A few years ago, a certain theater chain would have a trailer from the Muppets on how to behave in the theater before the show. Although I enjoy the humor of the Muppets, it was a little strange to have a trailer for the "Muppets" before R-rated pictures such as "A Simple Plan". Finally, the original "Muppet" movie is released on DVD. "The Muppet Movie" also begins in a theater, as the Muppets have all arrived at the studio to see the first showing of their new movie.
The movie starts off with Kermit in the swamp, where he meets a Hollywood agent who just happens to be paddling by. The agent convinces the frog that he could be a star in Hollywood and so Kermit decides to leave the comfort of his swamp and persue stardom. Although the way in his travels he picks up the other Muppets, including Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear.
The film contains some terrific puppeteering work as well as a wonderfully hilarious screenplay, which contains some great lines and good messages. "The Muppet Movie" sends the characters on some fun adventures that still are just as entertaining today for both adults and children as they were in 1979. Unfortunately, the film itself hasn't held up as well, as the DVD shows that the film has become worn over the years.
VIDEO: Sadly, it seems as if "The Muppet Movie" is already in need of some work. Although Tristar does provide the film in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen (and full-frame), there are some flaws related to age that take away from the film. Sharpness and detail are just fair - mainly, the film seems rather soft and lacking fine detail - some darker scenes appeared especially undefined.
Print flaws are visible often throughout the movie. Sometimes, print flaws simply consist of light speckles, but there are instances where larger marks and wear are apparent and somewhat distracting. Some scenes appear grainy, as well. Pixelation and a couple of light instances of edge enhancement are apparent, but print flaws are really the biggest problem.
Colors generally seemed okay, if not remarkable. The green of Kermit still looks green, and colors didn't seem faded overall. Overall this wasn't an unwatchable presentation, but I was suprised that a 22 year old picture showed this much wear.
SOUND: "The Muppet Movie" is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1, and the audio fares slightly better than the picture quality. There's really not much activity at all to the sound, but the 5.1 presents a slightly more engaging experience than the 2.0 audio. The film's wonderful songs are captured clearly, but the audio overall has a flat, somewhat thin quality that lacks the richness of most modern soundtracks. Dialogue was easily understood, and the film's few ambient sounds are captured moderately well.
MENUS:: Menus are non-animated, with cute film-themed backgrounds.
EXTRAS: Director Jim Frawley's camera test for the "Muppets"; short "Muppetism" shorts; trailers for "Muppets from Space", "Jumanji", "Buddy", "Muppets Take Manhattan" and "Adventures Of Elmo In Grouchland".
Final Thoughts: "The Muppet Movie" remains a great little tale with some hilarious moments. It's unfortunate that the film itself doesn't seem to have aged well, with only mediocre image quality.
The Film ***
Video 75/C = (300/400 possible points)
Audio: 79/C+ = (316/400 possible points)
Extras: 73/C = (216/300 possible points)
Menus: 75/C- = (150/200 possible points)
Value: 80/B = (240/300 possible points)
FILM GRADE: ***
DVD GRADE: C