Australian Council on Children and the Media

Muppets: Most Wanted

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Short takes

Parental guidance recommended under 6 (Scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Muppets: Most Wanted
  • a review of Muppets: Most Wanted completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 15 April 2014.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Parental guidance recommended due to possible scary scenes
Children 6 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Muppets: Most Wanted
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length 113 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The latest Muppet film begins where the previous Muppet film left off.  After the success of the last Muppet show, Kermit (voice of Steve Whitmire) doesn’t want to risk destabilising the group by taking on another project immediately, despite potential media agent Dominic (Ricky Gervais) offering them a great opportunity touring the world. What the Muppets don’t know is that Dominic is working for Constantine (voice of Matt Vogel), a Kermit lookalike, and a dangerous criminal on the country’s Most Wanted list.

Dominic encourages the Muppets perform in the Berlin National Theatre, despite a lack of funding – if they don’t sell the theatre out, it will be the end of the tour. Dominic suggests that Kermit go for a walk around Berlin, where there are ‘Wanted’ posters for Dominic everywhere. Kermit gets taken away by the authorities and Constantine takes over his identity. Constantine and Dominic then set about trying to steal the Crown Jewels of England, hoping to go down in history as the greatest thieves of all time.

Kermit finds himself in a Russian Gulag, being worshipped as an old friend by other inmates, and seen as the head of the prison. The prison warden Nadia (Tina Fey) informs Kermit that if there is anything he requires, he should simply ask. After many failed attempts at escape, Kermit is told that he may have his sentence reviewed if he assists with the running of an inmate musical performance Nadia is trying to organise. Slowly, Kermit earns the respect of the other prisoners as himself, without them believing he is actually Constantine.

The other Muppets finally come to realise what is happening and find their way to the Gulag in order to rescue Kermit. They overhear Constantine tell Dominic that Miss Piggy (voice of Eric Jacobson) will be killed after she has served her purpose (a false wedding ceremony with Constantine in order to allow enough time for Dominic to steal the Crown Jewels), and race to save the day before their evil plan is realised.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Family and friendship; betrayal; crime; good versus evil

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence, including:

  • Mild violence played for comedy when Constantine runs through a prison, knocking people over by jumping on them. He then blows the prison up with a remote control.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Younger children may be scared or confused by the presence of an evil Kermit lookalike
  • Kermit is thrown into prison where conditions are tough and some children might find this scary
  • There are several explosions

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Most children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Nothing of concern

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

The film promotes the Muppet brand and there is plenty of associated merchandise.

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

There is limited sexual activity, including:

  • Kermit and Peggy share a kiss.
  • Napoleon is seen flirting with Peggy, but there is no intimacy between the two.

Use of substances

  • A French frog drinks wine with his dinner.

Coarse language

  • Mild coarse language such as “Oh my God”
  • insults including “idiot” and “butt”
  • comments about pigs made to Miss Piggy

In a nutshell

Muppets: Most Wanted is a story about friendship, loyalty, and above all else, family. It highlights the enduring nature of the bonds we form with others, the trust that individuals place in their friends to look out for them and help take care of one another when times are hard. It also demonstrates that honest and good-natured people will often triumph over those with evil intentions, as they often have more support from others in their life. Parental guidance is recommended for under sixes who may be worried by some scenes, but this is otherwise a holiday movie for the whole family.

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