As part of the Disney100 festivities, Disney has been doing 4K restorations of their classic animated films but Sony Pictures seems to be undertaking similar tasks with today’s release of THE MUPPETS TAKE MANHATTAN.
With a hosted review copy, we were able to take a look at the restoration and the bonus features included.
The remaster in 4K was created from original camera negatives and done with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos audio sound mix that was approved by director Frank Oz himself. Especially when watching archival footage included and original trailers on this disc, the clarity of this picture is truly astounding. It probably didn’t look this crisp and clear in its original theatrical release. Every gritty grainy detail of the meticulous sets and on-location scenes comes through, vivid and sharp.
Unlike Disney, who seem, to have an endless supply of content to pull from for home releases, the offerings here are not quite as robust for this Sony Pictures offering however it does feature a brand new Audio Commentary with Director Frank Oz plus a few extras.
On the 4k UHD disc of the combo pack release, we have the brand new Audio Commentary with Director Frank Oz. He has such an easy and approachable demeanor that it felt like he was sitting in our living room with us as we watched the film offering truly fun and interesting fun facts about the production of the film. Since this film was his directorial debut, he shared a lot of fun memories of the production and also the major learnings that would help him later for other films he’d direct including LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, DARK CRYSTAL and others. For fans of the behind-the-scenes stuff he was fully forthcoming with all the efforts taken in each scene to make the Muppets come to life including talking about the sets, raised platforms, rolling dollies, and all the nitty gritty details. It was a truly entertaining listen to hear him speak over the entire film.
The main disc offers offers a selection of original teaser and full trailer for the film which is always a fun rewind. The remaining two bonus features are on the regular Blu-ray disc that comes bundled with this release and those include Interview with Jim Henson and Muppetisms: Miss Piggy & Kermit the Frog, Pepe the Prawn and Fozzie Bear.
Muppetisms: Miss Piggy & Kermit the Frog, Pepe the Prawn and Fozzie Bear is a take-it-or-leave it piece with archival vignettes of the characters being themselves. Based on the mobile phone Miss Piggy is holding, we’re guessing these are from around the late 90s or early 2000s. These aren’t going to change your life but are so zany and random they some how work.
Interview with Jim Henson is a wonderful piece of archival footage of the prolific Muppeteer split up into 14 different chapters that include him chatting about Directing v. acting, Kermit v. himself, the movie magic, expanding the character’s role, Kermit coming to life, experimenting, filming in New York City, the art of puppetry, the kitchen scene, director Frank Oz, Singing in character, doing Kermit’s voice, the herculean team effort of making the film and all of the cameo roles. The interview appears to be from a press junket that was made in conjunction with the theatrical release for the film. In total it’s about 10-15 minutes of footage.
See it for Yourself
THE MUPPETS TAKE MANHATTAN is available now on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and Digital.