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The Muppets Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz/24-bit), English Descriptive Video Service 2.0, French DTS-HD High Resolution 7.1 (48kHz/24-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: PG
  • Run Time: 103 Mins.
  • Discs: 1 (1 x Blu-ray +1 x DVD + Digital Copy)
  • Studio:  Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: March 20, 2012
  • List Price: $49.99

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Purchase The Muppets on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for More Blu-ray Titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

Gary (Jason Segel, also a writer and executive producer) is one of the all-time great brothers, even though sibling Walter is, well, a Muppet. (It’s only the first minute of the movie, give it a chance!) With the real-life history of The Muppets as a backdrop, we learn of Walter’s great longing to fit in, and even his dream of joining the legendary musical comedy troupe. To that end, he tags along on Gary’s anniversary trip with ten-year girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) to Los Angeles, only to find that The Muppets have fallen on hard times.

Not only is the fuzzy team now scattered to points unknown, but the old theater is falling to pieces. Even worse, patriarch Kermit the Frog would need to come up with ten million dollars if he wants to keep the place out of the hands of a tycoon so evil that he is physically incapable of laughing (Chris Cooper). And so, in a conspicuous nod to The Blue Brothers of all movies, Gary, Mary, Walter and Kermit hit the road to get the gang back together for a telethon that might just save the day.

This is The Muppets, folks, so be prepared for all sorts of physical comedy, sight gags, puns, singing, dancing and most importantly fun. The script hits a few flat notes, but with this much heart it’s hard not to play along.

(For a different take, read The Muppets Blu-ray Review by Brandon DuHamel)

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

Shot digitally, the 16:9 Muppets displays some rare instances of motion streaking and blacks that can be a little harsh and inorganic, but overall the clarity is striking. Faces (flesh and fabric) in close-up are wonderfully sharp while little details such as small text and even imprecisely focused backgrounds can really pop. The vibrant image is also alive with an inviting array of candy colors.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track is big and wide and open, never more so than during the many songs, including the Oscar-winning “Man or Muppet”, with instruments enjoyably spread across the rears. Some exaggerated effects extend playfully into the surrounds, which also deliver nearby police sirens, discrete dog barks, and some funny off-camera gags. Bass is more than ample, bringing a solid punch to the proceedings.

Fans who haven’t tuned into the gang’s antics in a while might be a bit put off by the change-up in the voice actors, particularly with the loss of Jim Henson as Kermit and the absence of Frank Oz as Miss Piggy, but eventually we move on and just go with it.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3.5/5]

(EDITOR’S NOTE: These comments are specific to the so-called “Wocka Wocka Value Pack,” which comes with three discs and more. A two-disc Blu-ray/DVD combo pack is also available.)

Kermit et. al. have given us a smorgasbord of extras worthy of the Swedish Chef, all with at least an attempt at humor. We’re offered a somewhat silly “making” of, followed by bloopers, a longer version of Chris Cooper’s rap song, and what I assume was a promotional short with Jason Segel and his Muppet brother. There are also eight deleted and extended scenes and seven “spoof” movie trailers, two of them never-before-released. The audio commentary arrives courtesy of Segel, fellow writer and executive producer Nicholas Stoller, and director James Bobin.

One promising feature is the new “Disney Intermission” which pulls up fun little bonus content whenever we pause the movie. It’s a terrific use of the available home video technology, but it also makes still-stepping/frame-advancing impossible if we leave the remote untouched for more than three seconds, at which point Intermission will engage.

Disc Two is a DVD of the movie in standard definition, along with the bloopers. Disc Three carries the Digital Copy for iTunes or Windows Media. And in a very unusual but most welcome bonus, the entire musical soundtrack album is included too, via a download at the Disney Movie Rewards site, when we use the unique printed code. If you’re not signed up at Disney Movie Rewards by the way, you are really missing out.

The supplements:

  • “Scratching the Surface: A Hasty Examination of the Making of The Muppets” (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 15:56)
  • “The Longest Blooper Reel Ever Made (Well… at Least in Muppet History*) *We Think” (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 8:33)
  • “A Little Screen Test on the Way to the Read-Through” (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 3:19)
  • “Explaining Evil: The Full Tex Richman Story” (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 2:38)
  • Deleted Scenes (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 10:01)
  • Theatrical Spoof Trailers (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 9:00)
  • Audio Commentary with Jason Segel, James Bobin and Nicholas Stoller
  • Disney Intermission
  • Digital Copy
  • DVD copy of the movie with Bloopers

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

With a new approach, some inspired cameos and that goofy sense of humor we’ve come to know and possibly love, The Muppets are back in a big way, with a winning reboot now in a slick Blu-ray debut.

Additional Screen Captures

[amazon-product]B006JTS5OO[/amazon-product]

Purchase The Muppets on Blu-ray Combo Pack at CD Universe

Shop for More Blu-ray Titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]

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