Disney Muppet Babies: Time to Play (DVD)
Check out our review of Muppet Babies: Time to Play on DVD!
Muppet Babies Kermit, Fozzie, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, Animal, and Summer spend their days in the playroom going on adventures, using just their imagination. Features the voices of Matt Danner, Eric Bauza, and Melanie Harrison.
This DVD set contains the following featured episodes: Episode 1.1 “Sir Kermit the Brave/Animal Fly Airplane,” 1.2 “Hatastrophe/Fly South,” 1.3 “The Great Muppet Sport-a-Thon/You Say Potato, I Say Best Friend,” 1.4 “Super Fabulous vs. Captain Icecube/Piggy’s Time Machine,” 1.5 “How Kermit Got His Groove/One Small Problem,” and 1.6 “Playground Pirates/The Blanket Fort.”
First introduced in the 1984 film The Muppets Take Manhattan, the Muppet Babies became an instant sensation, even getting a Saturday morning animated spinoff on CBS. It ran for eight seasons and was extremely popular, especially because of its inventive use of mixing in clips from movies and TV shows to highlight the babies’ imaginations (Star Wars clips were a particular favorite).
This new version of Muppet Babies doesn’t go quite that far (thanks to stricter licensing issues), but it doesn’t have to. As part of the lineup on the Disney Junior Channel, this new, CGI-animated Muppet Babies is aimed right at four-to-seven year olds, so the stories are much simpler and much sweeter. Episodes are based around simple premises that teach an important moral: the value of friendship and self-confidence are popular themes.
The characters are pretty similar to what they’ve always been: Kermit is the quiet leader, Fozzie the corny goofball, and Piggy is still the prima donna, only a lot nicer than she was in the original “Muppet Show.”
As the group uses their imagination to go on adventures in Miss Nanny’s playroom and in the backyard, they learn the importance of empathy and bravery. They also learn the importance of respecting others and seeing that kindness returned. Even the iconic duo of Statler and Waldorf, who do nothing else but hurl insults in the original “Muppet Show,” are now just slightly annoyed neighbors who tolerate the Muppet Babies when they come around.
This new incarnation of the Muppet Babies works because it embraces innocence and kindness. It doesn’t try to be relevant or manic, which has been the problem with the “adult” version of the Muppets these days. The babies have captured the true spirit of the Muppets: being yourself, no matter how different you may be, and having fun in the moment.
The DVD, although not an official season set, does include the first six episodes in the series, as well as some promotional shorts.
VIDEO AND AUDIO
It shouldn’t be much of a surprise, but the standard DVD provides a fairly soft image of the show’s CGI animation. I expected a bit more sharpness, but at least, the video does provide some bold colors. Kids watching the show won’t notice the quality, which is why this isn’t a deal breaker for this set.
There’s also a standard Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, which sounds surprisingly good, and does the show’s songs justice.
There’s a decent assortment of extras included on the disc. From bonus episodes to shorts, it’s enough to keep little ones entertained.
The extras included on the DVD are:
Two Bonus Episodes. Bonus Episodes on the DVD include Episode 1.5 “How Kermit Got His Groove/One Small Problem” and Episode 1.6 “Playground Pirates/The Blanket Fort.” It’s not clear why these episodes are separated from the others in the main menu (the first four episodes are the feature presentation), but it’s a nice inclusion nevertheless.
Ten “Show and Tell” Shorts. Subjects include Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Summer, Animal, Kermit and Piggy, Kermit and Fozzie, Piggy and Gonzo, and The Great Muppet (Short) Musical.
Six Music Videos.
Disney Movie Rewards Code.
Release Date: August 14, 2018
Running Time: 94 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: English and Spanish 2.0 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
Special Features: Two bonus episodes, Ten “Show and Tell” Shorts, Six Music Videos, Disney Movie Rewards Code.
Label: Buena Vista Home Entertainment