Muppets Most Wanted is the eighth Muppet movie and what seems to be the last one for awhile. After the huge success of The Muppets and the addition of Walter, a sequel was inevitable. Which is why that’s the first song they sing. Muppets Most Wanted is done in the style of an international heist flick. Kermit and the Muppets go on a world tour lead by Dominic Badguy (pronounced Badgee). Meanwhile, a dastardly criminal mastermind and “the most dangerous frog in the world” Constantine escapes a Serbian Gulag. That’s where all those evil Kermit memes come from. As Constantine switches places with Kermit. Leaving Kermit imprisoned in the Gulag and Constantine in disguise with the Muppets. Nobody, not Fozzie, not Scooter, not Gonzo, not even Miss Piggy can tell that he isn’t Kermit. Except for Animal who can tell right away. When the heists do happen, Sam Eagle and a French agent are on the case. Muppets Most Wanted, much like the previous movie, takes cues from the second installment. With all the mysterious caper stuff. As well as the third installment with it ending in a wedding. The Muppets haven’t done anything substantial since the less than stellar show the muppets. So Muppets Most Wanted, with its humor, massive amount of celebrities, and catchy songs, should be enough to help you appreciate how wonderful Jim Henson’s Muppets really are.
The Muppets travel the world
Preceded by: The Muppets
The Muppets is the seventh Muppet movie and the first theatrical one in 12 years. After a full decade, it seemed like younger viewers wouldn’t accept old fashion puppetry on the big screen. That couldn’t be more false, because The Muppets finally brings the Muppets back to their former glory. Although they made a few before (expect for the last one that was from Sony), The Muppets is the first official Muppet movie from Walt Disney Pictures. The Muppets is done in the style of a “putting the band back together” to “save the theater” story. It makes the bold decision to introduce a new Muppet. Walter, a fan of the Muppets with a human brother. Gary (played by Jason Segel) and Mary (played by Amy Adams) take him to the old Muppet Studio only to realize that a greedy rich Texan named Tex Richman will tear it down unless $10 million is raised. So they set out to find Kermit the Frog. Who’s willing but reluctant to bring his old castmates back together. Like in the first movie, they travel by car to collect every Muppet. Which includes, but is not limited to Fozzie Bear, Gonzo the Great, Scooter, Swedish Chef, Animal, Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem, Sam Eagle, Rowlf the Dog, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, and of course Miss Piggy. Who proves more difficult than the rest. Everything does go well for them though. As their show slowly, but surely becomes a beloved success (Kermit and Miss Piggy even kiss). The Muppets brings back all the self aware humor (along with criticism from Statler and Waldorf), 2010’s celebrities, and amazing new songs like the Oscar winning “Man or Muppet,” that made us love the Muppets in the first place. I think Jim Henson would have been proud.
The Muppets grand finale
Preceded by: Muppets from Space & Followed by: Muppets Most Wanted
Muppets from Space is the sixth Muppet movie and the last theatrical one for 12 years. I was only 4 years old at the time, but I remember going to see it in theaters. It’s also the other Muppet movie I had on VHS. I watched it more times than any other Muppet movie. Which is why it’s my personal favorite. Even if some people consider it to be the weakest installment. Muppets from Space is done in the style of a science fiction movie. It’s the first Muppet movie to put focus on one of the supporting Muppets. Gonzo in this case. As opposed to the post-Jim Henson Disney productions that focused on humans. While Kermit is a frog, Miss Piggy is a pig, and Fozzie is a bear, Gonzo is… a whatever? After frequent space related signs, Gonzo finally learns the truth. That he’s actually an alien. Which gets him and Rizzo (who’s taken in as a lab mouse) captured by a secret Area 51 type facility. Muppets from Space sees the Muppets living together in one big house. They’re mostly there to help Gonzo in anyway that they can. Muppets like Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker have a bigger role since the movie calls for more science. Pepe the King Prawn and Animal also have their fair share of spotlight moments. It’s also the only Muppet movie to be a jukebox musical. Giving it, and its celebrity cameos a distinct late 90’s vibe. Regardless of what people say, Muppets from Space is a hilariously underappreciated sci-fi twist on the Muppets.
