Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

I'd call this a coming-of-age movie, but that would really have to begin with Kermit as a tadpole.

In flashback, young Kermit and his friend Croaker venture for the first time out of their swamp to go and rescue their friends Goggles and Blotch.

And the outside world is indeed a strange place. Kermit has been appearing on our screens since the 1960s, so initially the even younger frog encounters a very old pick-up truck, Jim Henson as a boy, and a movie theatre showing a picture in black-and-white. So this must be the… 1950s?

But then the people they meet all wear present-day fashions, someone makes a joke about "The Nature Channel", and the only word the kids at the school seem to know is "gross."

It's all good friendly character-building fun though. Kermit's mom is realised quite beautifully (not sure whether she's appeared before), and the cast of other new characters are quickly drawn too.

Top moment though has to be when poor Goggles finds himself about to be dismembered in a biology class, literally with the scalpel at his throat about to make the incision. There's no talking-down to the audience here - if you're a talking frog trying to rescue his friend from the evil clutches of human society, then this is the sort of stuff that you go through. Hey - it turns out it's never been easy being green.

Kermit's Swamp Years is a non-synoptic entry into the muppet canon, even doing away with crediting Kermit as being played by himself in the opening credits, however it has its heart in the right place throughout.

Especially during the dissection.

(available here)

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