The Muppets return to the big screen was filled with laughs, social commentary, and an Academy Award for Best Original Song (“Man or Muppet” by Bret McKenzie). It’s self-aware script reminded us that The Muppets may have temporarily vanished from the limelight, but they were never forgotten. The simple story revolves around Walter, the Muppets’ biggest fan, and his quest to meet Kermit. Unfortunately, he discovers that he may be the last Muppet fan alive. Now, he and Kermit must rally the retired Muppet crew for one final show to save their studio and the Muppet name from an oil tycoon, played by Academy Award winner Chris Cooper.
Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller delivered a superb script, which deftly blended music, comedy and several call backs to Muppet movies of old. It’s the kind of feel good film you can watch over and over. Fozzie Bear’s jokes may always be terrible, but the fact that he’s totally oblivious to how bad his jokes are never gets old. Animal is as wild as ever even though he’s been in anger management classes. Kermit is still the earnest frog who compels you to believe in yourself, even when the odds are stacked against you. And, of course, Ms. Piggy is the ravishing pig who can throw down ninja style with Jack Black.
The feature film is a definite win. However, the Wocka Wocka Blu-ray value pack is an even bigger win for fans. There are several hilarious featurettes included that feel like mini-segments from The Muppet Show. The behind-the-scenes documentary is more of a lengthy mocumentary featurette. It shows Walter stalking Segel for the role of Segel’s Muppet brother. Uncle Deadly discusses the confusion of working on a movie set with Segel. Thanks to Segel, weekends are no longer weekends. Deadly asks, “Is it real Tuesday or movie Tuesday?” Everything about making the movie is spoofed, just like the trailers leading up to the movie. There is also a mock screen test featurette, where the Muppets get together for a table read.
The deleted scenes are also worth watching. As stand alone segments they aren’t that funny. However, they do show off several more celebrity guest stars that didn’t make it into the final cut, including: Ricky Gervais, Danny Trejo, Billy Crystal, and Wanda Sykes. Also, there is a scene when Walter first arrives in LA that plays better into Walter’s closing song.
The Muppets is easily one of the best family films of 2011, if not the best (depending on how much you liked Hugo). The Blu-ray Wocka Wocka value pack also comes with a digital copy of the feature film as well as the full-length original soundtrack.