The Muppets look up to space
Preceded by: Muppet Treasure Island & Followed by: The Muppets
Muppet Treasure Island is the fifth Muppet movie and the second one directed by Jim Henson’s son Brian Henson. Also released by Disney, it was one of two Muppet movies I owned on VHS as a child. I watched it a lot, but not often. Muppet Treasure Island is done in the style of Treasure Island. It was my first introduction to the story. Just like the last movie, it replaces key characters with Muppets. However since Jim Hawkins and Captain Long John Silver are both important to the story, they’re both human. Notably Tim Curry who proves to be one of the best actors ever to portray the one legged pirate. The story plays out the same as the original telling only with a lot more humor. Jim is accompanied by Gonzo & Rizzo (whose rat relatives stay on a cruise portion of the ship). Kermit the Frog plays ship Captain Smollett and Fozzie Bear plays the squire. Sam Eagle takes on a bigger role this time as Mr. Arrow. While Miss Piggy doesn’t show up until later on the island. Playing a female version of Ben who now has romantic ties to Smollett. Muppet Treasure Island may have less focus on Muppets, but its humor, sense of adventure, and extremely catchy songs like “Cabin Fever” make it a swashbuckling delight.
The Muppets set sail
Preceded by: The Muppets Christmas Carol & Followed by: Muppets from Space
The Muppet Christmas Carol is the fourth Muppet movie and the first one directed by Brian Henson. Since Jim Henson passed away, his son stepped up to follow his legacy. It’s also the first one by Disney. Christmas may be long over, but The Muppet Christmas Carol is one of the most beloved Christmas movies for kids of the 90’s. I wasn’t one of them though, since I’ve only seen it once. The Muppet Christmas Carol is done in the style of A Christmas Carol. Making it one of a hundred other Christmas Carol adaptations in existence. That also makes it the first Muppet movie to tell a famous story with Muppets in place of key characters. Except for the main character who remains human. Michael Caine makes for a very memorable Ebenezer Scrooge. Taking his role seriously as if it were in a Muppetless version. Kermit the Frog (replaced permanently by Steve Whitmire) plays Bob Cratchit and Miss Piggy his wife. Kermit’s nephew Robin plays Tiny Tim. Statler and Waldorf both play Marley and Fozzie Bear plays Scrooge’s old boss. The story itself plays out the same as it always is. Only with three Muppet ghosts and Gonzo & Rizzo doing light hearted narration. The Muppet Christmas Carol has less celebrities, cheerful songs, and plenty of Muppet filled Christmas spirit.
The Muppets and Scrooge celebrate Christmas
Preceded by: The Muppets Take Manhattan & Followed by: Muppet Treasure Island
The Muppets Take Manhattan is the third Muppet movie and the only one directed by Miss Piggy himself Frank Oz. Jim Henson just sticks to producing and performing Kermit the Frog this time around. The Muppets Take Manhattan is a Muppet movie I’ve seen more than once. One time in full and a few times on TV. Making it one of my favorite Muppet movies. Since I feel it best emphasizes the Muppets best character traits. The Muppets Take Manhattan is done in the style of an old fashion broadway dreamer story. With all the mid 80’s celebrities or songs like “Together Again” you’d expect. The Muppets are fresh out of college with plans of taking their show on broadway. However, constant rejection causes them to go their separate ways. Kermit stays in New York (so does Miss Piggy, but Kermit doesn’t know that), meanwhile the Muppets lead a wacky assortment of jobs. Fozzie is living with the bears, Scooter is an usher, Gonzo is a stunt performer, and Rowlf is in a kenal. Kermit is still trying to get the show made while staying at a rat infested restaurant. Where he works with a girl who has dreams of her own. Miss Piggy is jealous of course. The Muppets Take Manhattan is one of the funnier Muppet movies. Mostly when Kermit disguises himself and loses his memory. It’s also one of the sweetest because Kermit and Miss Piggy finally get married. Plus the Muppet Babies appear for the first time. The Muppets Take Manhattan is a gold standard Muppet movie.
The Muppets take Manhattan
Preceded by: The Great Muppet Caper & Followed by: The Muppet Christmas Carol
The Great Muppet Caper is the second Muppet movie and the only one directed by creator Jim Henson. Meaning he had double duty as both the director and voice/puppeteer for Kermit the Frog. Unlike most Muppet movies though, I’ve actually only seen The Great Muppet Caper once. Although I have seen the trailer on VHS several times. The movie was released in 1981. Right after The Muppet Show ended. Opening up a new life for the Muppets in the movies. The Great Muppet Caper is done in the style of a mystery movie. As Kermit and Fozzie Bear play identical twin (a running gag) detectives trying to solve a mystery. With Gonzo acting as their photographer. Their tasked with solving the mystery of who stole a priceless jewel in London. The rest of the Muppets show up in a run down hotel they have to stay in. The main conflict comes when Miss Piggy is framed for the heist and the Muppets have to help clear her name. The Great Muppet Caper doesn’t stand out too much for me, but it still has more than enough of what we love from the Muppets. Like Statler and Waldorf heckling everybody, songs like “Hey a Movie!,” or early 80’s celebrities. The Great Muppet Caper was in good hands with Jim Henson.
