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YMMV / The Muppet Movie

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: This article posits that Doc Hopper isn't a Jerk with a Heart of Jerk so much as someone intended to be dark reflection of the Muppets and especially a Foil to Kermit. It notes that he has several of the same characteristics that the Muppets have and that ultimately he does briefly consider a better way before recognizing his own dream won't allow him close friends like Kermit has.
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  • Award Snub: "Rainbow Connection" lost the Academy Award for Best Original Song to the now-virtually-forgotten "It Goes Like It Goes" from Norma Rae.note  That's an even bigger snub than it appears because the Academy used to choose ten songs as finalists for Original Song, before announcing the nominations (1979 was the last year for that). The Muppet Movie had four of the ten finalists ("Rainbow Connection", "Movin' Right Along", "Never Before, Never Again" and "I Hope That Somethin' Better Comes Along") and still walked away empty-handed.
  • Awesome Music:
  • Broken Base: "Rainbow Connection". While many will still agree it's a great song, a number of fans have gotten tired of the song's over-exposure in Muppet appearances during the 2010s (which renders the line "I've heard it too many times to ignore it" very ironic).
    • Even Brian Henson, Jim's son, was reported to have been heard saying, "I hate that f**king song" when it was performed by the Muppets at the Hollywood Bowl in 2017 (a sentiment which Brian denies ever expressing).
  • First Installment Wins: The Muppet features that followed have their fans and are certainly beloved in their own right, and while The Muppet Christmas Carol is often considered a serious contender, the one that started it all is almost universally considered the best.
    • Fans who are tired of "Rainbow Connection" being over-exposed (see Broken Base and Hype Backlash) tend to like it fine in this film, some preferring Kermit's version in the opening scene the best. On the other hand, while it's technically not the first scene (that would be the screening room scenes), Kermit playing a banjo while sitting on a log in the swamp is one of the most iconic images from any Muppet movie, with merchandise representing the scene.
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  • Harsher in Hindsight: Kermit imagines thousands of other frogs going around with tiny crutches. Real-life wild frog populations have suffered a decimating rash of leg deformities in the years since the film was made, some from pollution and others from natural parasites or predators.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: The behind-the-scenes picture of Steve Whitmire goofing around with a Kermit puppet.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    Gonzo: I always wanted to go to Bombay, India, and become a movie star.
    Fozzie: You don't go to Bombay to become a movie star. You go where we're going, Hollywood!
    Gonzo: Sure, if you want to do it the easy way.
    Fozzie: We've picked up a weirdo.
    • Kermit's reasoning for not doing the frog leg ad is because he can imagine frogs with tiny crutches. Years later, his nephew Robin plays the crutch-toting Tiny Tim in The Muppet Christmas Carol.
    • A draft of the script had a running gag in which Henry Kissenger keeps showing up wanting to be in the movie, only to be rejected each time. The running gag would not make it to the finished film (and was likely dropped before filming).
    • Kermit and Fozzie encounter Big Bird during their trip and offer him a ride, but he declines in favor of walking to New York. Just six years later, Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird would have Big Bird heading for New York by foot as the plot, but for different reasons (in 1979, he's trying to break into television; in 1985, he's trying to return after a disastrous adoption).
    • Be honest, how many of you already guessed Gonzo's origins (he's an alien) just by listening to him sing this song? In fact, the song was to have been featured in Muppets from Space and made it as far as a new recording that was ultimately relegated to the soundtrack album.
    • All the lengths Doc Hopper goes to to try and capture Kermit become this in It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie where, in the world where Kermit was never born, Doc Hopper's Frog Legs Restaurant has become an extremely popular franchise without Kermit's aid.
    • "Who said that every wish would be heard and answered when wished on a morning star?" The company that will soon own you did, Kermit.
  • Hype Backlash: Song example. While "Rainbow Connection" is still largely considered to be a great song, as aforementioned, many Muppet fans have become sick of how acclaimed, popular and exposed it is in contrast to the movie's other songs and even Muppet songs in general.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Crossed by Doc Hopper during the climax. "All right, boys... kill 'im."
    • Jim Henson actually wanted Hopper to be redeemed at the end, but Oz overruled him.
  • Narm: The Frog Killer's outfit is serious Nightmare Retardant for adults.
  • Older Than They Think: The use of famous actors in small roles here is quite reminiscent of the 1965 Black Comedy The Loved One. In fact, James Coburn, Milton Berle and Paul Williams appear in both films.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Numerous examples (Steve Martin's waiter, Mel Brooks' Krassman) but taken Up to Eleven with Orson Welles' cameo as Lew Lord, who's not only in just one scene but has exactly one line, yet manages to be one of the most memorable characters in the film.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Of the Muppeteer sort: one behind-the-scenes photo sees Brian Henson, son of Jim, assisting Frank Oz in performing Fozzie Bear in the Studebaker, and during the "Rainbow Connection Finale", animator Earl Kress and director Tim Burton perform Ernie and Sam Eagle, respectively. On that note, John Landis, an already established director, performed Grover in that same scene.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: Alas, many of the jokes and wackiness have been copied by countless followers (both Gremlins 2: The New Batch and The Spongebob Squarepants Movie have done meta gags about their films being watched in theaters, for example), that, to anyone watching the film for the first time, it might seem less remarkable.
    • That meta gag had been used, to hilarious effect, in Blazing Saddles, five years prior to this film.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Doc Hopper's ad.
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel: "Someday, we'll find it/The rainbow connection/The lovers, the dreamers/And me..."
  • Unintentional Period Piece: The “Have you tried Hare Krishna?” Running Gag was a lot funnier when the group was at the height of notoriety for their aggressive recruitment tactics, especially harassing people at airports. People these days may not even recognize the name.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Kermit riding a bike near the beginning. Don't wonder how they did it, just accept it.
    • Actually, according to Frank Oz, the effect was relatively easy to do,note  compared to the monstrous effort required to get Gonzo to float along on his balloons. But since the bike was the effect everyone kept gawking over, they included an entire parade of Muppets on bikes in the next movie. Just because, and the fact that it was a much simpler feat of puppetry: the characters' bicycles are simply sharing axles so they can stand together.
    • Plus Kermit in the swamp, which was created by the 6'1" Jim Henson cramming himself into a diving bell for a whole day.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: While it's by no means too vulgar or inappropriate for children or families, is otherwise meant to be viewed as any other Hollywood feature which just happens to star puppets (indeed, Jim Henson himself always saw the Muppets as more of a theater troupe than as characters). As such, it was not an easy pitch to sell.