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The Great Muppet Caper

review by Zach B.

Rated G

Studio: Columbia/Tri-Star

Running Time: 98 minutes

Written by Tom Patchett & Jay Tarses and Jerry Juhl & Jack Rose

Directed by Jim Henson

Retail Price: $19.95

Features: Muppetisms, Bonus Trailers

Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, 1.33:1 Full Frame, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Dolby Surround, Dolby French 2.0 Mono, Dolby Spanish 2.0 Mono, English Closed Captions, English Subtitles, French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Scene Selections (28 Chapters)

"Stop the presses!"

"Why? What happened?"

"I don't know. I've always wanted to say that."


Yay, the Muppets are back! In this sequel, Fozzie, Kermit and Gonzo all work for the City Herald. Gonzo is the photographer while Fozzie and Kermit are reporters. After they miss a giant story involving a jewel heist in favor of Kermit and Fozzie being twins and working for the paper, the Muppets go to London to investiage the robbery. The jewel belonged to Lady Holiday (Diana Rigg), and while Kermit tries to get an interview with her, he gets Miss Piggy disguised at her instead. Of course, a wacky, madcap adventure begins filled with mistaken indenity, silly slapstick comedy and jokes and a lot of fun. Can the Muppets solve the crime when her diamond necklace is stolen?

"The Great Muppet Caper" is a pretty solid family film and movie that can be enjoyed for all ages. I've always liked the Muppets and grew up with them, so I was happy to see Columbia releasing their older films on DVD as of late. Jim Henson works from a nice, funny script that appeals to many audiences. It's nice to see a movie aimed for kids that older ones can enjoy, complete with humor that does not rely on gross-out jokes and stupid, idiotic jokes.

The editing is nice and the movie goes at a great pace. It's never boring and it has some nice musical numbers that really do entertain. The cameos, while not as plentiful as the original film, are still really nice and do bring some added joy. In an age where so many children's films are either animated or have a lot of disgusting humor in them, it's refreshing to take a trip back into the past and see a movie that's fun and really different from today's standards. Not only that, "The Great Muppet Caper" is a film that lives up to the original. Though it's not my favorite Muppet film, it's one of the top three in my book and is a lot of fun. They don't make them like this anymore.

Simply put, "The Great Muppet Caper" looks it age, but it's not that bad. The film has a lot of blemishes and pieces of dirt on the print, not to mention a lot of grain. It can be annoying at times but it's not as bad as I thought it would be. Colors are pretty decent and look pretty well saturated, while details and black level is decent. This transfer isn't going to blow your mind or everything, but considering it's twenty year old, it's not that terrible. The film is in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen on one side (the first time the film is presented in widescreen on any video format I believe) while the other side has a full frame transfer. While I don't like full frame transfers generally, a lot of cropping exists there.

"The Great Muppet Caper" features a new, decent 5.1 Dolby Digital mix in English. It's not much really. Most of the sound sounds really cleaned up, but there are times where it sounds scratchy and old. Surrounds are really used in the music sequences as well as where most of the loud noises take place. Otherwise, it's not really not there. Dialogue is clear most of the time but at times is pretty muted. Fidelity and .1 LFE use is average. An English Dolby Surround track is included as well as 2.0 French and Spanish mono mixes. English closed captions, English subtitles, Spanish subtitles and French subtitles are also included.

Not much here, but it's better then nothing. There are several Bonus Trailers, though not one for "The Great Muppet Caper". "Muppets From Space" is in full frame and 5.1 Dolby Digital, "The Muppets Take Manhattan" is in full frame and two channel sound and appears to be a video based trailer, "Buddy" is in non-anamorphic widescreen and 5.0 Dolby Digital while "The Adventures Of Elmo In Grouchland" is in full frame and 5.1 Dolby Digital.

Also are included are three Muppetisms. Each only last a few seconds and feature a message at the end. The three feature Animal in one, Statler and Waldorf in another while Kermit and Lloyd are in the last. They're all in full frame and fun while they last.

"The Great Muppet Caper" is an enjoyable, well-rounded sequel. Columbia has offered this disc a pretty decent presentation, not to mention some nice though small extras. Muppet fans, this one is for your DVD collection.

(4/5 - NOT included in final score)




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