By Owen Gleiberman
Updated July 16, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

Gonzo, the hook-nosed fur ball who has his first starring role here, has always been one of the more innocuous Muppets, and the movie takes its tone from his timid cuteness. In Muppets From Space it turns out that Gonzo is an expatriate alien. Having announced, on Miss Piggy’s new talk show, that there’s a whole other world out there, he is kidnapped by a paranoid government operative (Jeffrey Tambor, snarling neatly), and it’s up to his fellow cloth-heads to break into a secret laboratory and save him. The Muppets were once devilish and sly, but this ploddingly whimsical musical caper, which uses too many ’70s soul songs to signify its rainbow-demographic cred, is enough to make you want to see them get slapped around by the Teletubbies (at this point, a far funkier crew). C

Muppets From Space

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