Watch Early Test Footage for The Muppet Movie

YouTube / Brian Powell
YouTube / Brian Powell / YouTube / Brian Powell

In 1979, Jim Henson was trying to sell studios on the idea of The Muppet Movie. But executives weren't convinced that the Muppets would work in "the real world," as they had previously spent most of their time in carefully controlled soundstage environments. So Jim Henson grabbed Frank Oz and soon-to-be Muppet Movie director Jim Frawley and headed into the English countryside to show what Muppets looked like in the wild.

The result is hilarious and wonderful. The Super 8 footage has poor sound, but it proves Henson's point: Muppets look completely natural interacting with the real world. My favorite parts of this video are at the beginning, when Kermit tells Fozzie he's not "a real, natural bear," and at the end, when Kermit and Fozzie confront a herd of cows, who seem very interested in licking Kermit's face. Enjoy this nugget of Muppet history!