through a TV set. The television received its image from a camera located in the center nose of the car's front grille. This made it possible for Frank Oz to perform Fozzie Bear in the front seat, and have the character seemingly drive the car in close-up shots. This car is now on display at the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana.

Doc Hopper is chauffeured throughout the movie by Max in a 1959 Cadillac Fleetwood 75 Limousine.

The final car driven by the Muppets is a 1946 Ford Woodie station wagon, famous for its wood panel siding and a valuable collectible.

Music

The film's music was written by Kenneth Ascher and Paul Williams. Regarding the music's composition, Williams said; "Jim Henson gave you more [creative] freedom than anybody I've ever worked with in my life. I said, 'You want to hear the songs as we're writing them?' He said, 'No. I'll hear them in the studio. I know I'm gonna love them.' You just don't get that kind of freedom on a project these days." [10]

"Movin' Right Along", "Never Before, Never Again", and "I Hope That Somethin' Better Comes Along" were shortened in the film, compared to their soundtrack versions, for continuity purposes. The latter, a duet between Rowlf and Kermit, contained references that the studio considered too mature for children, although the song appeared complete in the British theatrical and home video debut versions. In "Finale: The Magic Store", a line performed by Kermit in the film is sung by Fozzie on the soundtrack recording.

Release

Box office

The film proved to be a huge hit at the box office during the summer of 1979 and ended up grossing $76,657,000 domestically [3] [4] (adjusted for inflation, this would equal $265,703,546 in 2016 dollars), making it the seventh highest-grossing film of 1979 and also, the second highest-grossing Muppet film after the release of The Muppets in 2011. The success of the film gave Jim Henson Productions an opportunity to release more Muppet productions theatrically.

The film's successful theatrical release encouraged Lew Grade into furthering his own film distribution company, which later backfired with the massive box office failures of Can't Stop the Music (from EMI) and Raise the Titanic (from ITC), both released by Associated Film Distribution just a year later. [11]

Critical reception

The Muppet Movie received positive reviews. The film currently holds an 88% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an average score of 8/10, based on 48 reviews. The site's consensus says "The Muppet Movie, the big-screen debut of Jim Henson's plush creations, is smart, lighthearted, and fun for all ages." [12]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three-and-a-half out of four stars. In his favorable review, he was fascinated that "The Muppet Movie not only stars the Muppets but, for the first time, shows us their feet." [13] Vincent Canby of The New York Times offered equal praise, stating that the film "demonstrates once again that there's always room in movies for unbridled amiability when it's governed by intelligence and wit." [14] Leonard Maltin's annual movie guide found the film enjoyable, though he called the score "pedestrian", despite the song "Rainbow Connection" being nominated for an Academy Award.

In 2009, it was named to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant and will be preserved for all time. [15]

American Film Institute Lists

Home media

The Muppet Movie was the first film from ITC Entertainment to be released on home video when Magnetic Video issued it in January 1980, having acquired the video rights to ITC's films. It was reissued a few times more by CBS/Fox Video before it was released by Jim Henson Video in 1993. The movie was reissued on VHS by Columbia Tristar Home Video and Jim Henson Home Entertainment in 1 June 1999. The film's first DVD release was from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Jim Henson Home Entertainment on June 5, 2001. It was re-released by Walt Disney Home Entertainment on DVD and reissued as a Walt Disney Pictures release on November 29, 2005, as Kermit's 50th Anniversary Edition.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released The Muppet Movie as the Nearly 35th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on August 13, 2013. [18]

Accolades

Awards
AwardDate of ceremonyCategoryRecipients and nomineesResult
Academy Awards April 14, 1980 Best Original Song "Rainbow Connection" – Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher Nominated
Best Adaptation Score Songs by Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher; Adaption by Paul Williams Nominated
Golden Globe Awards January 26, 1980 Best Original Song "Rainbow Connection" – Paul Williams and Kenny AscherNominated
Grammy Awards February 27, 1980 Best Album for Children Jim Henson and Paul Williams Won
Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media Nominated
Saturn Awards July 26, 1980 Best Fantasy Film Won
Satellite Awards February 23, 2014 [19] Best Youth Blu-ray Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment Nominated

Notes

  1. The film's distribution rights were purchased by The Jim Henson Company from ITC Entertainment in August 1984. [1] The rights were then transferred to Walt Disney Studios upon their parent company's acquisition of the Muppets franchise in 2004. The film has since been subsequently released as a Walt Disney Pictures release.

