The Great Muppet Caper 1981

The Great Muppet Caper

Critics Consensus

The Great Muppet Caper is overplotted and uneven, but the appealing presence of Kermit, Miss Piggy and the gang ensure that this heist flick is always breezily watchable.

76%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 21

78%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 35,211

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Movie Info

In the second live-action Muppets film, intrepid journalists Kermit, Fozzie and Gonzo snag an assignment reporting on a British jewel heist. Arriving in England, the trio settles in at the raucous Happiness Hotel and seeks out socialite Lady Holiday, the victim of the theft. Soon Miss Piggy appears, intending to work for Lady Holiday, but she ends up being framed by the aristocrat's scheming brother, Nicky. Kermit and company work to clear Piggy's name.

Cast & Crew

Jim Henson
Kermit the Frog, Rowlf, Dr. Teeth, Swedish Chef, Waldorf, The Muppet Newsman, Zeke, Man having Snapshot in Restaurant
Frank Oz
Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Sam the Eagle, Gramps, Swedish Chef
Dave Goelz
The Great Gonzo, Beauregard, Zoot, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Lobbuck Lou
Jerry Nelson
Floyd Pepper, Pops, Lew Zealand, Crazy Harry, Louis Kazager, Slim Wilson, CB Voice, Man in Park
Richard Hunt
Scooter, Statler, Sweetums, Janice, Beaker, Bubba, Monster, Cab Driver
Charles Grodin
Nicky Holiday
Diana Rigg
Lady Holiday
Robert Morley
British Gentleman
Peter Ustinov
Truck Driver
Frank Oz
Producer
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News & Interviews for The Great Muppet Caper

Critic Reviews for The Great Muppet Caper

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (5)

