Blu-ray Review: “The Muppets”: Wocka Wocka Value Pack

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The 2011 movie reboot of “The Muppets” may not have been the best movie of the year, but it was the movie that made me happiest. And now it’s available in an amazingly comprehensive combo pack, including Blu-ray and DVD copies of the film, a digital copy, the soundtrack, PLUS a bonus disc with several old “Muppet Show”episodes.

If you love the Muppets, or have kids who do- and I fall in both categories- the “Wocka Wocka” pack is a must-have.

The movie itself, the first big-screen “Muppet” film in 13 years- is a nearly complete triumph. Written and shepherded to the screen by actor Jason Segel, who also co-wrote and stars along with Amy Adams and the whole Muppet gang, the movie completely understands what the Muppets are about and why people love them.

“The Muppets,” directed by James Bobin, reunites Kermit, Piggy and the rest of the original Muppet lineup for a telethon to save the Muppet Theater from a takeover attempt by an evil oil baron (Chris Cooper). In the meantime, new Muppet Walter- the brother of the Segel character- embarks on a “Dreams From My Father”-like quest to comes to terms with his Muppet identity.

The film delivers completely in laughs, touching moments and pure crowd-pleasing fun, and is up there with the best of the Muppet canon. This is best demonstrated in a simply wonderful series of songs written by Bret McKenzie of “Flight of the Conchords.” These include the movie’s theme, “LIfe’s a Happy Song”; “Man or Muppet,” which won the Muppets’ first-ever Oscar for Best Original Song, and the great “Pictures in My Head,” an “I Want” song by Kermit himself about how much he misses his Muppet brethren. There are also reprises of great Muppet songs of the past.

The Blu-ray also sports a few amusing but far from essential special features: There’s a making-of documentary, a blooper reel, and a “table read,” all of which keep up the fiction that the Muppets are real people; to ever treat them as puppets, in Muppet lore, is strictly verboten.

But the inclusion of the six “Muppet Show” episodes- two each from the first three seasons- is an absolute masterstroke. It’s great either as a nostalgia kick or to introduce young ones to the show for the first time. My two-year-old son certainly enjoyed being able to see the old show in something other than a YouTube clip.

So if you’re someone who loves the Muppets, buying the “Wocka Wocka” pack is an absolute no-brainer.

The Muppets (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy + Soundtrack Download Card)
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