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Every Best Picture Winner Ranked by How Good a Muppets Version Would Be




50. Tom Jones (1963)

No, this isn’t a biopic about singer Tom Jones. It’s a comedy that takes place in the 18th century and follows the misadventures of the titular Tom Jones. It’s not particularly great, but that’s where The Muppets come in. They would absolutely transform this mostly laughless affair into a signature Muppets comedy showcase. The plot would stay the same but the jokes would be funny. It doesn’t offer The Muppets anything new to do which is what keeps it from being ranked any higher, but unlike Tom Jones, it would be a great movie.

49. Rain Man (1988)

There are a few ways this could go. It could be Kermit and Fozzy, it could be Kermit and Gonzo, it could be Tom Cruise and Gonzo, or Tom Cruise and Fozzy. Any of those possibilities would be fantastic stuff. This is a great movie and the presence of Muppets would only make it better. But it really is a two-man show so there’s not much room for most of The Muppets to shine.

48. Birdman (2014)

This is a bit of an insane movie already and adding Muppets would just increase that. You could have Kermit in the lead but the 2011 Muppets movie already had a past his prime Kermit so I would have Michael Keaton stay in the title role and have the rest be Muppets. Now that would be an incredible film, maybe one that would give Keaton the Oscar he deserves.

47. Spotlight (2015)

Imagine this. Kermit the Frog in his little Columbo jacket and tiny fedora, backed up by Fozzy, Gonzo, Miss Piggy, and Rizzo. What are they doing? Uncovering the sexual abuse crimes of the catholic church. Billion dollar box-office.

46. Argo (2012)

The key to this is that Ben Affleck would keep his role. He would have a team of Muppets to help make a fake movie so they could rescue Muppet hostages. I’m not even sure you would have to change anything in the script because, despite its true story subject matter, it’s a pretty breezy, entertaining film. Affleck would remain behind the camera of The Muppets version as well. That’s the key to this. It would be the exact same movie but with Muppets. Most of these would have The Muppets changing certain things to fit their brand, adding jokes, songs, etc. Not this, this would be the same. Let Affleck cook with some Muppets.

45. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Focusing on the lives of three World War 2 veterans as they try to acclimate back to civilian life, the reason this is ranked higher than The Hurt Locker is because it handles the subject matter better. If you’re gonna have The Muppets explore the struggles of soldiers who come home from war, you want them to do it in a way that presents that struggle less like a dramatic device and more like what it really is. A failure of the country to help the people who helped it. The Muppets exploring the failures of America? Yes please.

44. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

This a very saccharine, overly mushy film, but that’s what would make a Muppet version so good. The rags to riches, good-hearted people win in the end narrative is prime Muppet material. It’s the type of movie that would feel like classic Muppets while also feeling new. The Muppets would also make this a better movie than it is and better than quite a few of the Best Picture winners that are currently better than it.

43. Rebecca (1940)

Rebecca is a gothic romance directed by Alfred Hitchcock about a woman who learns the dark secrets of her new husband and his deranged maid. Kermit and Miss Piggy is already a bit of a gothic horror romance when you think about it. Having Kermit be the mysterious sinister one would be a nice inverse of their usual dynamic where Miss Piggy is always outwardly sinister.

42. My Fair Lady (1964)

Frankly, I’m shocked there isn’t already a Muppet version of Pygmalion. Kermit turning Miss Piggy into a respectable upper-class lady? I mean, come on. Does Hollywood hate money? Miss Piggmalion. Hello, do I have to come up with all the good ideas?

41. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

The Bridge on the River Kwai follows prisoners of war forced to build a bridge for the enemy, with the commander of the captured soldiers pushing his men to do their best just to prove how much better they are than their captors. Just imagine The Muppets doing forced labor as Kermit plays psychological games with the enemy and slowly descends into madness to prove his superiority. Magnificent puppet cinema that would be.

40. On the Waterfront (1954)

On the Waterfront is a quintessential melodrama. Maybe the greatest American melodrama of all time. A character study about a former prize fighter who works the docks in New Jersey and has to choose between siding with corruption or what he knows is right. Could Kermit pull off the emotional complexity needed to play such a fallen angel? It sure would be thrilling to find out.

39. The Lost Weekend (1945)

This is a one-man show with only a couple of supporting players and if not for that fact I may have ranked it in the top 10. Why? Because it’s about a man struggling with alcohol abuse. Trapped in his apartment for a weekend in an attempt to exorcise his demons, the main character Don goes through the wringer as he tries to crawl out of the abyss even as it forces him back in. Now imagine that but Kermit the Frog.

38. Around the World in 80 Days (1956)

A classic tale of adventure, this is another self-explanatory one and one I’m shocked hasn’t been adapted by The Muppets.

