The Great Muppet Caper (1981)

The Great Muppet Caper is the second (as far as I can tell) in the Muppet movie franchise.

The basic plot is that twin reporters, Kermit the Frog and Fozzie Bear, miss a jewel heist happening right in front them, get fired and end up going to England to try to interview Lady Holiday and to recover her jewels, thus ensuring a triumphant return to their jobs.

The self-awareness of this film is even more deliberate, even sharper and more 4th wall breaking than in The Muppet Movie. I found it highly amusing at the beginning but by the end of the movie the charm of it had rubbed off and it felt overused, like a 3 day old sardine out of its tin. Ok, not that bad but it had definitely stopped being amusing by the end.

Once again, there were musical numbers out the wazoo. And once again, it was quite different from The Muppet Movie. Where I was humming, singing and tapping my metaphorical toe in the first movie, these numbers were much more group oriented, almost felt like broadway chorus songs. I didn’t find myself entranced by the music at all. Psychic Grandma wouldn’t have tried to convert any of these into belgian boom wave, not even into 7/92 tempo!

The silly, over the top, zany humor, situations and physical comedy were just the same however. Miss Piggy is as bipolar as ever between Bashful Debutante and Kungfu Queen. Fozzie is clueless, Gonzo is suicidal (in a very “I wonder what X would be like” rather than a depressed and anxious way) and Kermit is the glue that binds every character together. The human cast did an admirable job of playing to the Muppets but my goodness, they were even more shallow and ridiculous than Doc Hopper and his Frog Hunter in the first movie. The Love Triangle between the Jewel Thief, Kermit and Miss Piggy is as developed as a can of playdo and is used as an excuse to A: further the plot and B: make comments about it doing nothing but furthering the plot. I have to admit though, just thinking about it all still brings a smile to my face.

While this had some differences from the first movie that didn’t work for me, I still laughed and smiled while watching this. And since that is ALL I expect from this franchise, it’s a solid success. I guess my final verdict is a thumbs up.

72 thoughts on “The Great Muppet Caper (1981)

              1. You’re preaching to the choir here. But after the bomb that was the Muppets Wizard of Oz and their completely woke retelling of it, and it’s subsequent failure in monetary terms, they just stopped dead in the water with that aspect of the movies. They didn’t learn, they just reacted 😦
                But what do you expect from a megalithic corporation?

                Liked by 1 person

                    1. I don’t think he’s even nominally in charge any more. I think you’re going to have to bow down before Mickey to even get an audience..
                      And trust me, you’ll definitely HAVE to lick his toes…

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. They might have? I don’t do any streaming service beyond prime. Not paying money just I can have background noise.
                      “Give me discs or give me death!”
                      ~Patrick Bookstooge Henry

                      Liked by 1 person

    1. It is. I got together with ol Jimbo back then and said “Jimbo my man, here’s the straight poop. Muppetize my life’s adventures and you’ll have a screaming great movie”. He thought it was a great idea and poof, here we are today.

      Liked by 1 person

                1. Well, I don’t want to do anything as boring, or racist, as native-american carding or asian-american carding you, so chartreuse it is. See, I’m so woke now. Hmmm, that gives me an idea for a blog post. You’re gonna love it! 😉

                  And that was a misspelling on my part. It should have been googolplex.

                  Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly, no. I was looking for that kind of song here, as I had so much fun with the original movie. You can tell that the Muppet Show was in its heyday when this movie was made. Capitalizing on their popularity.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Playdo => Play-Doh for the brand or playdough for off-brand (flour, salt, tartar, water, oil [plus food coloring] to make it yourself).

    Was this a “D’oh!” moment? 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful! It’s been years since I saw this film, but I remember loving it. As a non-musical person, I guess the musical mediocrity didn’t bother me that much. I was just there for the jokes.

    I believe this is one that has my favorite Muppet line ever. The Muppets are in the common area of their hotel in London, and all the usual craziness is going on. In the midst of all the running and yelling, the American Eagle comes out of his 2nd-floor room onto the upper-level walkway, surveys the scene, remarks, “You are all weirdos,” and goes back into his room. I want to quote that one SO OFTEN, but I know most people won’t get the reference and will think I am the weirdo.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I do love the classic Muppet movies. Your comment about the song choices makes sense, but I didn’t have a problem with it. I guess the songs in the first one fit a road trip movie going to Hollywood for me, while the broadway musical chorus ones worked just fine for a movie set in New York.

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