The Muppets Blu-ray Review
Digitally filmed, edited in 4K and flawlessly mastered in 24fps 1080p 1.78:1, this disc is one of Disney’s best. The transfer to Mpeg4 AVC is very clean with no artefacts. Good use of Blu-ray’s advanced menu facility is made, with a quick start helping things along. Disney’s usual interface with resume movie and decent pop up and main menus has been well implemented. I really did find virtually nothing to complain about in respect to the picture quality. In low light scenes, shadow detail a plenty is visible, while the brighter scenes do not show any serious colour, false contouring or saturation issues. In the main review I described this disc as “Smiley Faced”. To expand on this, the picture will look great on just about any TV. Care has been taken to avoid anything that can trip lesser TVs over – fast wobbly pans, low light levels, that sort of thing. Therefore this is not a disc to challenge or set up a system, just to enjoy and impress the neighbours.
Whereas many sound editors treat surround sound almost as a nuisance relegating it to nothing more than full range effects channels, this movie really does extract every ounce of value from the DTS-HD MA 7.1. From the opening bars where the music unexpectedly appears from behind you to a couple of explosions that really push the envelope and demand plenty of power from the system. The music score is well balanced and never swamps the dialogue. The bass is solid and never boomy and lip sync tight throughout. As with the rest of the movie though, there is nothing subtle about this film. Don’t expect to hear the wind in the trees or the creaking of the scenery.
The featurettes are every bit as good as the main movie, with over 30 minutes to enjoy. Whoever wrote “Scratching the Surface” is a Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy fan, the graphics are very reminiscent of the original TV series. Slightly surreal but extremely funny nonetheless. The Bloopers reel is really well produced with sections filmed especially for it. At 8 minutes long it is the longest Muppets Blooper reel in history (They think!). The screen test is the only weaker element and it’s not that bad in isolation. Tex Richman’s becoming evil song really should have been included in the main movie in its entirety as it explains his hatred of the Muppets more clearly. You then get the usual selection of deleted and extended scenes, all finished to a high standard. You also get to see a few cameos dropped from the main movie including Ricky Gervais. The spoof theatrical trailers based on a number of iconic movies are equally funny but for some reason the audio is almost twice as loud. You also get the option to watch the main feature with a couple of audio commentaries. All in all, well worth viewing.
Ok, granted this is not the most sophisticated movie you will watch this summer, but don’t just chuck it at the kids. It will bring back plenty of memories from your own childhood and is an hour and 40 minutes of good “clean” family fun!
Technically some sections will knock the dust out of your sound system and others will test the musicality, fully utilising the DTS-HD MA 7.1 while the picture always looks bright and vibrant without so much of a hint of a grumble. A great disc to impress the neighbours with when the BBQ gets rained off again!
Suggested retail price when reviewed: £22.00
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