Nov 23

With their large mouths, protruding eyes and catchy musical numbers, Jim Henson’s Muppets are instantly recognizable. Fans of the famous puppets are in luck as the gang returns to the silver screen for the first time in over a decade. Released today in the US, the band of mismatched characters reunites to save their old Muppet theatre from the hands of a greedy oil tycoon.

With old favourites such as Fozzie Bear and Kermit the Frog set to leap back on to the big screen, we thought we would pull back the curtains on the ARKive stage to see what Muppets are waiting in the limelight…

Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy

Although an unlikely pairing in the wild, there is a no more recognisable puppet pair than Miss Piggy, the ultimate Diva and Kermit the Frog, the leader of the Muppet tribe. Like loveable Kermie, the green and golden bell frog has bright pea-green colouration but is less likely to be heard singing “Bein’ green” around the edges of its swamp-like home as its call is more likened to the sound of a motorbike changing gears!

        Green and golden bell frog photo       Wild boar photo

Fozzie Bear

While this Alaskan brown bear, one of the largest carnivores on earth, might not say “Wocka Wocka Wocka,” it definitely looks like a relative of the hat-donning Muppet Fozzie Bear.

Brown bear, side view, Alaskan population

Rizzo the Rat

Rizzo is a streetwise New Jersey rat and a self-proclaimed acrophobic, as he hates heights and particularly jumping from them. In the wild however, his relative, the brown rat, a supreme generalist, typically moves around the ground but is also an expert jumper, climber and swimmer. Perhaps that is why Rizzo opted for a stint as a hotel bellboy rather than life on the streets.

 Brown rat photo

Rowlf the Dog

Nobody knows what type of dog Rowlf is, but this rather scruffy raccoon dog with its black nose and large ears looks like it could be a distant relative. Though I’m not sure it’s skills on the piano would quite match up to those of the Muppets resident pianist.

Raccoon dog photo

Sam the Eagle

The bald eagle is instantly recognizable as a symbol of patriotism in the United States. Sam the Eagle may not look exactly like a bald eagle but he is patriotic nonetheless!

Bald eagle photo

Pepe the King Prawn

Even though Pepe claims to be “King Prawn”, he looks an awful lot like a regular old common prawn to me!

Common prawn

Can you think of any other Muppets hiding in the ARKive collection? If so, why not let us know?

Tatiana Petrone, Program Assistant, Wildscreen USA