The Muppets Take Manhattan Parent Guide
For older children who can overlook the dated hairstyles and untrendy fashions, this adventure plugs the positive traits of perseverance and friendship, thanks to Kermit and his pals.
Parent Movie Review
Considering the enormity of the cast, The Muppets Take Manhattan is a little like the epic Cecil B. Demille movie The Ten Commandments—minus Charlton Heston. Not only are there Muppets in this film, but real Broadway directors (John Landis, Lonny Price), stage actors (James Coco, Gregory Hines, Liza Minnelli, Brooke Shields, Art Carney, Linda Lavin, Elliott Gould and Joan Rivers), Manhattan restaurateur Vincent Sardi Jr., Rutgers Presbyterian Church’s pastor Cyril Jenkins and then New York City Mayor Edward Koch, as well as Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock characters. It seems that everyone who is anyone shows up for puppeteer Jim Henson’s final film. And since many in the cast have to be manually manipulated, it is quite a feat.
Shot on location in New York during the summer of 1983 and released the following year, the film is a star-struck tale of a group of college graduates who decide to take their variety show to the Big Apple. As the company’s leader, Kermit (voice by Jim Henson) feels something is missing from the act but the rest of the performers, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Animal (voices by Frank Oz), Gonzo (voice by Dave Goelz) and the other cast members are sure it is perfect.
Arriving in the city with big aspirations, the troupe quickly discovers that getting on Broadway takes as much luck as talent. When their funds finally dwindle down to pennies they decide to part ways and look for any jobs they can. Kermit, however, vows to stay in New York until he sells the idea to a Broadway producer. In the meantime, he finds employment at Pete’s (Louis Zorich) diner where he works alongside Pete’s daughter Jenny (Juliana Donald) and Rizzo the Rat (voice by Steve Whitmire). Watching this rodent sling hash brings back memories of vermin vermicelli in Ratatouille.
But when the green frog finally gets an offer, he is so tickled pink he fails to see the "Don’t Walk" sign and wanders right into traffic where he is struck by a yellow taxi. Waking up in the hospital with amnesia, he doesn’t remember who he is or anything about the upcoming show.
Like a vendor displaying his wares, this movie does its best to give every Muppet puppet at least a little camera time, including the grumpy old men Statler and Waldorf (voices by Richard Hunt and Jim Henson), the fish throwing Lew Zealand (voice by Steve Whitmire) and the Swedish Cook (voice by Henson). The Muppet Toddlers also make their first appearance in a flashback scene.
Along with the inclusion of some slightly irreverent remarks, this script also has a mild homosexual joke and brief sexual innuendo. While there is plenty of slapstick humor, the most intentional violence occurs when a pickpocket grabs Miss Piggy’s purse and then suffers the wrath of the hotheaded hog.
Yet for older children who can overlook the dated hairstyles and untrendy fashions, this adventure plugs the positive traits of perseverance and friendship, thanks to Kermit and his pals.Directed by Jim Henson. Starring Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz. Running time: 94 minutes. Theatrical release July 13, 1984. Updated July 17, 2017
The Muppets Take Manhattan
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Muppets Take Manhattan rated G? The Muppets Take Manhattan is rated G by the MPAA
Violence: A man is accused of stealing other people’s money. He takes two hostages while trying to escape from the police. Characters attack and bite a man. A man steals a woman’s purse. He is pursued and attacked before being hauled away by police. A character makes a seemingly threatening remark about killing. A character causes property damage over a misunderstanding. Another character is involved in a dangerous stunt. A character is hit by a car and knocked out. Animal chases a girl out of a school auditorium. Some brief moments of peril are included.
Sexual Content: Friends exchange hugs. Men make catcalls to a female character. A father makes a homosexual comment to his son and suggests putting gelatin down his pants. An actress says she does not take her clothes of for anyone. A character wants to snuggle with someone she doesn’t know.
Language: Brief name-calling is included.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Several secondary characters are shown with cigarettes or cigars.
Other: Rats swim in a pot of coffee that will be served to customers. Another rodent sneezes into the pancake batter.
Page last updated July 17, 2017
The Muppets Take Manhattan Parents' Guide
What is unrealistic about Kermit and the other characters’ plan to produce their play on Broadway? What do they learn about perseverance?
How do misunderstandings lead to jealousy and hurt feelings in this story?
The most recent home video release of The Muppets Take Manhattan movie is August 9, 2011. Here are some details…Home Video Notes: The Muppets Take Manhattan
Release Date: 9 August 2011
The Muppets Take Manhattan comes to home video in a Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack. Bonus extras include:
- Jim Henson Interview
- Muppetisims: Fozzie Bear
- Muppetisms: Miss Piggy & Kermit the Frog
- Muppetisms: Pepe
Related home video titles:
Jim Henson’s characters appear in a number of movies including The Muppet Movie, Muppet Treasure Island, The Muppet Christmas Carol and The Great Muppet Caper. Some of their television shows are packaged together on http://www.henson.com/muppets_content.php?content=muppetstakemanhattan