The Muppet Movie is finally available on Blu-ray after NEARLY 35 years. I watched this movie hundreds of times as a kid so finding out it was getting the high-def treatment was awesome. I was excited to pick up the Blu-ray from my Best Buy today but I was not too pleased with the final product. It’s not a bad Blu-ray but The Muppet Movie deserved better then the underwhelming presentation and mostly lackluster bonus features it received.
The Muppet Movie itself still holds up NEARLY 35 years after it was first shown in theaters. Watching the movie in 2013 where computer effects have nearly stopped the use of practical effects, it was a breath of fresh air seeing real puppets on screen instead of CGI. The puppetry in the movie is really fantastic and quite impressive by today’s standards. I couldn’t help but be blown away seeing how great these puppets look when you see a full view of their character or the puppet on a bike or in the water. It’s really fun to watch for people who prefer the practical effects to CGI.
Aside from the puppets, the movie is entertaining beyond belief. It doesn’t take itself seriously at all with lots of goofy and “dumb” jokes. Some people might hate that but if you’re a kid at heart (and if you’re still reading this then you probably are) then you will have a ball with this movie. Hell, I’ve seen the movie 100 times and I still laugh and sing along in my head.
Yes, this movie is also a musical which, again, might turn off some people. But, please give this movie a shot because the music is phenomenal. “Movin’ Right Along,” “I Hope That Somethin’ Better Comes Along,” and the Oscar-nominated “Rainbow Connection” are some of the best songs I’ve ever heard in a movie and still crawl into my brain from time to time. The rest of the songs and the score all make The Muppet Movie one of the best musicals I’ve ever seen.
There’s so much to love about The Muppet Movie but, for some people, there will be a lot to hate about it. If you like more serious films then go watch The Dark Knight for the 800th time. If you want to unwind, relax, and just have some fun with great music and goofy jokes then The Muppet Movie is, hands down, one of the best movies you will ever find.
Unfortunately, The Muppet Movie Blu-ray doesn’t have the best presentation you will ever find. It’s not that the visuals and sound are bad but more work should’ve been put into this Blu-ray. On the visual side, the movie mostly looks fine with no film grain (although some scenes have an ABSURD amount of film grain) but the colors could’ve used a boost. The Muppet Movie is a very colorful film so a fresh coat of paint really would’ve complemented the film on NEARLY 35 years.
The sound, while clear, never finds a good volume. You’ll be constantly reaching for the remote to turn down the TV whenever a loud scene comes in and then turning it back up once the scene is over. It takes you out of the movie and really sucks as this is a movie that you’ll want to just throw on after a crappy day at school or work. You’re not going to want to keep pumping up or turning down the volume.
Here are the bonus features for The Muppet Movie Blu-ray:
“Frog-E-Oke Sing-Along” isn’t what you think it is. Instead of a traditional sing-along where you get the clip of the movie and you see the lyrics on the bottom of the screen for “Rainbow Connection,” “Movin’ Right Along,” and “Can You Picture That,” you get the audio of the characters singing from the film, but instead of the visuals from the movie, you get these animations that pop up with the lyrics. I have no intention on actually singing along (I’ve seen this damn thing so many times I know all the words) but I think the more traditional sing-along method is more preferable. Oh, yes, and only three songs is kind of lame.
“Jim Frawley’s Extended Camera Test” (18 minutes) is one of the most entertaining bonus features I’ve seen in a long while and the saving grace of the bonus content. This hilarious camera test is Jim Henson, Frank Oz, and co. messing around and improvising with the characters. For a Muppet fan like myself, it’s awesome hearing them laugh and goof around with the characters. A must see!
“Doc Hopper’s Commercial” (1 minute) is the commercial you see in the movie except full screen. The audio is exactly the same as the movie so you hear Kermit and Fozzie even though you don’t see them. You do see a couple of things you might not have caught watching the movie which makes this bonus feature surprisingly cool.
You also get the “Teaser Trailer” (1 minute) and the “Original Theatrical Trailer” (4 minutes) which are pretty cool to see if you haven’t seen them. The quality might not be too great but it works better seeing them in the quality they were originally shown in. Worth checking out if you’re a fan of the movie.
Finally, we receive the lone bonus feature from the DVD release of The Muppet Movie called “Pepe Profiles Present Kermit – A Frog’s Life” (7 minutes) which is a bunch of interviews with the characters about how they met hosted by the Pepe character introduced in later films. It’s not very funny or very entertaining since Pepe is kind of annoying. The quality (even though it’s in 4:3) looks fine. It’s a pretty disappointing bonus feature that does nothing special.
All in all, the bonus features are mostly a disappointment. The “Screen Test” is awesome and the Trailers are cool but the Sing-Alongs were kind of bizarre and the “Pepe Profiles” was nothing special at all. Where’s the commentary with the remaining folks from the movie? Where’s the interviews with current puppeteers or the makers of the recent Muppet movie on how The Muppets inspired their careers? Where’s ANYTHING that really celebrates the NEARLY 35th Anniversary of this classic film?
Getting rid of most, but not all, of the film grain and adding in two cool bonus features is unacceptable for a NEARLY 35th anniversary of a film, especially once as classic as The Muppet Movie. The film does look and sound fine but the presentation is far from perfect and more bonus features that were actually filmed this decade would be nice to have. It’s such a shame that Disney missed a great opportunity and really knocking it out of the park with the Blu-ray of The Muppet Movie.
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