HomeEntertainment NewsEvery 'Muppets' Movie, Ranked from Worst to Best According to Rotten Tomatoes

Every ‘Muppets’ Movie, Ranked from Worst to Best According to Rotten Tomatoes

The late, great Jim Henson gifted the world with The Muppets way back in 1955 with the short-lived Sam and Friends sketch show, and since then their technicolor-felt faces have become permanent staples of pop culture with their own TV shows and movies that are still getting made today and even have their own Hollywood star, making the inanimate puppets legitimate celebrities in their own right.

The majority of films belonging to the MCU (Muppets Cinematic Universe) are based on classical literature and stories, even though there are also a few outliers that have their own original plots, with the tally of the current amount of films under the puppet media franchise standing at 11 (with many more hopefully on their way). Rotten Tomatoes has ranked and reviewed each of these films as well as one television special, ‘Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas’, but for this list, we will only include films that star the main Muppets cast.


11 “The Muppets’ Wizard Of Oz” (2005)


The only addition to this list with a ‘rotten’ rating, “The Muppets’ Wizard Of Oz” is a 2005 television film directed by Kirk R. Thatcher that includes a star-studded ensemble cast of Queen Latifah, Jeffrey Tambor, Quentin Tarantino, and Ashanti in the main role as Dorothy. The film obviously also includes each of the most beloved Muppets‘ members, with Kermit as the Scarecrow, Fozzie Bear as the Cowardly Lion, The Great Gonzo as ‘The Tin Thing’, and Miss Piggy herself as The Wicked Witch of the East, West, North, and South.

Related: ‘Muppets’ Remakes We’d Like To See Made Now That Disney Owns Everything

The film did not receive the best reviews by critics and audience members alike, with the Tomatometer’ giving this film a score of a pretty measly 30%, with some reviews describing the film as ‘a disastrous failure’ and lacking the same amount of creativity and humor that The Muppets are known for. It’s safe to say that it’s a bit of a flop, and it’s okay to skip it on your next Muppets’ movie marathon.

10 “Muppets From Space” (1999)


“Muppets From Space” is a 1999 film directed by Tim Hill in his feature film debut as well as the first Muppets’ film to be produced following the death of Jim Henson, and is also the only film on this list that isn’t a musical. The plot revolves around the mysterious origins of Gonzo and his extraterrestrial ancestry and is filled with all the charming silliness that The Muppets’ are well known and loved for.

Related: How Gonzo Became The Queerest Muppet

The Tomatometer gave this film a score of 63% and has received reviews that highlight its ‘clever premise’ and is even described as being a film that is ‘the closest recapturing the pure joy’ of the original 1979 Muppets’ film. However, the audience score of the film is only 58%, so while it might not be the favorite of the most die-hard Muppets’ fans it still makes for an entertaining watch.

9 “Muppet Treasure Island” (1996)


Based on the classic 1883 “Treasure Island” novel written by Robert Louis Stevenson, “Muppet Treasure Island” features all of the Muppets as swashbuckling pirates as well live-action actors such as Tim Curry and Jennifer Saunders, who do an excellent job of keeping up with the hijinks and antics of the Muppets cast.

The film was directed by Brian Henson, Jim’s son, and as far as puppet recreations of classic pirate literature, “Muppet Treasure Island” really takes the cake. The Tomatometer gave this film a 71% from reviews by critics, who especially praise its irreverent humor and songs, with the audience score being 77% which helps to show just how fun this pirate romp adventure really is.

8 “Muppets Haunted Mansion” (2021)


The most recent contender on this list, the Disney+ original Halloween special “Muppets Haunted Mansion” is another Muppets film directed by Kirk Thatcher and is also the first Halloween-themed Muppets film ever made. Primarily focusing on Gonzo and Pepe, the plot revolves around the two as they navigate the spooky challenge of staying overnight at, you guessed it, a haunted mansion.

Live-action and puppetry once again go hand-in-hand in this production and the human stars in this film include Yvette Nicole Brown, Darren Criss, Will Arnett, Taraji P. Henson, and John Stamos, and the film received generally positive reviews. The Tomatometer puts “Muppets Haunted Mansion” at a respectable 71%, with praise specifically directed at the chemistry and talent of the human cast alongside their felt-clad counterparts.

7 “The Great Muppet Caper” (1981)


The second film in the Muppets Cinematic Universe but the first (and only) film to be directed by Jim Henson himself, “The Great Muppet Caper” is a musical heist comedy that follows Kermit and Fozzie Bear as they accidentally get swept in a massive jewel heist in London while the other Muppets do their best to rescue them home.

The human stars in this film include the great, late Dame Diana Rigg and Charles Grodin, as well as cameo appearances from beloved actors John Cleese, Jack Warden, Robert Morley, and Peter Ustinov. The film has a 75% rating on the Tomatometer, with critics calling the film ‘sophisticated’ and ‘a complex vision that is satisfying to an intelligent person be he or she young or old’, in case you needed some extra persuasion to give this classic Muppets adventure a watch.

