The Muppets are one of the most well-known and popular pop culture franchises in the world. Created by Jim Henson, The Muppets broke out to general audiences with her prime-time television series The Muppet Show. The characters like Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo the Great, Animal and many more have become famous all over the world. Like other great TV series like star trek and Impossible MissionThe Muppets eventually starred in a number of feature films.
Unlike many other major film franchises, the basic idea of the muppets Being felt puppets inhabiting a world of celebrity cameos and making meta-jokes means the series doesn’t have a strict sense of continuity. The films mostly stand on their own, functioning more as stories told by the Muppets, much like theirs puppet theatre performances. However, if you wanted to make a chronological timeline of the puppet Films based on their story setting, it creates an interesting viewing experience. Here are all the theatrical releases puppet Movies in chronological order (and below in release order).
The Muppet Movies in Chronological Order
The Muppet Treasure Island
The Muppets’ roots as a theater company essentially mean both The Muppet Treasure Island and the following movie The Muppet Christmas Carol are essentially performances by the Muppets. The Muppet Treasure Island The story would be set furthest in the past as the story takes place in the 18th century so chronologically it would be the first in any timeline even if the assumption is that this is a show shown to them after they became famous are.
The Muppet Treasure Island features Tim Curry as the main human character played by Long John Silver, with much of the supporting cast being inhabited by Muppets such as Kermit the Frog as Captain Alexander Smollett and Miss Piggy as Ben Gunn. The Muppet Treasure Island did well at the box office but was barely even, perhaps suggesting that puppet The brand wasn’t as strong as it used to be, in addition to the notion that audiences weren’t interested in pirate films, which were later given new life Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Next up would be to go up a full century The Muppet Christmas Carol, featuring the various Muppet characters that bring Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas Carol to life. The central human being, Ebenezer Scrooge, is played by Michael Caine, with the primary Muppets at the center being Gonzo and Rizzo as narrators of the story.
Although there is a cast of Muppet characters who are inherently silly, The Muppet Christmas Carol has a fairly strong emotional core and is one of the more faithful adaptations of the story. The film has become a holiday classic for many and is a great first introduction to A Christmas song for small children. The film is even slated to be re-released as a director’s cut on Disney+ in 2022, restoring the cut song “When Love is Gone.”
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The Muppet Movie
The first film the Muppets ever starred in, and served as the origin story for the formation of the group. The Muppet Movie focuses on Kermit the Frog, who travels to Los Angeles from the swamp and meets many of the Muppets on the road. The film ends with studio head Lew Lord (played by Orson Welles himself) signing the Muppets to a “standard rich and famous contract”.
The Muppet Movie Set the template for the future puppet Films that display both a strong comedic sense with a keen sense of self and a strong emotional heart, showing that these felt characters can be just as emotionally engaging as any actor. It also includes the now iconic song “The Rainbow Connection,” which has become the anthem of the Muppets and creator Jim Henson.
The Great Muppet Capers
While The Muppet Movie shared a genesis story for the team, The Great Muppet Capers adopted the format of dropping the Muppets into different genres and stories that other films would follow. The film features the Muppets involved in a jewel heist while investigating the robbery as reporters (with a great gag about Kermit and Fozzy being identical twins that no one can tell apart).
The Great Muppet Capers was the first puppet Movie to be released after completion of The Muppet Show and helped establish that these characters would endure long after their series ended.
The Muppets take Manhattan
The Muppets take Manhattan is a pretty emotional moment in the franchise as a good chunk of the movie is about the disbanding of the group. As they reunite, the film felt like a fitting conclusion puppet The trilogy as the first film focused on how the team came together, while the third film showed the breakup but also their eventual reunion.
The Muppets take Manhattan is remarkable for several reasons. The flashback segment in the film featuring the Muppets as babies inspired the hit animated series Muppet Babies. The film was also the last released Muppet film to be shown theatrically for eight years The Muppet Christmas Carol and was the final puppet Film that both creator Jim Henson and legendary puppeteer Richard Hunt worked on before they died.
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Muppets from Outer Space
Muppets from Outer Space was the first puppet Film in fifteen years that saw the characters in a contemporary setting and tried to answer one of the long-held questions of the franchise that no one really cared about: what is gonzo? Unlike Kermit, Fozzy, and many others who are clearly animals or some sort of human, Gonzo has always been unclear and Muppets from Outer Space reveals that he is in fact an alien.
Despite mixed to positive reviews, Muppets from Outer Space was a disappointment at the box office and was crushed by other big summer film offerings. It was the end of the muppets as a theatrical brand for twelve years as the franchise transitioned to a direct-to-video route.
The Muppets made their big return to theaters in the 2011 film simply titled The Muppets. The film was based on the idea of the characters being a pop culture institution, with new character Walter and his brother Gary (Jason Segel, who was also the film’s writer) deciding to reunite the group to put on a show to save the old muppet studios. The Muppets track closely The Muppet Moviethat’s a big part of the movie about delivering that muppets together while also containing many callbacks including the “Standard Contract for the Rich and Famous” which is a major plot point.
The Muppets as a film, in many ways the template for many legacy sequels that would like to follow Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Ghostbusters: Life After Death, with a new protagonist who is a fan/aware of the previous film’s adventures. It’s about a fan reminding audiences why this franchise was so popular in the first place. It’s a big budget update of the original puppet theatre Format highlighting how they put on a show and take the franchise back to its roots to revitalize it. The film was a hit with critics and audiences alike, even winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song for “Man or Muppet.”
Most Wanted Muppets
The newest puppet Movie is 2014 Most Wanted Muppets. Most Wanted Muppets is the most direct sequel the franchise has ever had, and even ties right into 2011’s The Muppets End. Nonetheless, the film contains many funny jokes about how quickly the events of the previous film are forgotten/ignored (like the fact that Gary and his fiancée Mary are never seen, or Walter’s reduced role in the film compared to his all-important importance to the previous one ).
While The Muppets was about reminding audiences why the franchise was popular, Most Wanted Muppets was a return to the format of The Great Muppet Capers drop the characters into a new genre of history, here an international crime thriller film with a villain named Constantine who looks like Kermit who takes a liking to him and takes his place in the Muppets. Most Wanted Muppets ups the comedy of the previous film and even highlights how many sequels the franchise has had, opening with “We’re Doing A Sequel.” While this was the last time muppets led a feature film, the franchise is still going strong on Disney+ with specials like Muppet haunted house and the coming The Muppets Mayhem.
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The Muppet films in order of release