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Muppet Classic Theater is a Direct-to-Video Muppet special from 1994. Much like The Muppet Christmas Carol before it, this one has the Muppets acting out classic stories, (mainly fables and fairy tales by Aesop, Hans Christen Andersen, and the Brothers Grimm,) with Gonzo and Rizzo acting as hosts.

The Muppets do their own versions of six classic stories:

  • The Three Little Pigs, with Miss Piggy as Sandy Pig, builder of the brick house.
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  • King Midas, with Kermit as King Midas, Miss Piggy as Queen Midas, and Gonzo as a satyr who grants Midas a wish.
  • The Boy Who Cried Wolf, with Gonzo as the titular boy and Kermit as the towns mayor.
  • Rumplestilskin, with Gonzo as the title character, Miss Piggy as the Miller's daughter, and Kermit as the king.
  • The Emperors New Clothes, with Fozzie as the emperor and Rizzo as a con man who "makes" the emperors new clothes.
  • The Elves and the Shoe Maker, with Kermit as the shoe maker and Robin as the shoe maker's nephew.

Notably, this special introduced a handful of characters who would have recurring roles on Muppets Tonight, namely Andy and Randy Pig, as well as elves who resemble Elvis Presley.

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Provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Nice Guy: In a few of the stories.
    • In "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", rather than being the shameless prankster from the original story, the boy (Gonzo) simply has a tendency to panic and overreact, and is ashamed when he raises false alarms.
    • In "Rumpelstiltskin", the king (Kermit) loves the maiden (Miss Piggy) for herself and not her supposed ability to weave gold straw, and it's actually the Royal Adviser who threatens to lock the maiden in the dungeon if she doesn't weave straw.
    • In "The Emperor's New Clothes", the Emperor (Fozzie) is more of a gullible oaf than the vain narcissist in the original, and he even commands his people to make their own decisions and not follow everything he does at the end of the story.
  • An Aesop: Most of the stories have one, though some are different from the Aesops of the original stories.
    • "The Three Little Pigs" has the Aesop that girls can be just as smart and strong, if not more so, than boys.
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    • "King Midas" teaches that there are more important things than gold, though in this story, it's Queen Midas who needs to learn this (and admits so reluctantly).
    • "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" learns not to overreact.
    • "The Emperors New Clothes" delivers the Aesop that people should think for themselves and not do things just because others do.
  • Affably Evil: The wolf, especially in "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", where he knows that the townspeople won't believe Gonzo, but allows him 24 hours to get help.
  • Aesop Amnesia: In "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", Gonzo tells Rizzo that he's learned his lesson and will not over-react again... Only to immediately overreact when he hears that it's time for an intermission.
  • Bad Santa: The Wolf dresses up as Santa in his last attempt to get into the house. However, Sandy is suspicious, given that it's the middle of summer, and sends a rocket up the chimney.
  • Benevolent Genie: The Satyr (Gonzo) not only gives King Midas a wish, but after turning Midas back to his ordinary self, he gives the Midases one wish for free.
  • Cant Get Away With Nothing: Rizzo and a few of his rat buddies play con men in "The Emperors New Clothes", where they get arrested and sent to the emperor (Fozzie), after some flattering convince him that his wardrobe is shabby and that Rizzo is the best tailor, convinces the Emperor that his new clothes are made from a special material that can only be seen by people of the highest culture and eleagance, making him and most of the town play along, and when the truth is found out, Rizzo and the rats get sentenced to ten years in the dungeon, though Rizzo already announces plans to con a very gullible sultan when they get out.
  • Crying Wolf: Played with in this videos version of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", as Gonzo never tells an intentional lie, instead overreacting to false assumptions by his sheep.
  • Delivery Guy Infiltration: The Wolf in "The Three Little Pigs" pretends to be a pizza delivery man to get into Sandy's house, but Sandy takes the pizza and shuts the door before he can get in, and he slams into it.
  • Elvish Presley: The titular Elves.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: In "The Emperor's New Clothes", Fozzie remarks that Robin is the brightest boy in the kingdom before realizing what the latter's observation means for him.
    Fozzie: I must be... NAKEEEEEEEED!
  • Genre Savvy:
    • In "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", the wolf knows that the townspeople won't believe the shepherd due to his reputation.
    • In "The Elves and the Shoe-Maker", Robin tells Kermit they should wish for a miracle to save them from their financial problems. Kermit notes that miracles don't happen in the real world, but is convinced when Robin points out "but this is a fairy tale".
  • Idiot Ball: Pretty much every character NOT played by an established Muppet is an idiot, with a few exceptions (such as the Wolf and the Elves).
  • Insane Troll Logic: In "Rumplestilskin", the royal adviser locks Miss Piggy in the dungeon overnight to turn straw into gold, under threat of spending the rest of her life locked up if she doesn't, and Rumplestilskin shows up and works his magic. When the adviser suspects that the gold is a trick, he orders her to turn more straw into gold while he keeps an eye on that gold.
  • Mistaken for Apocalypse: In this version of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf", Gonzo never actually lies to the townspeople. Instead, he overreacts and jumps to conclusions over things like rocks falling over (must be an earthquake) or getting hit by a few drops of water (a tidal wave) which results in everyone assuming he's Crying Wolf.
  • Never My Fault: Gonzo's overreactions come from his sheep making random guesses about things Gonzo asks. When it looks like Gonzo isn't going to get help, the sheep remark that Gonzo has learned his lesson.
  • Noodle Incident: While the viewer can guess based on the incident seen in the episode, how exactly Gonzo ended up raising the alarm about things like quicksand, a humongous furball, and attacking trees is never clarified.
  • Out of Focus: Fozzie only appears as the Emperor in "The Emperor's New Clothes".
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Kermit, as the mayor in "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" and as the king in "Rumplestiltskin".
    • In his role as the mayor, he acknowledges that Gonzo overreacts (as opposed to intentionally lying) so much, causing the town to panic. Though when the town won't believe Gonzo about a wolf being around, Kermit (along with the rest of the town people) refers to him as having lied many times.
    • In "Rumpelstiltskin", after Piggy admits that she didn't really turn straw into gold, the advisor is ready to throw her into the dungeon, before Kermit, as the king, stops him, saying that he married her because he loves her, not because she could turn straw into gold.
    • However, this is contrasted with Kermit's role as King Midas, who almost sentences a satyr (Gonzo) to death for sleeping on the royal roses. This same King Midas often expresses a desire for peace in the world. However, Midas does admit that the punishment is "a little harsh" and rescinds it.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Averted in "King Midas", sort of. The Satyr is able to grant wishes, and King Midas wants to wish for peace in the world. However, both times he's given a wish, Queen Midas interrupts his wish to make her own wishes.
  • Running Gag:
    • Gonzo's "and you're gonna LOVE this part!"
    • In "The Three Little Pigs", Sandy snarking to the viewer about how she can possibly be related to Andy and Randy.
  • Spoiler Title: "Rumplestilskin", as with the original story. However, for those who saw the video before being familiar with the story, this is the one story in the video where the title is NOT announced in the introduction. Of course, the video promos and the back of the box do refer to it by title, not to mention that the title does appear on the marquee with the other fairy tale titles at the beginning.
  • Straw Misogynist: Sandy Pig gets no respect from her father or brothers because she's a girl, even though she's clearly more intelligent and stronger than they are.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: The sheep and Gonzo ultimately deal with the wolf by sending for one of the sheep's cousin Norman, a huge ram who batters the wolf into submission.
  • Villain Protagonist: Arguably Rizzo in "The Emperor's New Clothes".

Alternative Title(s): Muppets Classic Theater

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