In a month full of DVDs and Blu-ray editions of films for the young audiences -- Puss in the Boots, Alvin and the Chipmunks Chipwrecked and Hugo -- the revival of Jim Henson-created lovable characters in the new Disney hit The Muppets stands out.
Its infectious humour and melodies including the Oscar winning song Man or Muppet have already made it a favourite of millions of home entertainment families. In the United States alone, the DVD and Blu-ray sales have fetched $50 million the first three weeks, and reportedly a bigger amount in rentals. It could remain a perennially popular home entertainment piece.
One of the most critically acclaimed family hits in recent years, it is getting a new wave of attention from critics thanks to the new home entertainment editions. The Henson original was a big hit three decades ago and young adults from those years continue cherish it while they are also finding the new avatar irresistible.
'Movies attempting to retrieve cherished nuggets of pop culture often stumble, either by appealing solely to the die-hard minutia enthusiasts or clunking up the batter with unnecessary additions to the base material,' wrote critic Andrew Wright. 'Thankfully, this revival of Jim Henson's beloved characters gets the formula delightfully right, providing a googly-eyed nostalgia trip for adults while also retaining the original's sense of bright (and mildly subversive) wonder.'
The film chronicles Walter (voice of Peter Linz), a small-town boy with a fondness for the long-retired Muppets. Working with his brother Gary (Jason Segel, who co-wrote the script) and the schoolteacher (Amy Adams), they attempt to unite Kermit, Fozzie, and the gang to save their studio in Hollywood from being bought by an unethical Texas oilman (Chris Cooper). He has found out that there is oil beneath the studio and he wants to raze the studio to drill for the oil.
Director James Bobin (Flight of the Conchords) scores his first big hit as he dates the original characters, winking at their previous avatars which should provoke the new generation in catching up with previous Muppet films and television specials.
Starting with Kermit's first TV appearance in 1955, the Muppets TV shows have been winning new fans with each passing year. The Muppet Show, which began in 1976, made the Muppets loved across the world. The Muppets branched out to the big screen, releasing their first feature film, The Muppet Movie, in 1979. It featured many well-known names in the industry including Bob Hope, Cloris Leachman, Steve Martin, Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor and Paul Williams. Six more films followed including The Great Muppet Caper (1981) and Muppets from Space (1999).
Though the last two films in the series were not as gloriously entertaining as their predecessor, the new Muppets film makes up for that lapse in a big way.
Music, with such awesome songs as Rainbow Connection and wild puns, witty situations and voices that do justice to the animated characters make this a delightful experience. Don't think of renting out this film; it is worth keeping with the best of the animated DVDs and Blu-rays you have collected in the past decade.
If you want a truly collectible item, go for the Wocka Wocka Value Pack which has DVD, Blu-ray and digital download, also the full length score and an audio commentary from Jason Segel, James Bobin, and Nicholas Stoller, as well as a delightful blooper reel.