37. Million Dollar Baby (2004)

If you have not seen Million Dollar Baby I am not going to spoil the major event that happens at the end of the second act. But, if you have seen it and know what happens, you know that’s why this ranks this high. Before that, it’s a very good boxing drama but not one that would be anything that special as a Muppet movie. Once the film goes into the third act, that’s when this being done by The Muppets would become truly magnetic viewing.

36. West Side Story (1961)

West Side Story is Romeo & Juliet transposed to New York and about rival street gangs instead of families, and is a classic musical for a reason. It’s the type of big, bombastic, razzle-dazzle adaptation of a classic work that The Muppets do so well. There are a few Best Picture winning musicals that are better though.

35. Chicago (2002)

Chicago is a razzle-dazzle musical about the corruption beneath the American Dream and the lengths people will go to manipulate the system in their favor. And it does it with incredible, jazzy show tunes. Miss Piggy wouldn’t even have to act in this. She’s already the type to cheat on Kermit to try to get famous and kill the guy when he reveals he lied. Come to think of it, Kermit as Amos wouldn’t really have to act either. And Fozzy Bear as the seedy lawyer who manipulates the public into being on Miss Piggy’s side. What a picture this would be.

34. In the Heat of the Night (1967)

In the Heat of the Night sees a black detective from Philadelphia forced to help a racist white police chief in Mississippi solve a murder. It’s a bit of a message film, but it’s also a bit of a buddy cop film and a detective mystery. There’s no doubt that seeing The Muppets tackle themes of race relations in America would be something special, but this is just a solid detective movie more than anything. Watching Kermit and Fozzy solve a murder is where the real strength of this would lie.

33. Patton (1970)

A grand epic biopic about perhaps the most famous American general in World War 2, Patton can be almost Shakespearean in its retelling of the many battles that General George S. Patton was involved in. Kermit ruthlessly commanding battalions of Muppets as they march into big epic World War 2 battles would be incredible. The film itself is strangely pro-war, and that’s kind of bad messaging which maybe The Muppets wouldn’t be able to change. But it would be worth it just to watch World War 2 be fought by The Muppets.

32. Hamlet (1948)

It’s Shakespeare. Honestly, there should be a Muppet version of every single one of Shakespeare’s works, but this is the only one that won Best Picture.

31. Ben-Hur (1959)

A grand historical epic about the tribulations of a wealthy merchant forced into slavery, Ben-Hur has everything from chariot races to Jesus Christ himself. All it’s missing is The Muppets. Let’s get Kermit in a room with everyone’s favorite carpenter and see some movie magic.

30. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

The Muppets in a mental institution is a pretty fitting setting for most of them if we’re being honest. It’s easy to picture it. A mental institution run by stern, free expression stifling Nurse Ratchet played by Miss Piggy white Kermit offers a spark of rebellion to the rest of The Muppets. A spark of hope that they can escape, that the powerless can overtake the unchecked power. That’s wonderful stuff. The bittersweet ending would be a bit depressing for a Muppet movie, but we’re getting to the portion of the list where that’s gonna be more common and frankly, The Muppets could use some more depressing endings. The impact of them would only grow with it happening to Muppets.

29. Oliver! (1968)

It’s an Oliver Twist musical. Of course The Muppets doing it would be amazing.

28. Gladiator (2000)

Kermit fighting in Roman gladiatorial combat? Sign me up. Have Joaquin Phoenix maintain his role as the evil, sniveling little twerp Commodus, and you have an incredible Muppet movie on your hands. Historical epic, drama, action, romance. Themes of hope, underdogs, and fighting against oppression. Most importantly though, really cool violence.

27. The Sting (1973)

A crowd-pleasing comedy caper of the highest order, The Sting has two con men teaming up to pull the ultimate grift: Conning a mob boss out of his fortune. This is already a light, breezy, endlessly entertaining and rewatchable film. Replace all the admittedly very charismatic stars with Muppets and you increase every good aspect of this tenfold.

26. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Of all the Hollywood epics to ever be released, this might be the most epic in terms of scale, scope, and execution. Remaking the Odyssey of T.E. Lawrence with Muppets would be difficult. Perhaps more difficult than remaking any of the other movies on this list. But it would be worth it. Chronicling the life of Lawrence as he travels through foreign desert lands and helps the Arabs in their battles against the Ottoman Empire, the film is full of adventure, drama, and thrilling battles. Make it all Muppets, though, and you make the quintessential epic even more epic.