Related Research Articles

Jim Henson American puppeteer

James Maury Henson was an American puppeteer, artist, cartoonist, inventor, director, producer and screenwriter, who achieved worldwide notice as the creator of The Muppets (1955–) and Fraggle Rock (1983–1987). Born in Greenville, Mississippi, he was raised in Leland, Mississippi and Hyattsville, Maryland.

<i>The Muppet Show</i> 1976–1981 TV series

The Muppet Show is a comedy television series created by Jim Henson and featuring the Muppets. After two pilot episodes produced in 1974 and 1975 failed to get the attention of network executives in the United States, Lew Grade approached Henson to produce the show in the United Kingdom for ATV. Five seasons, totalling 120 episodes, were broadcast on ATV and other ITV franchises in the United Kingdom from 1976 to 1981. The show was filmed at Elstree Studios, England.

Rowlf the Dog muppet

Rowlf the Dog is a Muppet character, a scruffy brown dog of indeterminate breed, though part Corgi, with a rounded black nose and long floppy ears. He was created and originally performed by Jim Henson. Rowlf is the Muppet Theatre's resident pianist, as well as one of the show's main cast members. Calm and wisecracking, his humor is characterized as deadpan and as such, is one of few Muppets who is rarely flustered by the show's prevalent mayhem. He is very easy going and a fan of classical music and musicals.

<i>Its a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie</i> 2002 NBC television film directed by Kirk Thatcher

It's A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie is a 2002 NBC television film, directed by Kirk Thatcher and written by Tom Martin and Jim Lewis and stars Whoopi Goldberg, David Arquette, Joan Cusack, the cast of Scrubs and The Muppets. The plot centers on Kermit the Frog who, after losing all hope for saving the Muppet Theatre, is assisted by an angel who shows him a world in which he had never been born. The film is a homage to Frank Capra's 1946 film, It's a Wonderful Life, which has a similar plot.

<i>A Muppet Family Christmas</i> 1987 television film directed by Peter Harris

A Muppet Family Christmas is a Christmas television special starring Jim Henson's Muppets. It first aired on December 16, 1987, on the ABC television network in the United States. Shot in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, its teleplay was conceived by longtime Muppet writer Jerry Juhl, and directed by Peter Harris and Eric Till. The special features various Muppets from The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, and Muppet Babies. It also stars Gerard Parkes as Doc from the North American wraparound segments of Fraggle Rock, and Henson as himself in a cameo appearance. In the special, the Muppets surprise Fozzie Bear's mother Emily with a Christmas visit to her farm, not knowing that she had already rented out the place to Doc for the holidays so she could spend a winter vacation in Malibu. Due to licensing issues with the songs featured in A Muppet Family Christmas, some scenes have been cut from subsequent North American VHS and DVD releases.

The Muppets at Walt Disney World is a television special starring Jim Henson's Muppets at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The special aired on NBC as part of The Magical World of Disney on May 6, 1990, and turned out to be the last Muppets special that Henson would work on.

Victor Yerrid is an American puppeteer for the Jim Henson Company and has performed Muppet characters in many movies, TV shows and TV commercials. Yerrid is best known in the Muppet World for his work on the online series Statler and Waldorf: From the Balcony, in which he performed Waldorf along with an assortment of other characters.

<i>Rocky Mountain Holiday</i> 1983 album by John Denver

Rocky Mountain Holiday is a television special and a soundtrack album of songs from the show, performed by American singer-songwriter John Denver and The Muppets. The show has Denver playing host to the extended Muppet family; he takes them up into the scenic Rockies for an excursion that includes fishing, hiking, and camping. The soundtrack album was released in November 1982, and the special itself aired May 12, 1983 on ABC. In 1984, the album was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Album for Children, but lost to Michael Jackson's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial storybook.