Audience Reviews for The Great Muppet Caper

  • Sep 07, 2018
    This second major Muppet production was a British - American collaboration and marked Jim Henson's directorial debut. Alas twas the only major Muppet movie to be directed by Jim Henson. So this movie was a caper, a crime caper, and it was set in England. The premise? Well there's a big jewel heist (in New York I think) and local reporters Kermit and Fozzie miss it. Because of this the duo get axed from their reporter jobs. Luckily they manage to talk their editor into allowing them to fly to England in order to investigate the crime and interview the victim, Lady Holiday (Diana Rigg). Upon reaching England the duo (plus Gonzo) team up with other Muppets and begin to unravel the crime despite only being reporters and not the police. Like the first Muppet movie I grew up with this one. This was a regular VHS weekend viewing type situation for many years (along with 'Superman 3'). So I will cut straight to the chase here and say that I prefer this second movie over the first. Yep, the rather odd intro of Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo landing in downtown Manhatten (?) in their hot air balloon for no real apparent reason. Where just moments before Gonzo was essentially contemplating suicide because it looked like fun. And upon hitting the ground a song and dance routine breaks out...just because. Is indeed all very off the wall, but its visually brilliant and a clear sign of what's to come. It's funny really. Where as the first movie had a really underwhelming plot, as far as I'm concerned, it was relatively grounded for the Muppets and needed some more wackiness. I put this down to the creative team behind the movie wanting to be a little safe for their first outing. Whereas this movie had a much more exciting plot which didn't really need too much crazy antics but it got a whole tonne of wackiness. Clearly the team had much more confidence this time around. I think the real highlight of this movie is the Happiness Hotel located on [i]Cheapside Street[/i] in west London. This is where many Muppets now reside as it appears to be mainly for Muppets that have no money. The hotel is typical old fashioned British manor house that is falling apart at the seams, complete with a rickety old double-decker tour bus. Most of the scene here are easily the best from the songs to the bedroom heist planning sequences. I love how the creative team utilised the building for Muppet hijinks; it's a typical Muppet-esque set scenario. There are plenty of other highlights to mention such as the fun yet extremely stupid robbery sequence at the end. Here the crooks (led by the rather uninspired choice of Charles Grodin) are sprung upon by all the Muppets as they try to steal the fabulous baseball diamond from a gallery. Again it's a typical Muppet-esque sequence that naturally makes no sense at all and has Muppets popping up all over the place despite being in random other places merely seconds before (or not even a part of the movie up to that point). The closeup shots and editing of each Muppet doing something utterly insane is glorious as they play a game of catch to keep the diamond away from the robbers. It's only when you get a revealing wide shot that everything looks stupid (dunno why they did that as it wrecks the illusion). Of course this is a Muppet movie so we have a whole string of cameos again, but this time we actually see a few of the creative team getting cameos. Jim Henson is in a blink and you'll miss it moment. Jerry Nelson and his daughter have a walkon moment, along with Frank Oz and Richard Hunt. Star wise Peter Falk has an amusing and decent sized cameo. Peter Ustinov pops up quickly. But by far the best must be John Cleese along with Joan Sanderson who team up together once again ([i]Fawlty Towers[/i]) to play familiar characters. I think one of the biggest negative points I have to raise here was that gosh darn romance between Miss Piggy and Kermit. They [b]really[/b[ lay this element on thick this time with the frog and pig getting loads of romance time which quite frankly becomes irritating. I've got nothing against frog and pig lovin' but holy felted balls it's in your face. Piggy never stops lusting after Kermit whilst the green one holds back for as long as he can before submitting to her advances. We then get some quite long scenes of slush such as the (now infamous) aquatic sequence with a swimming Piggy which is very well done but kinda stops the movie in its tracks for me. Its all done for giggles of course but my God its vomit-inducing, which is the entire point but...yeesh! Of course the movie is visually dated in terms of both ideas and styles of the time, which adds to the overall old English charm factor. Take that swanky club sequence, the clubs interior, what the feck was that?? It looked like the set of a sci-fi movie. The costumes and makeup are all gloriously top-heavy with early an 80's passion, whilst the sets do generally look like sets...but Muppet sets, which is cool. Not sure about the sequences where the Muppets are thrown out of planes when over the UK and US. Firstly they have to travel in the baggage hold which seems really cruel. And then when the plane is over the destination country a steward comes down and literally hurls them out of a hatch! That always kinda disturbed me as a kid and it still kinda does now. I think overall this Muppet movie is better than the original for the simple fact that the plot is far more engaging...despite still being a bit thin. There is definitely more punch with this movie, a more energetic vibe, more exciting with a small element of risk involved (but not really, obviously). The original movie had more sentimentality I think, this movie is more zany and madcap. It's not the best example of a Muppet movie but I think its probably the best of the early offerings with more colourful and funny sequences. Not forgetting that this movie introduced the new Muppet Rizzo the Rat and his rodent family. [i]'if we wanna get Miss Piggy out of jail we've gotta catch those thieves red-handed'[/i] [i]'what colour are their hands now?'[/i]
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • Jun 09, 2014
    Not the best Muppet movie ever. Hell, I think the film that succeeded it, Muppets Take Manhattan, is superior to this. But, of course, this being a Muppet film, that still means that this is still a pretty damn fun movie with plenty of clever dialogue that constantly breaks the fourth wall and makes reference to the fact that this is a movie, Miss Piggy overacting, Charles Grodin's singing being dubbed over in Piggy's fantasy sequence, among other lines. Much like any other theatrical Muppet film in existence, the film has some adult humor but not enough to where it's "offensive" to a family audience. This might be the Muppet movie with the least amount of cameos I can think of. Maybe I'm wrong, but at least they make it count. The best cameo would have to be John Cleese's as they combine his deadpan delivery with the Muppets' slapstick and it works like a charm, surprisingly enough. There's also a tremendous performance from Charles Grodin as the main villain of the film, it's clear he was having fun with the role and it shows, Grodin makes this goofy character incredibly entertaining. The film's main problems are its unevenness and inconsistency. Relatively minor issues in one of these movies, but they're still there. There's still plenty of highlights, Piggy's dream sequence being one of them. Super short review, but it's a Muppet movie. You know what you can expect from them, fun and good times and this film is no different. Not without its flaws, but a damn fun movie.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Mar 20, 2012
    Very funny - a classic Muppet movie!
    Sarah P Super Reviewer
  • Mar 08, 2012
    "2nd outing for the muppets on the big screen, here going to London and getting involved in jewel heists and britishness some good fun and humour from the gang and some lighthearted action from the loveable muppets.
    scott g Super Reviewer

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