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The Great Muppet Caper (DVD, 2005, 50th Anniversary Edition)
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The Great Muppet Caper - Kermit and Friends Go to London
Mar 6, 2006 (Updated Dec 6, 2008)
Review by Marie Dragonfire
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Cute, entertaining movie with the Muppets.
Cons:Nothing for me.
The Bottom Line: The Great Muppet Caper was a very entertaining family movie that fans of the Muppets should enjoy.
After the success of The Muppet Movie, Jim Henson made a second movie featuring the Muppets, The Great Muppet Caper, in 1981. It was a bit different from The Muppet Movie but it was still very fun and entertaining.
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Kermit and Fozzy were identical brothers working as investigative reporters in New York. Gonzo was their photographer. They managed to miss out on the story about Lady Holiday being robbed in the middle of the day and were fired. Kermit decided that they should travel to London to investigate the story and catch the thieves. They stayed at the Happiness Hotel, a very run down, cheap, hotel. Kermit mistook Miss Piggy for Lady Holiday. Miss Piggy was actually Lady Holiday’s new receptionist and she didn’t correct Kermit. The truth came out when Lady Holiday’s necklace was stolen and Miss Piggy was framed. Kermit, Fozzy, Gonzo and their new friends decided to clear Miss Piggy and catch the real thief before Lady Holiday’s famous baseball diamond was stolen.
The Great Muppet Caper was a very fun, entertaining movie. I first saw it as a child when it was released in theaters. Since then I have seen it many times and I still enjoy it. The movie, like all the projects featuring the Muppets, is good for families. It was rated G, so there isn’t anything in it that parents should be worried about their children seeing. I do think that adults can enjoy the movie as much as children, especially if they were fans of the Muppets earlier in life. I’ve loved the Muppets from childhood and don’t think that will be changing anytime soon.
Some people could think that some of what happened in The Great Muppet Caper was silly. Saying that Kermit and Fozzy were identical twins was rather silly, though it did add laughs to the movie. Early in the movie, a picture of their father was shown. He was a very bizarre looking combination of Kermit and Fozzy. Gonzo said and did several things that made me laugh. Gonzo has always made me laugh. Nicky Holiday, Lady Holiday’s brother, acted like he fell in love with Miss Piggy the first time he saw her. I thought that was humorous. John Cleese was involved in a short sequence with Miss Piggy and Kermit that I thought was very funny. There was a running joke related to the murphy bed in the room that Kermit, Fozzy, and Gonzo were staying in at the Happiness Hotel. There was another running joke related to a light bulb that always fell out of the light fixture. Throughout the movie, different characters mentioned how they were making a movie which might bother some viewers. It did slow the pace a little bit but it worked for the most part.
The plot of The Great Muppet Caper was slightly more complicated than the plot of The Muppet Movie. A small amount of mystery was added to the plot with the part that dealt with the jewel thieves and the attempts the Muppets made to catch them. Within the first few minutes, Lady Holiday was robbed. Once the action had moved to England, one of her very expensive necklaces was stolen. The mystery part wasn’t that complex, possibly because it was a movie for children, but it still made things interesting. The identity of the thieves was shared before the end of the movie. There were still other things going on throughout the movie to keep it interesting. There was even a small amount of action added in a few scenes, like when the Muppets were climbing up the side of a building and fighting the thieves when they eventually confronted them. The movie was predictable, so there really weren’t any surprises. Children could be surprised by some things that happened even if their parents aren’t. The movie did include several original songs. None of them became as popular as The Rainbow Connection from The Muppet Movie did.
Kermit, Fozzy, Gonzo, and Miss Piggy were the main Muppet characters in The Great Muppet Caper. Several other well known Muppet characters were also in the movie in smaller parts. I had actually forgotten that Rizzo the rat had a small part in it as a bellhop in the Happiness Hotel. Most of the time, only the upper bodies of the Muppets were shown. That is what was done in The Muppet Movie and The Muppet Show. Miss Piggy was featured in a fantasy sequence that made her the star of a swimming extravaganza. She was shown swimming, including some underwater shots. I have a feeling those were very difficult to film. Kermit once again was riding a bicycle. At first he was riding with Miss Piggy and then later many other Muppet characters joined them. I once saw something on television in which Jim Henson explained how that scene was accomplished.
Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Jerry Nelson and Richard Hunt were all back performing as several Muppet characters each. The characters had been introduced on The Muppet Show originally. A few of the characters did get a little more to do in this movie than they did in The Muppet Movie. Steve Whitmire performed for two new characters for the movie, Rizzo the Rat and Lips. Whitmire later went on to perform Kermit after the death of Jim Henson.
Lady Holiday and her brother Nicky were the only main characters that weren’t Muppets. The two characters didn’t have as much to do as the main Muppet characters. Lady Holiday was a well known fashion designer that had a collection of very expensive jewelry. A group of jewel thieves seemed to be targeting her collection, first stealing some in New York and then stealing a necklace in London. Diana Rigg was fine in the part. Nicky didn’t seem to actually do anything other than sponge off of his sister. He did have a position in her fashion business, but it seemed like the position was just a formality. He became very attracted to Miss Piggy once he met her. Charles Grodin handled the part well. Three models that worked for Lady Holiday were around in several scenes without being developed that much. Several popular actors, like John Cleese, Peter Falk, and Peter Ustinov made small cameo appearances. There weren’t as many cameos in this movie as there were in The Muppet Movie. John Cleese’s cameo was probably the largest. Jim Henson even appeared as a man that Gonzo took a picture of in a supper club. Oscar the Grouch turned up very briefly at the end of Peter Ustinov’s scene.
John Cleese - Neville (Cameo guest star)
Dave Goelz - Gonzo/Zoot/Dr. Bunsen Honeydew/Beauregard
Charles Grodin - Nicky Holiday
Jim Henson - Kermit/Rowlf/Dr. Teeth/Swedish Chef/Waldorf/The Muppet Newsman
Richard Hunt - Scooter/Statler/Janice/Sweetums/Beaker/Bubba
Robert Morley - British Gentleman (Cameo guest star)
Jerry Nelson - Floyd Pepper/Pops/Lew Zealand/Crazy Harry/Zeke
Frank Oz - Miss Piggy/Fozzy/Animal/Sam the Eagle/Gramps
Carroll Spinney - Oscar the Grouch
Diana Rigg - Lady Holiday
Peter Ustinov - Truck Driver (Cameo guest star)
Jack Warden - News Editor (Cameo guest star)
Steve Whitmire - Rizzo the rat/Lips
Jim Henson - Director
I got The Great Muppet Caper on DVD a few years ago. In the fall of 2005, new DVD versions of the Muppet movies were released in connection with Kermit’s 50th anniversary. I think the new versions have more bonus features. The DVD that I have does have both the widescreen and full screen versions, one on each side of the double sided DVD. The only bonus features are three Muppetisms and trailers for a few family movies. The Muppetisms were cute but very short. The trailers were some of the ones that were included on The Muppet Movie DVD. It would have been nice if there had been more extras, like something on the making of the movie. Personally, I would have loved to have had a commentary from Jim Henson, but I know that won’t ever happen since he died in 1990.
The Great Muppet Caper is a fun, entertaining movie that is good for families. I think that all the Muppet movies could be enjoyed by children now if they are introduced to the characters. I grew up loving the Muppets and still enjoy the movies. Fans of the Muppets will more than likely enjoy this movie.
The Muppet Show - Season One ~ The Muppet Show - Season 2 ~ The Muppet Show - Season 3 ~ It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie ~ The Muppet Movie ~ The Muppets Take Manhattan ~ Muppet Family Christmas ~ The Muppet Christmas Carol ~ Muppet Treasure Island ~ Muppets From Space ~ Fraggle Rock - Season 1 ~
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