<i>The Muppet Show</i> (comics) comic book

The Muppet Show is comic book based on the variety television series The Muppet Show and featuring The Muppets. The series was written and drawn by Roger Langridge and published by Boom Kids!, an imprint of Boom! Studios. In 2011, the Boom! license with Disney Publishing Worldwide expired. Disney's own comic book publishing subsidiary, Marvel Comics, renamed the series Muppets and published four issues in 2012.

The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years is a one-hour special starring Jim Henson's Muppets. It was shot in Toronto, Ontario in 1985 and aired January 21, 1986 on CBS.

<i>The Muppets</i> (soundtrack) album

The Muppets: An Original Walt Disney Records Soundtrack is a soundtrack album released by Walt Disney Records on November 22, 2011 for the musical comedy film The Muppets. The soundtrack features five original songs, four re-recordings and remasterings of popular Muppet songs, two cover versions of existing songs, two standalone songs, and fifteen dialogue tracks. It also features the song "Man or Muppet", which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. The soundtrack was also nominated for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media at the 55th Grammy Awards.

The Muppets Go Hollywood is a one-hour television special that aired on CBS. It was used to promote The Muppet Movie.

The Muppets Go To The Movies is a 1981 one-hour television special that aired on ABC. It was used to help promote The Great Muppet Caper.

<i>The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson</i>

The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson is a one-hour special that aired on CBS on November 21, 1990. The program was a tribute to Muppet creator Jim Henson, who had died earlier in 1990 due to toxic shock syndrome caused by a streptococcus infection, and featured characters from The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock, and Sesame Street.

Jim Henson's Muppet Video is a home video series starring Jim Henson's Muppets. They are distributed by Playhouse Video and CBS/Fox Video in 1985. The series were taped in October 1-2, 1984. The Muppets reminisce their moments from The Muppet Show which leads into the clips from the show.

References

  1. Jay Jones, Brian (2013). "Chapter 12: Twists and Turns". Jim Henson: The Biography. Ballantine Books (Random House). pp. 374–375. ISBN   978-0345526113.
  2. "THE MUPPET MOVIE (U)". British Board of Film Classification . May 14, 1979. Retrieved July 27, 2015.
  3. 1 2 Jones, Brian Jay (2013). "Life's Like a Movie". Jim Henson: The Biography. New York: Ballantine Books. p. 296. ISBN   978-0-345-52611-3. Meanwhile, audiences made it [The Muppet Movie] one of the most profitable films of the decade, grossing over $65 million in its initial release—not a bad return on [Lew] Grade's initial $8 million investment.
  4. 1 2 "Box Office Information for The Muppet Movie". The Numbers . Retrieved January 23, 2016.
  5. 1 2 Roessner, Beth (March 22, 2014). "First 'Muppets' director recalls original". USA Today. Retrieved September 5, 2014.
  6. Rabin, Nathan (July 29, 2009). "Austin Pendleton | Film | Random Roles". The A.V. Club. Retrieved December 21, 2012.
  7. 100 years of filmmaking in New Mexico 1898–1998. New Mexico Dept. of Tourism. 1998. p. 118.
  8. Swansburg, John (6 December 2013). "Muppet Man". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 April 2014.
  9. The Muppet Show Fan Club newsletter (vol. 2, no. 1)
  10. "Rainbow Connection". Songfacts.com. Retrieved December 7, 2009.
  11. Lew Grade, Still Dancing: My Story, William Collins & Sons 1987 p 252
  12. "The Muppet Movie". Rotten Tomatoes . Flixster . Retrieved September 8, 2012.
  13. Roger Ebert (November 14, 1979). "The Muppet Movie". Chicago Sun-Times. rogerebert.com. Retrieved February 1, 2012.
  14. Canby, Vincent (22 June 1979). "The Screen: Muppets Go to Hollywood:Roadiest Road Picture". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  15. "25 new titles added to National Film Registry". Yahoo News. Yahoo. December 30, 2009. Archived from the original on January 6, 2010. Retrieved December 30, 2009.
  16. "AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs Nominees" (PDF).
  17. "AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals Ballot" (PDF).
  18. Truitt, Brian (9 August 2013). "Kermit, Fozzie entertain in 'Muppet Movie' camera test". USA Today. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  19. Kilday, Gregg (December 2, 2013). "Satellite Awards: '12 Years a Slave' Leads Film Nominees". The Hollywood Reporter . Retrieved December 2, 2013.