The Muppets Take Manhattan is a 1984 American musical comedy film directed by Frank Oz. It is the third of a series of live-action musical feature films starring Jim Henson's Muppets with special appearances by Art Carney, James Coco, Dabney Coleman, Gregory Hines, Linda Lavin, and Joan Rivers. The film was produced by Henson Associates and TriStar Pictures, and was filmed on location in New York City during the summer of 1983 and released theatrically the following summer. It was the first film to be directed solely by Oz (who also performs Sam the Eagle, Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, and Animal), as he previously co-directed The Dark Crystal with Henson.
This film introduced the Muppet Babies, as toddler versions of the Muppet characters in a fantasy sequence. The Muppet Babies later received their own Saturday morning animated television series, which aired on CBS from 1984 until 1991 and has since been syndicated worldwide.
Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and the rest of the Muppets graduate from Danhurst College by entertaining their fellow graduates with their theatrical production ofManhattan Melodies. Upon the suggestion of taking the show to Broadway, the Muppets proceed with the idea, certain they will become stars instantly. Arriving inManhattan, the group meet producer Martin Price but soon discover he is a con artist named Murray Plotsky upon the arrival of the police. Plotsky is arrested, leaving the Muppets' hopes dashed. They try other theatrical producers but without success, their morale and finances taking a nosedive.
Thinking they are becoming a burden to Kermit when he snaps at them, the rest of the Muppets agree to go their separate ways and get new occupations, though Miss Piggy secretly remains in Manhattan to keep an eye on Kermit. Though disappointed by the development, Kermit vows to make the show a hit and enlists the help of diner owner Pete, his daughter Jenny who is an aspiring fashion designer, and the diner's staff of rats led by Rizzo. Attempting to promote the show, Kermit first poses as an eccentric producer bragging about the musical's quality but the producer he meets discards the script after Kermit makes his exit. Kermit then poses as a famous playwright, having the rats insert a caricature picture at Sardi's restaurant but when the rats are exposed, the plan fails.
While in Central Park, Jenny comforts Kermit about his losses, while an envious Miss Piggy observes. When a thief steals her purse, Miss Piggy borrows a pair of rollerskates and furiously gives chase until she captures him, but reunites with Kermit in the process and they make up. Piggy takes a job at Pete's diner while Kermit receives several letters from his friends who have taken up numerous jobs around the United States. He then receives a letter from producer Bernard Crawford who is interested in the musical. However, the letter was actually sent by Ronnie Crawford, his son, who likes Manhattan Melodies; himself trying to make a name as a producer. Bernard himself is sceptical but agrees to fund the show. A thrilled Kermit heads back to the diner but is so happy that he walks into oncoming traffic and is hit by a car.
The rest of the Muppets are summoned back to New York, but learn Kermit has vanished. Kermit is hospitalized but with no memory of his life. He makes his way to Madison Avenue, where he finds a trio of frogs who work in advertising, offer him a job when he comes up with a slogan and thinks of himself as "Phil". They end up visiting Pete's diner where Kermit's friends recognize him when he plays the show's opening number with spoons. At the Biltmore Theatre on opening night, the Muppets try to help Kermit remember, but it only works when Miss Piggy punches him when he insults their past romance. Kermit regains his memories, realizing the show needs more Muppets, asks the Madison Avenue frogs to be supernumeracies.
The show is a success, culminating in what is intended to be a staged wedding between Kermit and Miss Piggy's characters, only for a real minister to appear (instead of Gonzo as Kermit planned). With all of the Muppets and other characters present, Kermit and Miss Piggy get married as the film ends.
- Louis Zorich as Pete, the owner and chef of Pete's Diner.
- Juliana Donald as Jenny, Pete's daughter who works as a waitress and aspiring fashion designer.
- Lonny Price as Ronnie Crawford
- Cheryl McFadden as Nancy, the secretary to Martin Price.
