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(Photo by Courtesy Everett Collection)

Muppet Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

With their bright, soft textures and cue ball eyes attractive to kids, stitched to irreverent humor and meta run-ins with the rich and famous that’s appealing to adults, the Muppets have been a part of the American pop culture fabric since Jim Henson first stuck his hand out there in 1955. The family of fine felt friends — including optimist Kermit the Frog, clout-chaser Miss Piggy, slapsticky Gonzo, dad-joke dispenser Fozzie Bear plus over a dozen more — got their start on TV, with appearances on late-night talk shows and commercials, and a close collaboration with Sesame Street. 1976’s The Muppet Show launched in syndication as a meta variety show, a congeries of classic comedy theater, surreal sketches, and behind-the-scenes chaos with a long line of celebrity guest eager to join.

In the middle of Show‘s five-season run, Kermit and company hit the road on the big screen for 1979’s The Muppet Movie. A road comedy and origin story, the film’s finale features over 200 Muppets in a song and dance rendition of “Rainbow Connection“, nominated for the Best Song Oscar that year. In 2009, The Muppet Movie was added to the National Film Registry. The Great Muppet Caper (1981) and The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) create a loose trilogy, establishing the formula of setting the Muppets at different occupations (in this case, newspaper reporters and theater geeks, respectively) on zany adventures with plenty of human help.

A third trilogy was made in the ’90s, starting with the now holiday classic Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), cult classic Muppet Treasure Island (1996), and Muppets from Space (1999), a box office bomb that heralded their old-fashioned and earnest comedy falling out of fashion.

Henson’s creations entered a fallow period that saw Disney purchasing his company in 2004, a hint of the acquisition marathon to come with Pixar, Lucasfilm, Marvel, and 20th Century Fox. A Muppet rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” was a viral hit in 2008. This return to the spotlight led to 2011’s The Muppets, a box office comeback that worked showbiz satire and all-ages comedy for the modern day. After 2014’s Muppets Most Wanted, the puppeteers have been mostly working the TV circuit again, a congeries of shows (mockumentary The Muppets, Muppets Now, and the upcoming Muppets Mayhem) and a special, 2021’s Muppets Haunted Mansion. Alex Vo

#1

The Muppets (2011)
95%

#1
Adjusted Score: 103032%
Critics Consensus: Clever, charming, and heartfelt, The Muppets is a welcome big screen return for Jim Henson's lovable creations that will both win new fans and delight longtime devotees.
Synopsis: Walter, the world's biggest Muppet fan, is on vacation in Los Angeles with his brother Gary (Jason Segel) and Gary's... [More]
Directed By: James Bobin

#2

The Muppet Movie (1979)
88%

#2
Adjusted Score: 91796%
Critics Consensus: The Muppet Movie, the big-screen debut of Jim Henson's plush creations, is smart, lighthearted, and fun for all ages.
Synopsis: After Kermit the Frog decides to pursue a movie career, he starts his cross-country trip from Florida to California. Along... [More]
Directed By: James Frawley

#3
#3
Adjusted Score: 87385%
Critics Consensus: While it may not reach the delirious heights of The Muppets, Muppets Most Wanted still packs in enough clever gags, catchy songs, and celebrity cameos to satisfy fans of all ages.
Synopsis: Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais), the Muppets' new manager, convinces the gang to embark on a world tour. Kermit the Frog... [More]
Directed By: James Bobin

#4
Adjusted Score: 80866%
Critics Consensus: It may not be the finest version of Charles Dickens' tale to grace the screen, but The Muppet Christmas Carol is funny and heartwarming, and serves as a good introduction to the story for young viewers.
Synopsis: The Muppets perform the classic Dickens holiday tale, with Kermit the Frog playing Bob Cratchit, the put-upon clerk of stingy... [More]
Directed By: Brian Henson

#5
Adjusted Score: 84564%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Emmet and Ma Otter are very poor, but they are very happy and talented singers. Christmas is around the corner,... [More]
Directed By: Jim Henson

#6
Adjusted Score: 84914%
Critics Consensus: If it's not quite as sharp as The Muppet Movie, The Muppets Take Manhattan is still a smart, delightfully old-fashioned tale that follows the formula established by the first two movies -- a madcap adventure assisted by a huge group of human stars.
Synopsis: When Kermit the Frog and friends start a stage act, they decide to take the show from their college town... [More]
Directed By: Frank Oz

#7
Adjusted Score: 34822%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Kermit tries to save the theater from a banker (Joan Cusack) who wants to demolish it and open a trendy... [More]
Directed By: Kirk R. Thatcher

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 75749%
Critics Consensus: The Great Muppet Caper is overplotted and uneven, but the appealing presence of Kermit, Miss Piggy and the gang ensure that this heist flick is always breezily watchable.
Synopsis: In the second live-action Muppets film, intrepid journalists Kermit, Fozzie and Gonzo snag an assignment reporting on a British jewel... [More]
Directed By: Jim Henson

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 71281%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: The Great Gonzo – world famous daredevil artiste, has done it all, seen it all, and survived it all. But... [More]
Directed By: Kirk R. Thatcher

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: 71789%
Critics Consensus: Though less Muppet-centric than the original trilogy, Muppet Treasure Island is an energetic, cheerful take on Robert Louis Stevenson's classic adventure, with typically solid gags.
Synopsis: Kermit, Long John Silver (Tim Curry) and Young Jim Hawkins (Kevin Bishop) set sail for riches using a dead pirate's... [More]
Directed By: Brian Henson

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 64655%
Critics Consensus: If Muppets from Space lacks the magic and wit of its cinematic predecessors, this pleasingly silly space romp is funny and clever enough to make for better-than-average family entertainment.
Synopsis: With enormous enthusiasm and unsinkable optimism, daredevil Gonzo steps into his first starring role in "Muppets From Space," a hilarious... [More]
Directed By: Tim Hill

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 13102%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: With dreams of stardom, Dorothy (Ashanti) joins the Scarecrow, the Tin Thing and the Lion to fight the Wicked Witch... [More]
Directed By: Kirk R. Thatcher