IAR Blu-ray Preview: 'The Muppet Movie' Nearly 35th Anniversary Edition

Tuesday, 13 August 2013 10:38 Written by  iamrogue
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IAR Blu-ray Preview: 'The Muppet Movie' Nearly 35th Anniversary Edition

As of today, the first theatrical adventure of The Muppets is available for the first time in high definition, with The Muppet Movie: Nearly 35th Anniversary Edition arriving on Blu-ray.

In 2011, director James Bobin brought Kermit and company back to theaters where they belong with The Muppets.  Next year, Bobin strikes again with March's Muppets Most Wanted, but thanks to The Muppet Movie finally arriving on Blu-ray, you can go back to the theatrical source.

We're talking about The Muppets as puppeteered by Jim Henson himself, along with Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Richard Hunt, and Dave Goelz.  In an age prior to CGI, these Muppet-making geniuses pushed the boundaries of their craft, presenting The Muppets as they'd never been seen before; Kermit riding a bike believably represented an incredible technical achievement.

Not only did The Muppet Movie prove that Henson's creations could make the jump from a televised variety show to the big screen, but it has been influential on all six subsequent feature films starring the felt puppets of pure benevolence and heartwarming decency.  This is the movie that all the others have been chasing.  The story, an origin tale of sorts, finds Kermit and Fozzie Bear setting off on a road trip to Hollywood, picking up the other Muppets along the way on their musical adventure.  A Colonel Sanders-like villain, Doc Hopper, is hot on their tail in his attempt to snag Kermit as a "spokesfrog" promoting his restaurant chain's fried frog legs.

Nominated for two Academy Awards on account of its original music, The Muppet Movie features cameos from a whole mess of motion picture luminaries led by Charles Durning as Doc Hopper and including the likes of Steve Martin, Orson Welles, Elliott Gould, Richard Pryor, Cloris Leachman, Carol Kane, Mel Brooks, Dom DeLuise, James Coburn, and Milton Berle.

The film, released in 1979, is just shy of its 35th anniversary.  Hence the Nearly 35th Anniversary Edition, now available for purchase.  The Blu-ray set offers the feature film in high definition for the very first time, and also includes a digital copy so that the joy of The Muppet Movie can be available on your computer or any number of portable devices.

The original classic is available here in top-notch video quality, with a remastered 1080p/AVC-encoded presentation that both preserves the grain and aged quality of the film while also showing off new levels of detail and sharpness that make it feel like audiences are seeing The Muppet Movie for the very first time.  A crispy 5.1 DTS-HA Master Audio mix, then, brings the Oscar-caliber soundtrack to your living room with unparalleled aural quality.

As for supplemental features, this disc comes stacked.  Director James Frawley endeavored to fully take advantage of the motion picture format and the fact that the story brought the Muppets into the world as never before.  To that end, the director oversaw camera tests with the Muppets.  His original extended camera test footage, clocking in at seventeen minutes, is included in HD.  It's accompanied by the featurette Kermit: A Frog's Life, which is hosted by the prawn Pepe and runs about seven minutes long.

Also offered up in high definition for the first time are the film's teaser and theatrical trailer, along with the full in-movie commercial for Doc Hopper's restaurant chain.

Additionally, the disc contains a Frog-E-Oke Sing-Along feature that provides text and facilitates participation on musical numbers "Rainbow Connection," "Movin' Right Along" and "Can You Picture That."

What are you waiting for?  The Muppet Movie: Nearly 35th Anniversary Edition is now on Blu-ray!

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