6 “It’s A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie” (2002)


Arguably the most divisive film on this list, the 2002 Christmas special television film also directed by Kirk Thatcher, “It’s A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie” follows Kermit’s resigned defeat of trying to save the classic Muppet Theater while he is taken on a journey by an angel who shows him what the world would look like if he was never born. If you can’t tell, it’s a direct homage to the classic 1946 Christmas film “It’s A Wonderful Life” directed by Frank Capra.

The film currently holds an 82% on the Tomatometer, with critics calling it a “classic story retold in a funny, Muppet romp” as well as “the most sensational, celebrational, Muppetational, Christmas movie”, while the audience score shows a much lower 51%. Watch the film for yourself to see which side you stand on.

5 “The Muppets Take Manhattan” (1984)

Kermit, Miss Piggy, and other Muppets gather around Fozzie, who is reading a Variety newspaper on a bench in front of Manhattan skyscrapers in 'The Muppets Take Manhattan'
Image via Tri-Star Pictures

Directed by the legendary puppeteer who worked alongside Jim Henson way back in 1963, Frank Oz, “The Muppets Take Manhattan” is the third film in the Muppets filmography that shows the Muppets in a more mature, dramatic setting, while still not skimping out on the usual goofiness that make The Muppets special.

Related: “The Muppets Take Manhattan” Is The Muppets At Their Most Mature

The Muppets in this film experience financial hardships and the coming-of-age trials and tribulations that come with leaving college and all the other experiences that come with entering adulthood, showing the puppet performers at their most realistic (and sadly still relevant). The Tomatometer gave this film a solid 84%, calling it “every bit as entertaining as its predecessors”, with the audience score of 76% displaying its overall appeal amongst audiences and critics alike.

4 “The Muppet Christmas Carol” (1992)

Michael Caine as Scrooge with Miss Piggy, Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, and Gonzo in The Muppets Christmas Carol
Image via Disney

When it comes to adapting the classic Charles Dickens’ story, “A Christmas Carol”, there are countless films to choose from that all follow the same basic premise and formula. However, “The Muppet Christmas Carol” is a special exception that manages to combine the timelessness of the original source material with the eccentricity and ridiculousness that only The Muppets can provide.

Related: “The Muppet Christmas Carol” Delivers The GOAT Scrooge Performance

Starring Michael Caine as Scrooge, this film has a lot less human actors present in comparison to other contenders on this list, with the majority of the film’s cast being the titular Muppets including Charles Dickens himself, who is portrayed by none other than Gonzo. The Tomatometer puts this film at 77%, giving it a ‘certified fresh’ stamp of approval.

3 “Muppets Most Wanted” (2014)

Salma Hayek and Gonzo wearing matching red suits in Muppets Most Wanted

The follow-up sequel that takes place directly after the events of the 2011 reboot film, “Muppets Most Wanted” is a comedy musical heist film that depicts the Muppets gang on a Europe tour while Kermit falls victim to identity theft and spends the rest of the film breaking out of a Siberian gulag to try and defeat his evil doppelganger.

The film goes backs to its roots, similar to the previous film, with elaborate musical numbers, celebrity cameos, and enough gags and comedy bits to keep all audience members of any age entertained. The film received a ‘certified fresh’ rating of 80% on the Tomatometer, even though the audience rating is a shocking 58%. The film was a hit with critics, but maybe it isn’t as beloved as the film review website says it to be.

2 “The Muppet Movie” (1978)


This is the film that started it all. The 1978 aptly titled “The Muppet Movie” is the feature film debut of Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, and all the rest of the Muppets cast, depicting their backstories on how they all met and came together to create the greatest puppet entertainment group of all time.

The film also includes the iconic and Academy Award-nominated song, “Rainbow Connection”, which can only be described as the most introspective and existential song ever sang by a frog in cinematic history. Rotten Tomatoes shows that this film is loved by critics and audiences alike, with the score being 88% for both scores, with one review calling it “unbridled amiability” that is “governed by intelligence and wit”, showing its everlasting appeal to this day.

1 “The Muppets” (2011)

Promotional image for 'The Muppets' (2011) showing Jason Segel, Amy Adams, and multiple muppets.
Image via Walt Disney

When it comes to cinematic reboots of popular media it can be a real hit or miss, but thankfully the 2011 film “The Muppets” helped revitalize the cherished franchise back into the social zeitgeist and bring The Muppets back into their former glory. Directed by James Bobin and starring Amy Adams, James Segel, Chris Cooper, Rashida Jones, Jack Black, Zach Galifanakis, Jim Parsons, and so, so many more, the film is a star-studded love letter to Jim Henson’s creations and a tender reflection of his legacy.

The film has a whopping 95% ‘certified fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the audience score only slightly lower at a still impressive 80%. Reviews include; The Muppets not only restore their name in the movie, but they prove to the audience that they’re back, and they’re still as cute and entertaining as ever before”, as well as describing it as “comedic gold”, making it one of the most successful reboots to come out in the last decade.

NEXT: The Best Human Performances Across All The ‘Muppet’ Movies



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