March 16, 2012

The Muppets (2011)
Buena Vista Home Entertainment

103 mins. · PG
16x9 · 1.78:1

Format
Blu-Ray

Audio
English - DTS 7.1 HD Master Audio
French - DTS 7.1 HD Master Audio
English - DD 2.0
Spanish - DD 5.1

Subtitles
English, French, Spanish

Extras
Commentary Track, Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, Spoof Trailer, Disney Intermission, DVD version, Digital Copy

Starring
Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper

Review by
Guido Henkel


Rating



(2011)

It has been a very long time since the Muppets were riding high on the wave of popularity and for the past ten years, they were practically all but forgotten. But al of that changed in a heartbeat when Disney released the new movie "The Muppets" in theaters last year. A hit with audiences, I was eager to see how the movie turned out on Blu-Ray Disc and quickly checked out the disc when it arrived here in our offices.

As I said, it has been a long time since the success of the Muppet Show turned Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzy and the others into household names, and as the lights went out in the Muppet Theater, the cast of fluffy Muppets disbanded in all directions of the compass. While Kermit stuck around to maintain the Muppet Theater as a tourist attraction, Fozzy now works in Reno as a stand-up comedian. Gonzo has entered the world of business and Miss Piggy is the editor of a fashion magazine. Nothing remains of the glory of their former days.

Until Walter enters the picture. Walter, a living p(m)uppet of his own is the world's biggest muppet fan. He has the chance to travel to Los angeles when his brother Gary (Jason Segel) is taking his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) for a vacation, and Walter is invited along.

Walter dreams of visiting the Muppet Theater and seeing the magnificent wonders for himself, but his disappointment has no bounds when he realizes the theater is dilapidated, abandoned, closed and about to be flattened. In a last ditch effort, Walter tries to convince Kermit to put the gang back together and restart the Muppet Show in order to raise the money needed to save the theater. And so, with the clock ticking, they travel the country to locate and convince the entire Muppet gang to come return into the fold and revive the one and only Muppet Show.

I wasn't exactly sure what to expect form this movie. Would it excite me as much as it did my friends, or was the formula simply used up? I was doubtful at first, but soon found that "The Muppets" is a wonderful movie full of nostalgia where the characters pay homage to themselves and the golden days of the original Muppet Show. It is a sweet movie, full of heart and love for the cast and concept that made up the Muppet Show, and as such it instantly rekindles the affection in the heart of any Muppet fan, particularly, as this is an old-school puppet-animated movie and not just another clinically sterile computer-generated smorgasbord.

Arriving in a bold 1080p high definition transfer on this disc, the presentation of "The Muppets" is every bit as glorious as you would expect. Reveling in marvelous details that brings every plushy little detail of the puppets themselves to life like never before, the transfer also boast a color reproduction that is every bit as rich and powerful as the Muppets deserve. After all, the flamboyant colors an costumes of the cast members has always been one of the main attractions of the show. The production is meticulously melding live actors with the world of the Muppets, making this film true eye candy.

The audio side of this disc is also very impressive, boasting a DTS 7.1 HD Master Audio presentation. Modern and dynamic, the track is engaging and offers a wide frequency response. The songs in the film are nicely integrated and make full use of the wide spectrum, as well as the surround channels. All in all, a solid and welcome presentation to a great film.

This 3-disc Blu-Ray version also contain a good number of bonus materials, such as a selection of Deleted Scenes and a Commentary track with cast and crew members.
Also included are various featurettes and some screen test footage, along with a previously unreleased spoof trailer. The release also includes the full DVD version, a Digital Copy of the movie and the Soundtrack of the film as a downloadable.

Within minutes, "The Muppets" had charmed me once again. The wonderful performances, the nostalgic look back at the glorious heydays of the Muppet Show, the honesty of the characters and the colorful film itself, managed to weave its magic all over me with ease. There can be no doubt in my mind that fans of the show have to check out this release, along with all those who would like to fall in love with an adorable, little green frog and his friends.

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