The Great Muppet Caper (1981)

Identical twins!

Identical twins!

For some reason, people tend to think that I’m heartless and unsentimental (these people have obviously never seen me cry over animal odd couples). One reason people think this is that I generally hate children’s movies. I have no patience for cutesy bullshit. I don’t know if they ever found Nemo, and, moreover, I don’t care. As a result, when my husband said we were going to eventually watch The Great Muppet Caper I took this as more of a threat than a promise. Then, one night, it finally happened, and I decided to accept my fate sooner rather than later in hopes of getting the eyeroll-inducing torture over with.

I’ll be damned, the darn thing charmed the pants off of me. Worse still, it didn’t even take long; the first scene had me giggling and excited for muppet silliness. I guess when a muppet breaks the fourth wall before the opening credits I take it as a good sign. Right away, I could tell this movie wasn’t another Follow that Bird, and I was very grateful for that, indeed. Kermit is much smarter than Big Bird, and while I can’t say the same for Fozzie and Gonzo, at least they’re amusing!

Peter Falk!

Peter Falk!

I feel silly writing up a synopsis, because a) you probably know this movie by heart and b) uh, well, it’s a muppet movie. But, I guess it’s kind of an unavoidable part of my job, so here goes. Fozzie and Kermit are identical twin reports for the Daily Chronicle. Together with their photographer Gonzo, the three embark upon an investigation to find out who stole the famous Lady Holiday’s diamonds. The mystery brings them to England, where they have no money, and so are forced to stay at the Happiness Hotel. Here they meet a bunch of friends who help them on their crime-solving journey.

Along the way, Kermit meets and falls in love with Miss Piggy, who is working for Lady Holiday and constantly avoiding the advances of Holiday’s useless, scum-sucking brother, Nicky. Turns out, Nicky is in league with some money-hungry models to steal more of his sister’s jewels, and they’ve got the perfect patsy: Miss Piggy! When Kermit and the crew find out she’s been framed, they’ll do anything to prove her innocence and catch the real culprits red-handed.

Even my stone cold heart was warmed by Miss Piggy and Kermit's romantic bike ride.

Even my stone cold heart was warmed by Miss Piggy and Kermit’s romantic bike ride.

As much as it may pain me to admit, this movie is adorably silly and entertaining. How on earth I managed to get emotionally invested in the trials and tribulations of these muppets is beyond me, but they had more character to them than most of the humans in the film! Most importantly though, it’s pretty darn clever, and that’s probably what made me warm up to it as much as I have. While it certainly isn’t going to convince me I should watch the newer muppet movies that have been pumped out recently (because damn most new things, right?), I just might eagerly and excitedly watch the old ones.

And now for the heartwarming, introspective section of my post: marriage and The Great Muppet Caper have taught me a few things. In no particular order: 1) I should keep listening to my husband. He’s right sometimes. 2) Movies for kids aren’t all bad. 3) Never be afraid to like something you thought you were going to hate! 4) Don’t stop hating, though, because sometimes that’s fun, too.


1 Response to “The Great Muppet Caper (1981)”

  1. March 8, 2014 at 8:03 am

    I had the exact same reaction when Paul sat me down to watch this movie. I have since been seduced by the Muppets, and even convinced that they are not entirely for children. But I think it is a generational thing, at least to some extent. My younger sisters really cannot get into them, and that is in part, I believe, because they did not grow up with them. There is no nostalgic element to the viewing, or appreciation of the fact that what you loved as a five year old still holds up and is, for that matter, way more clever and nuanced than you could have known at that age! I didn’t watch them much either as a child (or much t.v. at all, really), which I think accounts for my initial reluctance. It is amazing what an emotional experience their movies and shows are for those who did grow up with them, though, isn’t it?

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