The Muppets Take Manhattan

July 13th, 1984


The Muppets Take Manhattan

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Jim Henson and Robert Armin on the set of

Kermit and his friends go to New York to get their musical on Broadway only to find it's a more difficult task than they anticipated.

Release Year: 1984

Rating: 6.7/10 (7,970 voted)

Director: Frank Oz

Stars: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz

The Muppets graduate from college and decide to take their senior revue on the road. They hit the streets of Manhattan trying to sell their show to producers, finally finding one young and idealistic enough to take their show. After several mishaps and much confusion, things begin to come together for them.

Writers: Tom Patchett, Jay Tarses

Jim Henson - Kermit the Frog / Rowlf / Dr. Teeth / Waldorf / Swedish Chef / Ernie / Granny / Horse & Carriage Rider / Link Hogthrob / The Newsman (voice)
Frank Oz - Miss Piggy / Fozzie / Animal / Bert / Cookie Monster / Ocean Breeze Soap Board Member / Sam the Eagle (voice)
Dave Goelz - Gonzo / Chester the Rat / Bill the Frog / Zoot / Beauregard / Jim the Dog / Dr. Bunsen Honeydew / Penguin (voice)
Steve Whitmire - Rizzo the Rat / Gill the Frog / Baby Kermit / Chicken / College Student in Audience / Dog / Lew Zealand (voice)
Richard Hunt - Scooter / Statler / Janice / Beaker / Dog (voice)
Jerry Nelson - Camilla / Lew Zealand / Floyd / Bear / Chicken / Crazy Harry / Dog / Dr. Julias Strangepork / Granny / Penguin / Pops / The Count (voice)
Juliana Donald - Jenny
Lonny Price - Ronnie Crawford
Louis Zorich - Pete
Art Carney - Bernard Crawford
James Coco - Mr. Skeffington
Dabney Coleman - Martin Price / Murray Plotsky
Gregory Hines - Roller skater
Linda Lavin - Kermit's doctor
Joan Rivers - Perfume saleswoman


Official Website: |

Release Date: 13 July 1984

Filming Locations: Empire Stages of New York, Long Island City, Queens, New York City, New York, USA

Opening Weekend: $4,416,022 (USA) (15 July 1984) (1261 Screens)

Gross: $25,534,703 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Cameo: [Jim Henson] As the horse and carriage driver.

Audio/visual unsynchronized: When Sesame Street's Ernie says "Yeah" in the Wedding scene of the play, He's says it in Bert's voice.

[Masterson Rat is infatuated with Brooke Shields]
Brooke Shields: Is something wrong?
Masterson Rat: Do you believe in interspecies dating?
Brooke Shields: Well, I've dated some rats before, if that's what you mean.
[Masterson faints]

User Review

"That'll teach ya to mess with a lady!"


I distinctly remember seeing "Muppets Take Manhattan" in the movie theater when I was 8 years old--following the film, I immediately demanded that my parents purchase the soundtrack LP (yes, on vinyl!). I loved this movie then; I love it still.

Actually, it's my favorite among the first three, classic Muppet films; "Muppet Movie" is great but overlong, while "Great Muppet Caper" is terrific, but seems a bit dated now. "Muppets Take Manhattan," on the other hand, never fails to entertain me, still makes me laugh out loud (the purse-snatching scene; Kermit in his Bert Convy 'fro), and even tugs at my heartstrings.

What's particularly nice about this adventure is that it's an affectionate love letter to Hollywood musicals of yore, without being overly parodying. The musical comedy cliches are presented in a matter-of-fact manner; just as we were expected to suspend our disbelief when Ruby Keeler went out onstage a nobody but "came back a star!", we suspend our disbelief to encompass a group of talking animals putting together a big budget Broadway musical in 2 weeks. These kind of hoary plot devices are presented straight-faced, without any self-conscious "winking" or irony.

The songs are all pretty darn terrific; the show-stopping "Together Again" finale is as good as any contemporary musical number of the last 20 years or so, while "It's Time for Saying Goodbye" always puts a lump in my throat: it's sentimental without being maudlin. The finale, "He/She Makes Me Happy" goes from being sweet to comically over-the-top in less than 3 minutes, and it's a joy.

The expected parade of cameos work well within the structure, without being intrusive. My particular favorites are Liza Minnelli's (the whole Sardi's scene is wonderful), Linda Lavin's (another terrific comedy moment: "YOU are Mr. Enrico Tortellini of Passaic, New Jersey!"), and Joan Rivers' (another gem). The Muppet performers are their usual, endearing selves: lovable, warm, likable. The "love triangle" between Kermit, Piggy and the human Jenny plays surprisingly well, and Piggy's jealous reactions are hysterical.

These days, "family entertainment" usually means disgustingly white-washed pap that anyone over 10 or 11 would find either sedating or inane. (Disney's live action "101 Dalmations" and its sequel spring to mind.) The Muppet movies proved that a G-rated film could be intelligent, witty, funny and entertaining for all ages. It's a formula that has yet to be improved upon, and "The Muppets Take Manhattan" just might be the best example of it.


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