The Great Muppet Caper Review
By Christopher Null
"Great?" I'm not sure about that, but this minor kiddie classic is reasonably entertaining, if only for the chance to see Charles Grodin falling in love for a stuffed pig.
The film opens with amazing promise: Immediately dazzling us with a plethora of Hollywood in-jokes (the poking of fun begins with Kermit and Fozzie mocking the opening credits). A musical number ensures us of the myriad thrills and chills that will soon arrive.
Unfortunately, the film can't really deliver on that promise. In the 80-some minutes that follow, we are let in to the simplistic premise of the film: Kermit and Fozzie Bear are reporters sent to London to write a story about a rich socialite (Diana Rigg) -- though they initially mistake her secretary (Miss Piggy) for her. Quickly they're drawn into a case to figure out who stole a remarkable diamond. There aren't too many suspects (hint: it isn't a puppet), so the film becomes a showpiece for some fun songs and action sequences, which memorably has the Muppets climbing a wall in order to escape from guard dogs. (The real humor actually comes from thinking about what might happen to a pile of stuffed animals in the clutches of hungry Dobermans.)
Filled with self-referential gags and stunts that befit a variety of stuffed creatures, it's still the second-best Muppet movie you'll find (after their debut, of course) and good fun for the whole family.
This anniversary DVD edition includes a Miss Piggy retrospective (of sorts).
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Friday 26th June 1981
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 79%
Fresh: 15 Rotten: 4
Cast & Crew
Starring: Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Frank Oz as Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Dave Goelz as Gonzo, Beauregard, Dr. Bunson Honeydew, Jerry Nelson as Floyd Pepper, Pops, Richard Hunt as Scooter, Statler, Janice, Beaker, Charles Grodin as Nicky Holiday, Diana Rigg as Lady Holiday, John Cleese as Neville, Robert Morley as British Gentleman by Pond, Peter Ustinov as Truck Driver, Jack Warden as Mike Tarkenian