- Graham Brown as Mr. Wrightson
Muppet Performers Edit
- Jim Henson as Kermit the Frog, Rowlf the Dog, Dr. Teeth, The Swedish Chef, The Muppet Newsman, Waldorf, Baby Kermit, Baby Rowlf, Ernie
- Frank Oz as Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, Sam Eagle, Baby Piggy, Baby Fozzie, Bert, Cookie Monster
- Jerry Nelson as Floyd Pepper, Crazy Harry, Camilla the Chicken, Pops, Lew Zealand, Bear
- Richard Hunt as Scooter, Janice, Statler, Baby Scooter, Beaker (scenes deleted), Bear
- Dave Goelz as The Great Gonzo, Chester the Rat, Bill the Frog, Zoot, Penguin, Jim the Dog, Baby Gonzo, Uncle Matt Fraggle, Beauregard (scenes deleted), Dr. Bunsen Honeydew (scenes deleted)
- Steve Whitmire as Rizzo the Rat, Gill the Frog, Bear
- Bruce Edward Hall as Masterson the Rat, Beth Bear
- Kathryn Mullen as Jill the Frog
- Karen Prell as Yolanda the Rat, Frank the Dog
- Brian Muehl as Tattooey the Rat
- Martin P. Robinson as Rat, Hands of the Swedish Chef
Cameo Guest Stars Edit
- Frances Bergen as Mr. Winesop's receptionist
- Art Carney as Bernard Crawford, a known theatrical producer and Ronnie's father.
- James Coco as Mr. Skeffington
- Dabney Coleman as Murray Plotsky/Martin Price, a con artist posing as a theatrical producer.
- Elliott Gould as a police officer who enters Pete's Diner after Kermit leaves to meet Bernard Crawford. Gould also appeared as a cameo in The Muppet Movie.
- Gregory Hines as a roller skater
- Mayor Edward I. Koch as himself
- John Landis as Leonard Winesop, a known theatrical producer.
- Linda Lavin as Kermit's doctor
- David Lazer as Sardi's customer
- Liza Minnelli as herself
- Joan Rivers as Eileen
- Vincent Sardi, Jr. as himself
- Brooke Shields as Pete's Diner patron
Muppet Characters (speaking) Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Scooter, Gonzo, Rowlf, Animal, Dr. Teeth, Floyd Pepper, Janice, Zoot, Rizzo the Rat, Camilla, Statler and Waldorf, The Swedish Chef, Lew Zealand, Tatooey Rat, Yolanda Rat, Masterson Rat, Chester Rat, Beth Bear, Bill, Gil, Jill, Muppy, Bears, Dogs, Chickens, Penguins, Beaker, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beauregard, Rover Joe, Wolfhound, Jim the Dog, Frank the Dog, Rat Muppet Babies (singing and speaking) Baby Kermit, Baby Piggy, Baby Fozzie, Baby Gonzo, Baby Scooter, Baby Rowlf
See Wedding Seating Chart Muppet Characters (in alphabetical order) Animal, Anything Monsters, Agnes Stonewick, Baby Band, Baskerville the Hound, Beaker, Bears, Beauregard, Bert, Beth Bear, Biff, Big Bird, Bill, Bobby Benson, Bubba, Bunsen Honeydew, Buster the Horse, Camilla, Chester Rat, Clementine, Cookie Monster, Count von Count, Crazy Harry, Creature, Deena, Deer, Dinger, Dr. Teeth, Droop, Elmo, Ernie, Fazoobs, Female Koozebanian Creature, Flower-Eating Monster, Floyd Pepper, Foo-Foo, Forcryingoutloud Bird, Forgetful Jones, Fozzie Bear, Frogs, Frank the Dog, Gaffer, George the Janitor, Geri and the Atrics, Gil, Goat, Gonzo, Gramps, Grandmother Happy, Grover, Grundgetta, Grandmother Happy, Guy Smiley, Herry Monster, Hilda, Mr. Honker, Honkers, Irvine, Janice, Jim the Dog, Jill, J.P. Grosse, Julius Strangepork, Lew Zealand, Louis Kazagger, Link Hogthrob, Lips, Lothar, Lou, Lubbock Lou, Luncheon Counter Monster, Mahna Mahna, Male Koozebanian Creature, Marvin Suggs, Masterson Rat, Maurice Monster, Mildred, Mona Monster, Mrs. Appleby, The Newsman, Oscar the Grouch, Pearl, Penguins, Pig Baby, Pigs, Pops, Quongo, Raccoon, Rizzo the Rat, Robin the Frog, Rowlf the Dog, Rover Joe, Sam the Eagle, Scooter, Sherlock Hemlock, Sheep, Simon Soundman, Slim Wilson, The Snowths, Sully, The Swedish Chef, Tatooey Rat, Telly Monster, Two-Headed Monster, Uncle Deadly, Uncle Traveling Matt, Whaddayasay Bird, The White Rabbit, Wayne and Wanda, Whatnots, Wolfhound, Yolanda Rat, Zeke, Zoot