I still find it unbelievable that The Muppets movie was actually one of my top ten favorite films of last year, but it was, and for good reason. It’s amazing!
Let me start off by saying I didn’t grow up with the Muppets. Being an '80s baby, I actually grew up more with the Muppet Babies rather than the Muppets themselves, which in itself was a pleasant, if not different, introduction to the clan. Why did I bring that up? Well, because this review isn’t really for fans of the Muppets. Those people have already seen this movie in theatres and know just how great it is. This review is for people, like myself, who know of the Muppets, but never really got into them. And for those people, all I have to say is that this movie will make you a believer. If you weren’t obsessed with the Muppets before, you will be after you see this.
The story is interesting in that it actually features human characters in prominent roles. Jason Segel, who plays the brother of a Muppet who is having an existential crisis, has a story that’s just as important as the main story with the Muppets themselves. Amy Adams plays his adorable girlfriend who’s willing to tolerate Segel’s devotion to his Muppet brother, Walter, only so long before drama ensues…sort of.
Of all the human characters in this film, though, Chris Cooper has the greatest and most surprising role as a rich oil baron so humorless that he can’t even do a maniacal laugh (you’ll get it when you see it). He wants to destroy the Muppets and keep them living in obscurity. And that’s the most interesting part about this story. It proposes that we’ve all forgotten about the Muppets and have moved on from them. But honestly, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Even as someone who never used to watch The Muppet Show (I know, I know, I’ll hang my head in shame), the Muppets have always been on the public’s mind. They’re like Mickey Mouse or Gumby. We might not be talking about them right now, but if they ever wanted to put on a show or a movie, we’d be there. And this movie toys with that idea. The greatest thing about all this, though, is that the Muppets look like they’re having a good time, and if they’re having a good time, then we’re having a good time. That’s why this was one of the best movies of last year.
I won’t spoil the ending, but of course it ends happily. How can a movie about the Muppets not? If I have only one complaint, it’s one that’s my own fault. Some of the movie revels in its past, and as a person who was never really into the Muppets before this film, I feel a little left out. But again, that’s my own fault. In the end, if you like good movies, then you’ll love this film.
I love these special features. Every last one of them only makes you love the film even more, which is what special features should do. “Scratching the Surface: A Hasty Examination of The Making of The Muppets” is anything but hasty. It features the Muppets being goofballs, as always, behind the scenes. It even features a new Muppet named, J.G., so Muppet completists need to pick this Blu-Ray up just for that. “Explaining Evil: The Full Tex Richman Song” features an even longer version of what has to be the best part of the whole movie for me -- Chris Cooper rapping about being rich.
The “Unreleased Theatrical Spoof Trailers” segment features all those great viral gags we saw of the Muppets parodying other movies (the romantic one is my favorite). The deleted scenes are some of the best around since they feature celebrity after celebrity not featured in the movie. It’s like seeing the complete version of The Thin Red Line. Okay, it’s not like that, but it’s close. Okay, it’s not even close.
“The Longest Blooper Reel Ever Made (In Muppet History**We Think)” is just as hilarious as the title. And the commentary, while nothing revolutionary, is enjoyable enough. Overall, this is one of the best collections of special features in recent memory. It’s the perfect package: A great film with even better special features. Buy this Blu-ray. Buy this now.