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A Muppet Christmas: Letters To Santa

review by Zach B.

 

 

Rating: TV-G

Running Time: 53 Minutes

Starring: Steve Whitmire, Dave Goelz, Bill Barretta, Eric Jacobsen, Michael Bloomberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Griffiths, Jane Krakowski, Nathan Lane, Jesse L. Martin, Petra Nemcova, Madison Pettis, Steve Schirripa, Tony Sirco, Uma Thurman, Paul Williams 

Teleplay by: Hugh Fink & Scott Ganz & Andrew Samson & Paul Williams

Directed by: Kirk R. Thatcher

 

Studio: Disney

Retail Price: $26.99

Features: The Muppets Stocking Stuffer Smorgasbord

Specs: 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, English Dolby Digital 5.1, English Subtitles, Scene Selection (16 Chapters)

Released: September 29th, 2009


 

 

"A Muppet Christmas: Letters To Santa" features a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The overall image quality is not just sharp, but very clean and crisp too. Save for some very slight edge halos here and there, I did not detect any noise, blemishes or other flaws to get in the way of things. There's also a lot more to enjoy about the transfer: colors are bold and well saturated, fleshtones on the human actors look accurate and detail is really wonderful — you can see fur and cloth strands on the actual Muppets. The image quality is very pleasing, and does not disappoint in the least. 


 

"A Muppet Christmas: Letters To Santa" features a pleasant English Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. All the dialogue — from the actors and the Muppet performers — is crystal clear. Sound effects also ring in well: there are a few discrete, action-packed Muppet mishaps that bring the rears to life. Smaller sound effects, such as horns honking on the New York City streets, help add to the ambiance. Having the most bounce though is the music, and the special features a lot of it: there are several songs by Paul Williams and an instrumental score by Chris Caswell. The energy from the music certainly propels this mix. As far as other elements, fidelity is high, subwoofer use is decent and dynamic range is pretty good. A fine and balanced track, for sure.

Subtitles in English are also included. 
 




The Muppets Stocking Stuffer Smorgasbord lives up to its name. Click on some items around fire, and you'll be treated to some surprises. There's an automated photo gallery with Christmas music and dialogue from the special, plus assorted short video clips: some are random clips featuring the characters, some are deleted scenes, one features co-star Jane Krakowski, one features the adorable Madison Pettis and one is of Kermit describing the special. In all, the content only adds up to a few minutes.

The special is also an "extended edition." Given that the original NBC airing was about 48 minutes, and this DVD runs 56, that means a few more minutes of Muppet action. Score!

 

It's always great to see the Muppets, and as they head toward a much bigger comeback (a film from "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" creators Jason Segel and Nick Stoller is due out in a few years), this Christmas special is a nice stop-off. It may not be an absolute classic in the Muppet canon, but enjoyable nonetheless. The DVD has a few little supplements, but the audio and visual presentation of this special — which originally aired on NBC in 2008 — is pretty good. This is worthy family viewing for the holiday season.