35. Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
Director: Frank Oz
Leading Actors: Frank Oz, Jim Henson, Dave Goelz
NYC Neighborhoods Featured: Long Island City, Queens; Midtown
Open on the classic tale of a group of dreamers who outgrow their surroundings and end up in the only city big enough to hold them. The gang graduates Danhurst College to the exuberant final notes of their small-town takes on big city musicals, Manhattan Melodies, which seems to mostly be about getting married. They have two choices, the painful breakup of a group of irreplaceable friends, or taking the show on the road. After all, how hard could it be to get an amateur musical involving farm animals on Broadway? In the end, not that hard.
The Muppets take on Gotham is light and quaint, but with enough dark moments to peg this as a real New York picture: muggings, rats in kitchens, tacky and emotionless producers, and a priceless set of scenes where Kermit becomes a Mad Man. It's a wonderful achievement in puppetry, taking Muppets on location for some truly special shots. —GT