25. The Apartment (1960)

Out of all the romantic comedies on the list, The Apartment gives Kermit and Miss Piggy the best material and the most true-to-themselves characters. Focusing on a lonely corporate cog in the machine who lends his apartment to his superiors to use for their affairs so he can get promoted, unfortunately for him the woman he has a crush on is his boss’s side chick. It’s a sly premise that would allow both Kermit and Miss Piggy to play to their strengths as the relatable everyman and the morally dubious diva who holds his affections. There are enough supporting roles for every Muppet to shine a bit and the premise itself ensures we get to see them like we’ve never seen them before.

24. The Sound of Music (1965)

A crowd-pleasing musical about love, family, and the power of song that’s also about how much the Nazis suck. I need Kermit ripping up the Nazi flag and I need it now.

23. Amadeus (1984)

A historical film based on a thin, unverifiable rumor, The Muppets doing Amadeus would be spectacular. Seeing them in those ridiculous wigs would be worth the price of admission alone. But the real meat would be the rivalry between Mozart and Salieri portrayed by Kermit and Fozzy. Imagine watching as Fozzy spirals into madness from his jealousy of Kermit’s success and genius.

22. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Look at the picture of Hannibal Lecter and now imagine it was Gonzo. Exactly. Do you know what would make Buffalo Bill more haunting? If he were played by Fozzy Bear.

21. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

The relentless misery and despair of war and how it slowly breaks down those involved is at the center of All Quiet on the Western Front. This is a bleak movie. Bleak in its battle scenes and bleak in the way it depicts the crushing despair that befalls those who survive until the next one. Watching all that happen to Muppets might be too depressing to some, but I think that would make it better. Imagining the fracturing psyche of Muppets as they face the horrors of war and the ever-looming threat of death is a prospect that sounds incredible. Watching as they bond with each other before slowly being taken out as the rest become empty husks. There’s a 50/50 chance Muppets in this would either dilute the message or amplify it. But if we’re going to explore the ways that war destroys those involved, let’s do it with Kermit and the gang.

20. Platoon (1986)

Is Platoon a better war movie than All Quiet on the Western Front? Maybe, maybe not. But this is about which one would be better if it was a Muppet movie, and Platoon would be a better Muppet movie. Why? Because as incredible as it may be to see Muppets have their psyche broken by the horrors of war, All Quiet on the Western Front is less a full narrative and more of a series of events. Platoon offers a full narrative exploring young men losing their innocence in a war no one wanted. It also has Willem Dafoe, and he can keep his role. Any chance to get Willem Dafoe acting with Muppets is immediately better than something without that chance.

19. The Godfather Part II (1974)

Imagine Kermit running the family crime organization like a soulless CEO of a mega-corporation. Imagine him giving the kiss of death to Fozzy once he realizes that he went against the family, or Miss Piggy walking out on him when she realizes the man she once loved has become the devil himself. There’s another movie that keeps this from ranking higher though.

18. The French Connection (1971)

The French Connection is a dirty movie. No, it’s not like your favorite late-night, sock-ruining viewing, but it’s gritty and filthy and raw. It’s filmed like an episode of Cops but with skilled filmmaking instead of bums from Florida. Popeye Doyle is not a good cop. He’s racist, he’s reckless, he uses excessive force. Okay, so he’s a pretty realistic cop. Kermit has been the nice guy long enough. It’s time we let him off the leash and see what he can do as a loose-cannon cop endangering the public in a frantic car chase.

17. 12 Years a Slave (2013)

I’m not gonna make a joke here. I’m just gonna let you imagine this premise with The Muppets.

16. Casablanca (1943)

Casablanca is often remembered most for its great romance, which would make a good movie with Kermit and Miss Piggy. But Casablanca is a lot more than that. It’s a war film, there’s excitement, the main character is a smuggler, and the film has healthy doses of humor. There’s a reason that it’s still so widely regarded, there’s a reason it’s the one movie you enjoyed when you were forced to watch TCM at your grandparents’ house. Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman have enough sexual chemistry in this to make all the Gen-Z’s who hate sex scenes jump off a cliff and there isn’t even a sex scene. It’s already one of the best movies ever made, turn everyone into Muppets and you just bump it up the list.

15. All About Eve (1950)

Miss Piggy’s life being destroyed as an obsessed fan leeches off her like a parasite to usurp her status. Or alternatively Miss Piggy being the parasite that ruins a career to make her own, she wouldn’t even need to act. Either way, what an incredible viewing this would be.

14. Parasite (2019)

Watching Muppets systematically manipulate their way into a wealthy family to mooch off what they feel they deserve more would be magnetic. Parasite is a darkly funny film at points, so not only is there plenty of room for The Muppets to add their signature humor, but it also lets them go darker. They’ve always been good at humor that straddles the line between kid-friendly and adult-friendly, let’s see what they can do when it’s mostly adult-friendly dark satire. Don’t even get me started on how good it would be to see Muppets enacting that third-act twist.

