Tuesday, March 27, 2012

It's Time To Play The Music, It's Time To Light The Lights

If you're not already singing the theme song to the Muppets in your head, then you must not have grown up in the US in the 70's or 80's. As a child I loved the Muppets. They were funny, they had great music, and they were a gentle yet smart show for a child to watch, with endearing characters and creative puppetry. (Or muppetry, as the case may be.)

We have some of the old show on DVD, and the kids have watched several of the Muppet movies, including Muppet Treasure Island and A Muppet Christmas Carol. So when it was revealed that a new Muppet movie was being released, I was thrilled at the chance to go see it in the theater with our daughters.

We did go see it, and loved it other than missing the last 10 minutes due to an accident in the theater. We never had another chance to go see it, so instead I anxiously awaited the release of the Blu-ray.

Well, that day is here, and I couldn't be happier! The Muppets was released last week, and in true Muppet fashion they went over-the-top to produce an extravaganza of a product. The Wocka Wocka value pack includes not only the Blu-ray and DVD copies of the movie, but also a digital copy for your computer or tablet and a copy of the soundtrack, along with a ton of extras including commentaries, deleted scenes, the "Longest Blooper Reel Ever Made (In Muppet History)" and much more.

The story of this Muppet movie takes place long after the Muppets fame has faded. Walter, the world's biggest Muppet fan, goes with his brother Gary to Los Angeles to visit the Muppet Studios, only to find it falling down and about to be bought out and torn down by greedy millionaire Tex Richman. Walter makes it his mission to find Kermit and round up the old Muppet crew to convince them to put on a Muppet telethon to raise the money to save the Muppet Theater. (And I'm sure you can guess that there's a happy ending and the Muppets are reminded just how much people still love them.)

We were so happy to finally see the last 10 minutes of the movie. Like the old Muppet Show, there were several celebrity guest appearances and lots of music, including the Academy Award winning song, Man or Muppet. And the movie proved that the Muppets are timeless - even when competing with CGI graphics and blazing special effects in other movies, our daughters fell in love with the Muppets just like we did when we were kids. The humor is silly, with plenty of moments breaking the fourth wall and speaking to the audience, the songs are sweet and keep everyone humming along, and adults will love the nostalgia while kids develop their own relationship with Jim Henson's greatest creations.

As for the extras on the Blu-ray: you need this set for the blooper reel and the theatrical spoof trailers. Oh, the other extras are great, too, but I guarantee you'll be watching these two features more than once.

There are many movies that I like that I really don't need as a part of my collection. The Muppets, however, is one I absolutely recommend to own. If your house is anything like mine, this movie will get a lot of play time, and the extras make it even more fun. (See how fast you end up having a sing-along in your car to the soundtrack!)

The Muppets is now available at Amazon and most major retailers.

Full disclosure: I received a copy of this Blu-ray set to facilitate my review. No further compensation was received and all opinions stated are my own. Also? My favorite Muppet is still Animal.

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