Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

The Muppet Movie (1979)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

The Muppet Movie (1979)

In director James Frawley's great children's film - an entertaining film deliberately filled with cheesy puns, sight gags, one-liners and jokes (i.e. turning left at the literal fork in the road), numerous celebrity cameos (from Hollywood's Golden Age through to hip comedians and actors of the time), and astonishing puppetry tricks (Kermit riding a bicycle without any visible means of support):

  • in the film's opening, a rowdy group of Muppets in a Hollywood studio's screening room were there for a private viewing to watch a film-within-a film - the rags-to-riches origins of Kermit the Frog (voice of Jim Henson) in a Georgia swamp
  • the enchanting opening of Kermit the frog in the swamp strumming a banjo and singing the Oscar-nominated "The Rainbow Connection"
  • Kermit was approached by a vacationing Hollywood talent scout Bernie (Dom Deluise) in a rowboat, and handed a Daily Variety advertisement encouraging him to come to Hollywood and find success in professional show business ("All frogs wishing to become rich and famous")
  • Kermit decided to embark on a cross-country trip to Hollywood, California, encountering other bizarre Muppets who joined him along the way. Additional Muppets included unfunny, clownish song-and-dance Fozzie the Bear (voice of Frank Oz), silly, chicken-loving plumber Great Gonzo (voice of Dave Goelz), Gonzo's girlfriend Camille the Chicken (voice of Jerry Nelson), Dr. Teeth (also Henson) and the Electric Mayhem Band, pianist Rowlf the Dog (also Henson), and Kermit's future vain, preening and explosively violent sweetheart Miss Piggy (also Oz), with whom he experienced love-at-first-sight ("Never Before, Never Again"); with Kermit, Rowlf sang a duet: "I Hope That Something Better Comes Along"
  • there were over a dozen celebrity cameos from Hollywood's Golden Age through to hip comedians and actors of the time, including ventriloquist Edgar Bergen (who died shortly after his scene was filmed and to whom the film was dedicated) and his dummy Charlie McCarthy, and the brilliantly funny Steve Martin as a sarcastic waiter
  • during their journey in Fozzie's 1951 Studebaker, they were pursued by villainous restaurateur Doc Hopper (Charles Durning) (a greedy KFC Colonel Sanders) and his insane, German-accented mad-scientist assistant Professor Max Krassman (Mel Brooks). Hopper was the owner of a French-fried frogs' legs fast-food franchise, who wanted Kermit to be employed for him as a spokesperson for his business chain. When Kermit refused ("All I can see are millions of frogs on tiny crutches"), he was abducted and a failed attempt was made to change Kermit's mind through electronic brainwashing
  • Gonzo sweetly sang "I'm Going to Go Back There Someday" while the gang was stranded in the desert at night
  • Kermit literally experienced a magical conversation with himself: ("Well, then...I guess I was wrong when I said I never promised anyone. I promised me...")
  • there was a western-styled showdown in a ghost town between cowboy-costumed Kermit and Hopper who threatened: ("All right, Frog, one last chance. You're gonna do my TV commercial live or stuffed"); Kermit replied: ("Hopper, what's the matter with you? You gotta be crazy chasin' me half-way across the country. Why are you doing this to me?"). When Doc Hopper expressed his desire to own a thousand frog-leg restaurants, Kermit replied: ("I've got a dream too. But it's about singing and dancing and making people happy. That's the kind of dream that gets better the more people you share it with. And, well, I've found a whole bunch of friends who have the same dream. And, it kind of makes us like a family. You have anybody like that, Hopper? I men, once you get all those restaurants, who're you gonna share it with? Who are your friends, Doc? Those guys? I got lots of friends")
  • in the deus ex machina ending, Animal (also Oz) grew to giant size after swallowing InstaGrow pills and scared off Doc Hopper. In Hollywood, studio executive Lew Lord (Orson Welles) instructed his secretary (Cloris Leachman): "Miss Tracy, prepare the standard 'rich-and-famous' contract for Kermit the Frog and company."
  • in the climax during script practice, Gonzo crashed into a prop rainbow, and an explosion blew a hole in the roof of the studio, causing a rainbow to shine through the studio set ceiling onto the cast; the entire Muppet group sang a reprise of "The Rainbow Connection" ("Life's like a movie, write your own ending, keep believing, keep pretending, we did what we set out to do...") - interrupted when Sweetums (voice of Richard Hunt) burst through the film's screen into the theater where the rest of the Muppet cast was watching the film: ("I just KNEW I'd catch up to you guys!").
"The Rainbow Connection"
  • there were additional end credits antics of the Muppets, concluding with Animal bursting through the "THE END" screen and telling the audience: "Go home! Go home! Bye-bye!"

"The Rainbow Connection"

Fork in the Road

Kermit on Bicycle

Miss Piggy

Rowlf and Kermit's Duet

Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy

Kermit's Conversation With Himself

Western Showdown


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