13. Braveheart (1995)

Cast aside all your aspersions on Braveheart and all its historical inaccuracies like casting Mel Gibson as a good guy and just think about The Muppets. Violent, visceral, gory sword and shield battles on a grand scale. Muppet body parts flailing about, Kermit clad in half blue paint assuring they will never take their freedom. Muppet disembowelment. Need I say more?

12. No Country For Old Men (2007)

The Coen Brothers’ signature dark humor, violence, and Americana mixed with The Muppets. Greed, nihilism, murder, bad haircuts, and funny accents. Yes, Sam the Eagle would play Anton Chigurh and yes, he would win an Oscar for it. Tommy Lee Jones would be the lone human because that would make him even more cantankerous than he already is, and it would be glorious.

11. Midnight Cowboy (1969)

Fozzy as an aspiring male prostitute and Kermit as a greasy con man who takes him under his wing. Them navigating poverty in the seedy underbelly of New York at the end of the swinging ’60s. This would be one of the greatest movies of all time. The only thing keeping it out of the Top 10 is the fact the movies above it have more room for the rest of The Muppets.

10. The Departed (2006)

Crime, drama, comedy, romance, Alec Baldwin, Mark Wahlberg. There’s double-crossing, there are Boston accents, people are getting shot (not by Alec Baldwin, thankfully), and excessive amounts of swearing. Muppets ratting on each other and psychologically breaking down from the stress of being undercover. Mark Wahlberg as the only human. What a picture.

9. Titanic (1997)

Titanic is the perfect four-quadrant movie. It appeals to all four demographics like no other. Drama, romance, humor, lavish historical sets, and costuming. Leo for the girls, Kate Winslet for the boys, and Kathy Bates for everyone. Then the last hour and a half is dedicated to the ship sinking. The band continues to play as it goes under. Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem would give all The Muppets on the Titanic the greatest send-off anyone on a sinking ship could hope to have before they freeze to death in the ocean. This a movie that’s already filled to the brim with everything The Muppets could possibly need to put on a show the way only they know how. If anyone can out James Cameron James Cameron, it’s The Muppets.

8. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

Kermit and Miss Piggy divorce drama. ‘Nuff said.

7. Unforgiven (1992)

Muppets in a Western is a recipe for a rootin’ tootin’ good time. Muppets in a Western that deconstructs the myth of the old west cowboys and reckons with the violence perpetrated by gunslingers on both sides of the moral dividing line is a recipe for brilliance. The Muppets taking on an American institution like the Western genre would already guarantee they would deconstruct it for humor but The Muppets deconstructing a deconstruction of the most American of all film genres would be nothing short of a masterpiece.

6. Rocky (1976)

The greatest sports movie of all time. THE underdog story. The Muppets boxing. Kermit screaming MISS PIGGY as half his face swells shut. That’s what the movies are all about.

5. The Deer Hunter (1978)

Muppets forced to play Russian Roulette as prisoners of war in Vietnam. Muppets dealing with PTSD. Muppets as broken men who will never be the same again. Would it be bleak to see such happy creatures put through this much psychological damage? Yes, and that’s why it would be incredible.

4. Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022)

Do I really need to explain to you how incredible a Muppet multiverse would be? This is the only film that’s done the multiverse well and if anything can save the concept from the dredges of creative bankruptcy that it’s currently in, it would be The Muppets.

3. Schindler’s List (1993)

Not gonna explain this one, nor do I have to. You knew it would be Top 3, and you know why.

2. The Godfather (1972)

The slow descent into evil. The crime drama. The doomed romance. The killings. “Look at how they massacred my Muppet?” The greatest ode to the rot at the center of the American Dream being performed by Kermit and the gang. Do Muppets even eat cannoli? Well, they will now. Just picture the montage of Muppet murders as Kermit sits at his child’s baptism. Tell me with a straight face that wouldn’t be the most incredible crime film ever. From the first frame of whichever Mupper plays Don Vito (my money is on the Swedish Chef, think about it) this would be an all-timer.

1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

This would be the greatest movie ever made. I know it and you know it. Muppets Return of the King on its own would be the greatest thing ever put to film. The epic battles, the rousing speeches, the inspired acts of bravery. All of it, with Muppets, would be a transcendent piece of art that would ever so briefly unite humanity. Its existence would also mean that Muppets Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers also exist. A whole Muppets Lord of the Rings trilogy. Art is subjective and nothing can please everyone except for this. Everyone on earth would love this. We would be able to show it to extraterrestrial species to prove that we are worthy of joining the Galactic Senate. They would see it and realize we are a species that can contribute positively to the universe. All our problems would be solved. The Muppets Lord of the Rings will be our salvation.

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