Jump to content



Sign up for a free account!

Signing up for an account is fast and free. As a member you can join in the conversation, enter contests to win things like this Logitech Harmony Ultimate Remote and you won't get the popup ads that guests get. Click here to create your free account.

Photo
Blu-ray Reviews

The Muppets Take Manhattan Blu-ray & DVD Combo Pack Review



  • You cannot start a new topic
  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 of 11 Richard Gallagher

Richard Gallagher

    Screenwriter

  • 2,978 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 09 2001
  • Real Name:Rich Gallagher
  • LocationFishkill, NY

Posted August 08 2011 - 03:23 PM

Jim Henson's Muppets return for their third feature film, The Muppets Take Manhattan, an enjoyable romp which continues the tried-and-true formula used in The Muppet Movie and The Great Muppet Caper. Kermit the Frog and friends are seniors at Danhurst College, where they put on a hugely successful musical called "Manhattan Melodies." The students at the college are so enthusiastic about the show that the rest of the Muppets convince Kermit that they should take it to Broadway.


The Muppets Take Manhattan


http://static.hometh...um.com/imgrepo/


Studio: Sony/Tri-Star


Year: 1984


Rated: G


Program Length: 94 minutes     
                    Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 1080p


Languages: English DTS-HD 5.1 MA, Russian Dolby Digital 5.1, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish Mono


Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Hindi, Norwegian, Swedish, Turkish, Chinese Traditional, Chinese Simplified, Korean, Thai

The Program

Jim Henson's Muppets return for their third feature film, The Muppets Take Manhattan, an enjoyable romp which continues the tried-and-true formula used in The Muppet Movie and The Great Muppet Caper. Kermit the Frog and friends are seniors at Danhurst College, where they put on a hugely successful musical called "Manhattan Melodies." The students at the college are so enthusiastic about the show that the rest of the Muppets convince Kermit that they should take it to Broadway. This is particularly appealing to Miss Piggy, because Kermit has promised to marry her once he has made some money. Naturally, once they arrive in the Big Apple they encounter disappointment and rejection, and they are forced to take up residence in storage lockers at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. By September the gang is exhausted and dispirited. Sensing that Kermit is blaming himself for their failure, they decide to find jobs elsewhere and leave their leader to soldier on alone.

Kermit then befriends Jenny (Juliana Donald), an aspiring fashion designer whose father, Pete, owns a diner which is busy in spite of the fact that the waiters are talking rats (the lead rat is named Rizzo, an inside joke which will be lost on younger viewers). Jenny tries to help Kermit find a willing producer for his musical, but unbeknownst to them Miss Piggy has remained in New York because she suspects that Jenny is trying to steal Kermit away from her. The story's arc is fairly predictable, but there are enough amusing bits and bright musical numbers to satisfy both children and adults. Older viewers will enjoy the cameo appearances by Linda Lavin, Liza Minelli, Gregory Hines, Art Carney, James Coco, Brooke Shields, Elliott Gould, John Landis, and in particular Joan Rivers mentoring Miss Piggy in cosmetic sales and Dabney Coleman as a smarmy Broadway producer.

The Muppets Take Manhattan benefits greatly from a surprising number of effective exterior scenes which were shot on location on New York City streets and in Central Park. The film even includes appearances by New York notables such as Mayor Ed Koch and Vincent Sardi, Jr. (the owner of Sardi's Restaurant, where a significant scene unfolds). Fans of the Muppets are sure to enjoy this film. On the other hand, if Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie Bear, the Swedish Chef, et al. are not your cup of tea - well, in that case you probably are not even bothering to read this review.

The Video

The 1.85:1 1080p image is bright, colorful, sharp and highly detailed. Sony has done a typically excellent job of producing a Blu-ray disc which retains a very pleasing and film-like appearance. The film opens with beautiful aerial shots of New York City, the Hudson River, and Vassar College in Poughkeepsie (doubling as the fictitious Danhurst College). There is no evidence of excessive DNR, edge enhancement, or other digital anomalies.

I have seen online comments which claim that shots of the World Trade Center have been scrubbed from The Muppets Take Manhattan. However, I suspect that this may be an urban legend. The World Trade Center is nowhere to be seen in the Blu-ray version, but if anyone knows for sure or has the 2001 DVD available for comparison, please chime in. The DVD was released in the summer of 2001, so there would have been no reason for the twin towers to have been scrubbed from it.

The Audio

The lossless 5.1 DTA-HD MA audio is fine but unspectacular. The sources I checked indicate that the film was originally released in mono, so it would appear that the surround channels have been utilized primarily to enhance the musical numbers. Dialogue is confined to the center channel, and there is a plethora of subtitles available so that viewers throughout the world can decipher what the Swedish Chef is saying.

The Supplements

This is a combo pack which includes a DVD of the feature.

The extras are the same supplements which were included with the 2001 DVD release, and they are close to bare-bones. A 15-minute standard-definition interview of the late Jim Henson includes some insights into how the film was made, and he discusses the vital contributions of writer/director Frank Oz (it was his first solo effort as a director). Henson describes how the group scenes of Muppets were filmed, but it would have been helpful if there were some visuals to actually show the difficulties involved in those shots. In addition to the interview there are a few minutes of "Muppetisms" featuring Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Pepe.

The Packaging

The Blu-ray disc and the DVD are packaged in a standard-sized Blu-ray keep case.

