The Great Muppet Caper Minute 1 – Everybody Sings As They Go Down

The second Muppet feature film opens with Kermit, Fozzie and Gonzo floating around in a hot air balloon.

NOTES AND RESEARCH

Bermuda Meeting

https://www.henson.com/jimsredbook/2013/08/8241980/

 

Development of The Great Muppet Caper

He made notes in a blank sketchbook with his ideas for a story that would have the cinematic range of his first film but with the feel of a 1930s movie musical, the intrigue of an international heist story, the pace of an action adventure, and the hilarity of a big comedy romance.

“because I so enjoy those movies. I intended the second muppet movie to have the fun and joy of those earlier films.”

“was certain the movie would end with all the Muppets floating down in “parachutes – everybody sings as they go down.”

“Muppet Movie 2”

Jim finished shooting the final season of The Muppet Show on August 22nd

Principal photography began on September 4th or 8th 1980 on location in London, England

After three weeks on location, the production moved to E.M.I. Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire for four months.

When filming was completed in England in late Jan 1981, the production traveled to Albuquerque, NM, to shoot a hot-air balloon sequence for the opening credits.

Home media

The Great Muppet Caper was first released on Betamax, VHS, and LaserDisc in 1982 by 20th Century Fox Video. Jim Henson Video through Buena Vista Home Video re-released the film on VHS and LaserDisc in 1993. The movie was reissued on VHS by Columbia Tristar Home Video and Jim Henson Home Entertainment in 1 June, 1999. It was later released on DVD by Sony Pictures and Jim Henson Home Entertainment on 10 July 2001 and subsequently on 29 November 2005 by Walt Disney Home Entertainment as Kermit’s 50th Anniversary Edition.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released The Great Muppet Caper on Blu-ray and DVD, alongside Muppet Treasure Island, on 10 December 2013.

Edits (Muppet Wiki)

  • Prior to 1993 video releases and TV broadcasts of the movie, “Night Life” lacked Dr. Teeth’s vocals; when Piggy is walking down the alley after leaving Kermit, Joe Raposo’s scoring is interrupted by Big Ben tolling, with no other sound effects; also the same score continues for both the jewel thieves and the Muppets going over their check lists; and Piggy delivers an elongated, “Hiiiiiiiiii-yaaaaaa!” as she crashes through the window at the Mallory Gallery.
  • When this movie aired on the Odyssey Network, the entire bicycle sequence was cut.
  • When aired on AMC, the following scenes were cut:
  • Gonzo takes a picture of a pigeon was cut.
  • Most of “Night Life”.

Our version is the 2013 digital and Blu-ray release

Opening has the same Kermit at the camera logo

Jim Henson Pictures Logo
Jim Henson Pictures Logo

The first thing we see is “Lord Grade presents”

According to an April – May 1983 issue of Cinefantastique:

Following the well-received Jun 1979 theatrical release of The Muppet Movie and the continued popularity of The Muppet Show on television, Lord Grade agreed to move forward on The Dark Crystal if Henson promised to first film a Muppet sequel, The Great Muppet Caper. With the two projects scheduled back-to-back, Henson hired screenwriter David Odell, writer of The Muppet Movie, to begin the screenplay for The Dark Crystal, while production headquarters relocated to a workshop Henson had purchased in Hampstead Heath, London, in July 1979. However, production notes indicated that the filmmakers were forced to transport crucial crewmembers between London and NY on a rotational basis, unable to accommodate the large size of the production team all at once.

Animal opens the movie with a “breaking 4th wall” type scene

  • Fitting because he closed out the last movie
  • Reminds me of a cardboard photo op frame at Walt Disney World
  • MGM logo spoof

We zoom through it

Digital effect? Green screen?

Zoom in on hot air balloon

Muppets make a grand entrance!

Gentle and thought provoking music, reminiscent to the swamp opening of the first movie

“A Jim Henson Film”

Kermit: “It’s pretty nice up here”

Fozzie: What if… sea, lost, storm

Setting the tone: Bigger, more impressive, why not

***sources for the information on this minute include the Brian Jay Jones Jim Henson biography, the AFI and Jim Henson’s Red Book

(These are mostly my thoughts and observations. I have occasionally added some of Annie’s thoughts after the recording. I have done my best to attribute info where needed. Many of the more common facts about the film and The Muppets are not directly attributed to any one source. It is not my intention to claim all of the above information as my own. If you find a place that needs attribution, please contact me with the source and I will be happy to add it.)