In over half a century, Jim Henson’s Muppets have tried almost every entertainment format imaginable from scripted comedy to talk show to animation to, of course, theatrical films.
So as puppet pandemonium prepares to take over yet again, Disney Plus has plenty of films to get you into the Muppet mood – here’s Kermit and co.’s entire theatrical history, neatly presented into chronological order:
Muppet Movies in Order
The Muppet Movie (1979)
The gang’s very first cinematic outing, The Muppet Movie sees Kermit the Frog embark upon a road trip to Hollywood, bumping into several familiar friends along the way and avoiding the clutches of evil restaurateur Doc Hopper.
Featuring meta-references and prolific cameos way before their current popularity, The Muppets Movie launched the film franchise as we know it and set the tone for the many movies to come. It’s also notable for the first appearance of the Oscar-nominated ‘Rainbow Connection’, arguably The Muppets’ biggest song which they still perform to this day.
The Great Muppet Caper (1981)
The Muppets come to good old Blighty for a London-set heist spoof in this second feature film, the only Muppet movie directed by creator Jim Henson. British thespians John Cleese and Diana Riggs appear as two of the live-action humans also caught up in a jewel heist, which is wrongly blamed on Miss Piggy.
The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
As the title would suggest, this second sequel sees the Muppets head to the Big Apple to launch their musical on Broadway. The movie is mainly remembered for two things – the introduction of the Muppet Babies, which received an animated spin-off which was rebooted recently, and the marriage of Kermit and Miss Piggy (until their public break up in 2015).
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
An essential watch every year, The Muppet Christmas Carol still remains one of the most popular adaptations of Charles Dickens’s festive classic. With Kermit as Bob Crachit, The Great Gonzo as Charles Dickens and Michael Caine himself as Ebenezer Scrooge, it’s certainly an unconventional way to experience Dickens – though is surprisingly faithful to the original story.
Muppet Treasure Island (1996)
Following the trend of adapting classic novels with the Muppet’s unique humour, Muppet Treasure Island sees Kermit play Captain Abraham Smollet, Fozzie Bear as Squire Trelawney and Miss Piggy as Benjamina Gunn. Perhaps even more notable however is the impressive British cast – Tim Curry, Billy Connolly, Jennifer Saunders, and even a young Kevin Bishop join the swashbuckling adventure.
Muppets from Space (1999)
Taking a bit of a turn from their previous literary-focused films, Muppets from Space ditches both the book adaptations and the musical numbers for this peculiar sci-fi space adventure. Finally addressing Gonzo’s lack of an animal counterpart, aliens appear to contact him through his breakfast cereal – leading to an adventure involving secret government agencies, Muppet kidnappings and Gonzo’s long lost family.
The Muppets (2011)
After a decade off-screen – and a recent move to Disney – Jason Segel got on board as star, executive producer and co-writer of this reboot, determined to bring back the feel of the Muppets’ 1970s heyday. It’s a move that paid off big time – not only did the film gross $165million worldwide, but it holds an impressive 95 per cent approval on Rotten Tomatoes and won an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
A direct sequel to the 2011 hit, this time Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell, and Tina Fey join the felt fun, helping the colourful characters after Kermit the Frog is framed by lookalike jewel thief Constantine. The traditional blend of self-referential humour and celebrity cameos carries across to this latest instalment – look out for Lady Gaga, Celine Dion and Usher playing, um, an usher.
Where can I watch the Muppet films?
As the Muppets are owned by Disney, their films are available to watch on Disney Plus. You can sign up to Disney Plus for £5.99 a month or £59.99 a year.
If you’re looking for TV picks, check out our TV Guide.