Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Muppets DVD Bonus Material Reviewed

Kermit the Frog
March 20th was a big day for the Muppets and Muppet fans. It was declared Muppets Day in Hollywood. The Muppets DVD release was scheduled alongside the furry crew receiving a star on Hollywood Boulevard. While a couple of muppets (Kermit the Frog and Big Bird) as well as the Muppets' creator, Jim Henson received stars previously, this was the first time the Muppets as a whole were recognized.

It was a day to celebrate. We could finally own the most sensational inspirational celebrational Muppetational movie of 2011.

Buying A Movie Means Making a Choice

Since the advent of Blu-Rays and digital media, going out to "buy a movie" is not as simple as grabbing the first DVD off the shelf on the first day of its release. Now we have Combo Packs to choose from. For The Muppets, Disney gives us four main options to choose from when looking for a physical copy of the film. In increasing price and added material, they are:
  • The DVD which includes the movie and blooper reel.
  • The DVD with complete soundtrack.
  • The Blu-Ray Combo Pack which includes the Blu-Ray, DVD and digital edition of the movie as well as bonus material.
  • The Wocka Wocka Value Pack which includes everything in the Blu-Ray Combo Pack as well as the complete soundtrack.
The Muppets Wocka Wocka Combo Pack
Reviewing The Muppets Bonus Material

To help you in making the choice, let me give you my perspective of what you'll find in this fabulous box.

Outside of the scope of the film itself, for Muppet fans, I highly recommend the soundtrack. Whether you are in the car, the gym or just hanging out at home, who can't find a reason to have a little "Me Party," to re-examine your place in the world with "Man or Muppet," to find the "Rainbow Connection," or to listen with fascination as Oscar-award winning actor Chris Cooper raps in "Let's Talk About Me"? It's a must-own, so its inclusion in some packs is an important consideration.

Once we get back to the movie, there is a little bonus embedded within the viewing called Disney Intermission. This is a cute feature that is triggered whenever you pause the movie. Press pause and you will see a red curtain appear with a lit up intermission sign hanging over it. If you stick around you'll be treated to visits from the Muppets waving, laughing, showing off a "Muppet dance party," and lots more. Waldorf and Statler provide most of the voice-over commentary during the intermission which goes on for at least fifteen minutes.

The blooper reel, which is entitled The Longest Blooper Reel Ever Made (In Muppet History**) **We Think is just about ten minutes long. It is full of Muppet mayhem as well as bloopers from the live action actors. It's fun and interesting to watch because, even when the bloopers are muppet related (Walter's arm is "stuck" because it had to be taped down for the shot), the Muppets never seem to break character and the live actors appear to even be joking with them, not the invisible puppeteers.

The rest of the bonus material is only included on the Combo Packs, so this is what (along with the Blu-Ray technology) your extra money will be paying for:
  • Scratching The Surface: A Hasty Examination Of The Making Of The Muppets is a fifteen minute documentary/mockumentary made about the making of a Muppet movie. There are interviews with nearly all of the actors who had cameo appearances as they discuss why they got on board with the project. Some Muppets are also interviewed, including some behind the scenes Muppets such as "Muppet Director Bobin" who works with "Human Director Bobin." A fun watch that does include some interesting Muppet facts.
  • A Little Screen Test On The Way To The Read-Through is an extra couple of scenes of Muppets at their best interacting with Jason Segal. A definite plus to those who loved the film.
  • Explaining Evil: The Full Tex Richman Song not only has the draw of more Chris Cooper rap, but also answers one question fans might be asking throughout the film, "Why does Tex Richman hate the Muppets so much?"
  • Deleted Scenes gives a purview into what The Muppets might have been. There are some cameos that hit the cutting room floor, an extended dream sequence for Walter that ended differently than the shorter one in the film and the Muppets even landed in jail! This is one set of deleted scenes which shows true evidence of incredible rewrites of the script and vision of the final film.
  • Unreleased Theatrical Spoof Trailers --And More! If you've been following the Muppets on YouTube, then you were privy to the parody trailers they had going all year long in anticipation of their movie's release. To have them collected in one place with a cool "Play All" feature is fantastic.
  • Audio Commentary is done by Jason Segal, Nick Stoller and James Bobin and it is a fun interaction. The three are still discovering things about each other's motivations and decisions in the movie making process as the commentary goes on. This serves as a fantastic rewatch of the film as you are guided through in the company of fellow Muppet fans.
The Final Decision

For my money, I went out and bought the Blu-Ray Combo Pack. This is only because I already had the soundtrack and did not need another one. I think, for fans, the bonus material is worth the extra money and will be enjoyed multiple times over. There is one added consideration, just moments before I was going to go out to get my very own copy, I was told of even more perks depending on the retailer you purchase from, but honestly, that's enough fodder for another post entirely. The fact is this, no matter which retailer you go with, you need to get yourself this movie.

Did you get the DVD yet? 
If so, what did you think?
This review was also shared on Word of the Nerd.

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