The Muppets tells the story of the Muppets, 30 years on from their days of fame and success. The story begins with Walter (voiced by Peter Linz) and his brother Gary (Jason Segal) who have been lifelong best friends and remain close even in their adulthood. Gary’s about to go on an anniversary trip to Los Angeles with his girlfriend, Mary (Amy Adams). He surprises Walter with a ticket to join them so that he can fulfil his lifelong dream to see the home of the Muppets. When they arrive in LA, the trio finds the Muppet studio condemned and in disrepair.
A disappointed Walter continues with a tour through the studio and accidentally overhears a conversation between the evil Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) and a group of evil Muppets. They’ve come up with a plan to buy and demolish the studio to drill for the oil that lies underneath it. Unless the Muppets can raise $10 million by the end of the week, the studio will be sold to the evil group and the future of the Muppets destroyed for good.
Walter is devastated by what he has overheard and gets Mary and Gary to help him find the Muppets and save the studio. When they find Kermit (voiced by Steve Whitmore), he suggests a reunion concert as the only way to raise the money. But then they face the challenge of getting the old gang back together in time.
This movie has frequent violence, mostly slapstick, which young children might imitate. For example:
- Walter and Gary play-fight with plastic guns, pretending to shoot each other.
- Walter is bullied for being childish because he likes the Muppets when all of his friends like different things.
- Miss Piggy fights with another pig puppet who’s threatening to replace her. The two wrestle, pull hair, slap and punch each other.
- Kermit is jammed in the door by another Muppet.
- Tex threatens the Muppets and tells them they’re ‘all dead’.
- While visiting Fozzie Bear in a dark alley, characters hear several gun shots.
- Walter receives an electric shock from a fence.
- The television network that’s supporting the Muppets Reunion runs another show that is called the ‘Punching Teacher Show’. The ad for the show has someone raising a fist.
- Miss Piggy headbutts a table.
- Guest host Jack Black punches two of the Muppets. This causes a bigger fight with all of the Muppets.
- The Muppets kidnap Jack Black. The Muppets dress up in stealth costumes and use martial arts moves to grab Jack and tie him up. He’s put into the boot of a car.
- Gonzo jumps off a building then blows it up. He throws weapons and smashes a television.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five. For example, during one scene a chef burns some puppet food that looks lifelike.
There are additional scenes likely to disturb children in this age group.
Nothing of concern
This movie has some sexual references. For example, Jack Black puts on ‘his balls’.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
This movie shows some use of substances. For example, Mary and Gary have a glass of wine with their anniversary dinner.
Nudity and sexual activity
This movie has some nudity and sexual activity. For example, Miss Piggy and Kermit kiss passionately, as do Mary and Gary.
The following products or brands are shown in this movie: Cars 2, Apple iPad, The Economist, Red Bull, NBC, Fox, Vogue, Google, Coke, Greyhound, TAB, Rolls Royce, Universal Studios, Air France and the Hard Rock Café.
This movie has some coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
The Muppets is a generally family-friendly movie about the well-loved Muppets. The Muppets learn that despite their differences, they’re still a family. Children under four years might find the movie rather scary. There’s also a lot of slapstick violence that children under eight years might imitate.
The main messages from this movie are about family commitment, loyalty and being true to yourself.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include:
- trusting in yourself and not worrying about what others think
- standing by the people who matter to you.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues such as the following:
- Gary has trouble working out who’s most important to him – Mary or Walter. Why is this? Why is it important for Gary to let Walter find his own way?
- There’s a lot of violence in this movie. It could be helpful to talk with your child about presenting violence in a funny way. Do you think the violent acts are less worrying because they’re done by puppets? Why or why not?