The Final Analysis

The Muppets Take Manhattan is in some ways a typical "Let's put on a show" musical, but it is imbued with Muppets charm and wit and is supplemented with several fun and energetic musical numbers. There are enough clever bits to keep adults interested and amused, and younger viewers are sure to be delighted from beginning to end.

Equipment used for this review:

Panasonic DMP-BD50 Blu-ray player
Panasonic Viera TC-P46G15 Plasma display, calibrated to THX specification by Gregg Loewen
Yamaha HTR-5890 THX Surround Receiver
BIC Acoustech speakers
Interconnects: Monster Cable

Release Date: August 16, 2011


Rich Gallagher

#2 of 11 David Norman

David Norman

    Screenwriter

  • 1,968 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 12 2001
  • LocationCharlotte, NC

Posted August 08 2011 - 04:38 PM

I'm pretty sure the WTC was never in the original Muppets Take Manhattan. I;d have to go back and watch my old LD to make absolutely sure since that was released in the early 90's, but several of the online DVD comments made mention that the Towers weren't in that version.
 

 


#3 of 11 SilverWook

SilverWook

    Screenwriter

  • 1,400 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 11 2006

Posted August 08 2011 - 05:20 PM

I could never understand why the film was released theatrically in mono. The old Laserdisc (released in 1984) was incorrectly labelled as stereo much to my annoyance. Now if somebody at Disney would get The Muppet Movie and Great Muppet Caper out on Blu!

#4 of 11 Richard Gallagher

Richard Gallagher

    Screenwriter

  • 2,978 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 09 2001
  • Real Name:Rich Gallagher
  • LocationFishkill, NY

Posted August 09 2011 - 12:10 PM



Originally Posted by SilverWook 

Now if somebody at Disney would get The Muppet Movie and Great Muppet Caper out on Blu!


I don't what the deal is there. The 2001 DVDs of both were put out by Sony, but the 2005 "Kermit's 50th Anniversary" DVDs were put out by Disney. It looks like six different companies have held the home video rights at one time or another,





Rich Gallagher

#5 of 11 David Gerbrands

David Gerbrands

    Auditioning

  • 14 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 09 2011

Posted August 09 2011 - 02:06 PM

The WTC was never in the movie. In fact Frank Oz said in an interview that he wanted "classic" NY and the WTC was still only 10 years old

#6 of 11 SilverWook

SilverWook

    Screenwriter

  • 1,400 posts
  • Join Date: Oct 11 2006

Posted August 09 2011 - 09:03 PM


 

I don't what the deal is there. The 2001 DVDs of both were put out by Sony, but the 2005 "Kermit's 50th Anniversary" DVDs were put out by Disney. It looks like six different companies have held the home video rights at one time or another,


 

 

The Muppets were finally sold to Disney after the Columbia/Sony releases, but they didn't get all the movies and tv shows in the deal. That's why we now have the idiotic situation where Kermit has been edited out of old holiday tv specials Disney doesn't own.

#7 of 11 Richard Gallagher

Richard Gallagher

    Screenwriter

  • 2,978 posts
  • Join Date: Dec 09 2001
  • Real Name:Rich Gallagher
  • LocationFishkill, NY

Posted August 10 2011 - 02:36 PM



Originally Posted by David Gerbrands 

The WTC was never in the movie. In fact Frank Oz said in an interview that he wanted "classic" NY and the WTC was still only 10 years old


Thanks for that info.



Rich Gallagher

#8 of 11 bob kaplan

bob kaplan

    Supporting Actor

  • 540 posts
  • Join Date: Feb 05 1999
  • Real Name:bob kaplan

Posted August 17 2011 - 01:07 PM

Does Disney own the original MUPPET MOVIE and MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL? Wouldn't be a nice Christmas present to have those (along with Paramounts SCROOGE) for the holidays?!?..on blu of course.....actually if someone whated to put out the MUPPET CAPER (with care) i would take that too!

#9 of 11 David Gerbrands

David Gerbrands

    Auditioning

  • 14 posts
  • Join Date: Aug 09 2011

Posted August 17 2011 - 02:30 PM

Disney owns The Muppet Movie, Caper and Carol and Treasure Island. I went to a screening of the Muppet Movie in Brooklyn last year and there was talk of possibly putting it on blu-ray from a Henson rep. They have a ton of stuff for extras too. Disney just needs to step up!

#10 of 11 MatthewA

MatthewA

    Producer

  • 5,994 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 19 2000
  • Real Name:Matthew
  • LocationSalinas, CA

Posted August 17 2011 - 03:58 PM


Originally Posted by David Gerbrands 

Disney owns The Muppet Movie, Caper and Carol and Treasure Island. I went to a screening of the Muppet Movie in Brooklyn last year and there was talk of possibly putting it on blu-ray from a Henson rep. They have a ton of stuff for extras too. Disney just needs to step up!


That would be awesome, considering that the Muppet Show season sets have had some great extras. The film soundtracks haven't been in print for ages and Intrada has a deal with Disney; it would be nice to see expanded ones if possible.


Enough is enough, Disney. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray.

 

My DVD/BD List at DVD Aficionado


#11 of 11 cafink

cafink

    Producer

  • 3,022 posts
  • Join Date: Apr 19 1999

Posted August 18 2011 - 01:23 AM

I know that the Muppet Christmas Carol soundtrack, at least, was re-issued a few years ago. I remember because it was the year after I finally bought the original release on eBay for something like $120.
 

 






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Blu-ray Reviews

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users