The Muppets solve a mystery
Preceded by: The Muppet Movie & Followed by: The Muppets Take Manhattan
The Muppet Movie is the first movie to star everyone’s favorite celebrity puppet troupe. Everyone loves the Muppets and I am no exception. Like most kids growing up, I enjoyed watching Sesame Street & the Muppets (mainly the movies). Jim Henson is of course the creator of everything Muppet. He’s the father of puppetry. As his Muppets wowed viewers with their songs, sketch comedy, self-aware humor, and celebrity guest appearances. The success of The Muppet Show made a movie inevitable. The Muppet Movie was released in 1979 after their third season. Kermit the Frog is just a dreamer living in the swamps. Until a talent agent hears his muppetational singing voice and tells him to pursue show business. The Muppet Movie is done in the style of a road movie. As Kermit sets off to Hollywood all the while avoiding a businessman who wants his frog legs. Along the way meeting some familiar faces for the first time. Fozzy Bear working as a stand-up comedian, Gonzo working as a plumber, Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem managed by Scooter, and everyone else. Even Big Bird shows up and Sweetums tries to catch up with them. But the most important encounter is between Kermit and the love of his life Miss Piggy. My favorite frog-pig couple. The Muppet Movie is filled with their trademark humor, several late 70’s celebrities, and wonderful songs. Like “Movin’ Right Along” or my personal favorite “The Rainbow Connection.” It never fails to make me happy, just like The Muppet Movie.
The Muppets hit the road
Followed by: The Great Muppet Caper
The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement takes us out of America and into the fictional land of Genovia. 5 years later, Princess Mia Thermopolis is ready to begin her royal duties. One of the biggest complaints about the sequel is that it isn’t based on any of the many books that were released since the first. Mainly because Mia is now friends with her true love from the first movie. Setting in motion the plot of The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. Which centers on Mia having to get married in 30 days or risk losing the throne. Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews try their best, but their not enough to hold the sequel together. A far cry from Garry Marshall’s older work. The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement is far less funny, cringier, and unfocused. I’m sure little kids got into things like mattress surfing, but I was too old. Then there’s the romance between Mia and Nicholas (played by a young Chris Pine in his film debut). Probably the only highlight of the sequel, but it ends in a ridiculous way. Not even the change of scenery is enough to elevate it. The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement is a sequel so goody goody Anne Hathaway starred in Brokeback Mountain just to escape its image.
Nicholas (right) teaches Mia (left) to shoot an arrow
P.S. Why does this movie have an out of nowhere Stan Lee cameo in it! It’s a mystery that continues to perplex me to this day.
Preceded by: The Princess Diaries
The Princess Diaries is the movie that brought us Anne Hathaway. As it was her film debut when she was only 15 years old. The Princess Diaries is arguably the most iconic live-action Disney movie of the early 2000’s. Despite that fact, I didn’t watch it until I was in my late teens. My cousins tried to make me watch it once when I was a kid, but I figured it was too girly. When I did give The Princess Diaries a chance, I loved it. The Princess Diaries is based on a YA book of the same name. It centers on high school student Mia Thermopolis. She’s awkward, quirky, artsy, and has large curly hair with thick glasses. She’s also afraid of public speaking. Her life only gets more complicated when her long lost grandmother from the fictional country Genovia Queen Clarisse reveals her to be a princess (shut up!). With the full name Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo. So Mia must endure regorise royal etiquette training in order to become better princess material. Since Anne Hathaway was a newcomer at the time, her iconic makeup transformation was far more shocking. A lot like Garry Marshall’s other movie Pretty Woman. Disney is filled with princesses, but The Princess Diaries is the first to really capture what it means to be one. Anne Hathaway’s instant star power and Julie Andrews presence help make The Princess Diaries a true stand out.
Mia transforms into a princess
Followed by: The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement