In 1979, The Muppet Movie danced and performed its way into cinemas. The film – a spin-off of the incredibly popular The Muppet Show television series – saw Kermit the Frog embark on a trip to Hollywood.

The Muppet Movie (and the Muppet franchise as a whole) proved popular enough to kick-start a run of Muppet films. But how many Muppet films are there?

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The Muppet films in order

Image: ©Disney

To date, there are twelve Muppet films. The films – produced between 1979 and 2014 – include:

  • The Muppet Movie (1979)
  • The Great Muppet Caper (1981)
  • The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
  • Muppet*Vision 3D (1991)
  • The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
  • Muppet Treasure Island (1996)
  • Muppets from Space (1999)
  • It’s A Very, Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002)
  • Kermit’s Swamp Years (2002)
  • The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz (2005)
  • The Muppets (2011)
  • The Muppets: Most Wanted (2014)

Hang on, what about films like Follow That Bird (1985) or The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (1999)?

In addition to The Muppet movies, there have been numerous movies featuring Sesame Street characters. But these movies do not appear in the list above as they are Sesame Street movies, rather than Muppet movies.

While Sesame Street and The Muppets share links, with characters crossing between the two properties, they are separate entities. The Muppets and Sesame Street are also owned by different companies – Disney and Sesame Workshop, respectively.

So, yeah, no Sesame Street movies here I’m afraid.

Are all of the Muppet movies part of the same series?

Image: ©Disney

The Muppet films are kind of, sort of, part of the same series… but also not really..

Here, let me explain.

Some of the Muppet movies are loosely connected, like 2011’s The Muppet Movie and 2014’s Muppets Most Wanted, while others are single entries like The Muppet Christmas Carol or Muppet Treasure Island. These two films place the Muppets in adaptations of classic novels, with the Muppets playing literary characters rather than playing themselves.

And then you’ve got something like Muppet*Vision 3D – a movie made specifically for use in Disney theme parks. This movie combines film with live-action as part of an attraction, so isn’t a ‘movie’ in the traditional sense.

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Who are the cast of the Muppet films?

Image: ©Disney

The cast of the Muppet film series tends to stay largely the same, only with more/different Muppets added over the course of time. The main characters who appear across the series tend to be Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Animal and Fozzie Bear.

As for actors, the series has boasted a range of well-known faces behind and in front of the camera (and often just for quick cameos too). Notable names include Frank Oz, Michael Caine, Ricky Gervais, Dom DeLuise, Steve Martin, Mel Brooks, Amy Adams, Jason Segel, Jim Parsons, Quentin Tarantino, and Tina Fey amongst many, many others. 

Is the Muppet series the work of the same director?

The Muppet films are the work of multiple directors. 

James Frawley directed The Muppet Movie, while Jim Henson directed The Great Muppet Caper and Muppet*Vision 3D.

Frank Oz directed The Muppets Take Manhattan, and Brian Henson directed The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island.

Tim Hill directed Muppets from Space, Kirk Thatcher directed It’s A Very, Merry Muppet Christmas Movie and The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz, David Gumpel directed Kermit’s Swamp Years, and James Bobin directed The Muppets and The Muppets: Most Wanted.

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What is the best Muppet film?

Image: ©The Jim Henson Company

According to IMDb, The Muppet Christmas Carol is the best entry in the series (which I thoroughly agree with). As for the rest, the Muppet films are ranked as follows:

  • The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) – 7.7/10
  • The Muppet Movie (1979) – 7.6/10
  • The Great Muppet Caper (1981) – 7.2/10
  • The Muppets (2011) – 7.1/10
  • Muppet Treasure Island (1996) – 7/10
  • The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) – 6.9/10
  • It’s A Very, Merry Muppet Christmas Movie (2002) – 6.4/10
  • The Muppets: Most Wanted (2014) – 6.4/10
  • Muppets from Space (1999) – 6.3/10
  • Kermit’s Swamp Years (2002) – 5.6/10
  • The Muppets’ Wizard of Oz (2005) – 5.3/10
  • Muppet*Vision 3D (1991) – N/A

I hope this information about the Muppet movie series has proved useful. Should you wish to know more about other long-running movie series, please check out one of the recommended reads below.

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