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

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:4/5]

Hello Muppets, how have you been? It’s been far too long my friends, and I’m sure that most people over thirty feel the same way. When I was growing up, I remember watching The Muppet Show every week and seeing The Muppet Movie. Time hasn’t favored these fuzzy characters created by the late Jim Henson, however, and they’ve been all but forgotten – until now.

Jason Segel (TV’s How I Met Your Mother) and Nicholas Stoller (Gulliver’s Travels; Get Him to the Greek) revive these characters from another era with their brand new screenplay that leaves the cynicism of today by the wayside and opts for a honest and earnest love letter to childhood memories. In doing so, they revive the Muppets in the best way possible and create a fun, heartfelt musical comedy that brings these classic characters back to life for all of us who remember when and recreates the magic for a new generation of children. The best part is, parents need not worry at all about the content – this is pure, wholesome fun, despite the PG rating.

The story involves the puppet Walter (voiced by Peter Linz) who has grown up in Smalltown, USA, the only one of his kind, with his brother and best friend Gary (Segel). The subject of ridicule because he was the only puppet in town, Walter was sad and lonely until he discovered The Muppet Show on television and realized there was some place out in the world where he might fit in. So when Gary and his girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) take Walter along with them on a trip to Los Angeles to celebrate their anniversary so he can see the Muppet studio,which has over the years fallen into disrepair, a fateful encounter has Walter overhearing the plans of a malevolent oil tycoon, Tex Richman (Chris Cooper; The Tempest; The Town; The Company Men). Richman plans to tear down the Muppet Studio and drill for oil unless the Muppets can come up with $10 million to buy it back. So Walter, Gary, and Mary set out to find Kermit the Frog who must get the old Muppet gang back together for a special telethon to raise the money. It won’t be as easy as it sounds, due to the Muppets having gone their separate ways over the years. Miss Piggy is in France, the plus size editor for vogue, Animal is in anger management classes, and Fozzie is in a Muppets cover band.

The film does have its flaws, such as some of the musical numbers feeling just a little clumsy and the overall story being a bit derivative of the original Muppet Movie, but it’s not enough to hold down the sugary sweetness and overall joyous atmosphere that the film evokes. A number of celebrity cameos also help bolster the film, including the Jack Black playing himself, as the reluctant telethon host, Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, Whoopie Goldberg, and Selena Gomez among others.

(For a different take, read The Muppets Blu-ray Review by Chris Chiarella)

Video Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The Muppets was captured in HD using the Red Epic and Red One cinematographic high definition cameras and arrives on Blu-ray in a pristine AVC/MPEG-4 1080p/24 encodement from Disney. As one would expect from an HD sourced transfer, there are no instances of any source damage, video noise is just about nonexistent, and detail is really extended. The contrast is relatively strong, but for the most part the lighting and palette of the film do not allow for strong instances of high contrast scenes and nuanced shadows. Still, it looks excellent on Blu-ray with bright colors and natural flesh tones.

Audio Quality

[Rating:5/5]

Disney has offered up a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (48kHz/24-bit) soundtrack ofr this release that is immersive and dynamic without being overwhelming. The extra channels in the back are used mainly for additional ambience, but I did hear some very slight discrete pans as well. Dialogue is clean and full and there is some directional panning across the front as well.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:4.5/5]

Disney has packed this release of The Muppets with fun HD extras in the form of behind-the-scenes featurettes, deleted scenes, bloopers, and an audio commentary. And, just ion case you were wondering, just about everything here includes appearances by everyone’s favorite fuzzy friends. Additionally, a DVD and access to free downloadable digital copy and soundtrack from the film are included as well.

The supplements:

  • Scratching the Surface: A Hasty Examination of the Making of The Muppets (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:15:56)
  • The longest Blooper Reel Ever Made (In Muppet History) (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:08:33)
  • A Little Screen Test in the Way to the Read-Through (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:19)
  • Explaining Evil: The Full Tex Richman Song (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:02:38)
  • Deleted Scenes:
    • Walter’s Extended Nightmare
    • “Life’s a Happy Song” The Missing Verse
    • A Hero in Hollywood
    • Credit Card Club
    • Muppets in Jail
    • Bowling for Beaker
    • The Strip Mall Awards
    • The Complete Muppet Telethon Opening & More
  • Theatrical Spoof Trailers:
    • Rise of the Muppets – Unreleased
    • Never – Unreleased
    • Green with Envy
    • The Fuzzy Pack
    • Being Green
    • The Piggy with the Froggy Tattoo
    • Green with Envy Spoof Spoof Trailer
  • Audio Commentary with Jason Segal, James Bobin, and Nicholas Stoller
  • DVD
  • Digital Copy
  • Soundtrack Download

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4.5/5]

A magnificent return for these lovable characters, The Muppets is evocative of another time, and that’s what makes it special. For someone of my age, it’s hard not to get a little emotional seeing my old childhood “friends” return in such spectacular fashion. Highly recommended.

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

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