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The Muppet Christmas Carol - Christmas Review

It’s no surprise if you read my review of The Muppets Take Manhattan, but I grew up with the Muppets all my life. I found the characters eclectic and delightful, their sense of humor irresistible, and their shenanigans always prone to delight children and adults alike. No matter which Muppet movies I’ve seen, they always succeeded in delivering even mere scraps of each of those to me in an entertaining fashion.

Well, get a lot of this: my childhood introduction to these characters also happened to have come from the same movie that introduced me to one of the greatest Christmas classics of all time. Talk about a double whammy!

That introduction I speak of is The Muppet Christmas Carol.

I have been acquainted with this movie since I was only a few years old. And I’ve always enjoyed this movie for its festive imagery, vibrant energy, delightful tendencies, ominous atmosphere, and freaky adventures that unfolded as the three spirits guided Ebenezer Scrooge into moral rehabilitation. However, as I grew older, I discovered more of the Muppets and A Christmas Carol, each on their own merits. I can appreciate the Muppet characters for what they established, I can understand why A Christmas Carol is such an influential story around the holidays, and thankfully, there were just so many iterations of each to choose from.

Every time I reflect on this movie, the question it invites is always worth pondering: where does this movie stand besides just hitting two birds with one stone for younger audiences everywhere?

I’ll start by laying out the story, even if most of you may be familiar with it by now. It’s the story of a miser named Ebenezer Scrooge, who did his daily business in London as a money lender without a festive bone in his body. Among his clerks was a struggling employee named Bob Cratchit, who wanted Christmas off so he could spend time with his family, especially his disabled son, Tiny Tim. Upon Scrooge’s return home, however, he was subject to a ghostly visitation by his business partner…s, Jacob and Robert Marley. They forewarned Scrooge of the arrival of three spirits, whose goal was to show Scrooge the values of Christmas and what he’s done wrong throughout his life. Scrooge scoffed at this at first, thinking it was pure superstition. However, starting at the strike of 1:00 AM, he was visited by the spirits one by one as their adventures together allowed Scrooge to wake up more to his unhealthy obsession with money and start reevaluating his life choices and role in society.

I’ll admit, I felt that the Muppets tackling the story of A Christmas Carol was an intriguing choice. Before this, the Muppets made a splash with their hit TV show, plus three equally successful feature-length films: the solid Muppet Movie, the fun Great Muppet Caper, and one of my favorites, The Muppets Take Manhattan. In addition, this movie came out in 1992, while the Muppets’ last effort was The Muppets Take Manhattan, released eight years earlier. At this time, uncertainty hung in the air as to what the future of the Muppets may have brought. And how did the Muppets decide to continue? With an adaptation of a classic story. I don’t know if this was the creators’ way of trying to keep the energy of the Muppets alive after Jim Henson’s death or if they decided to play their hands at creative experimentation with the characters regardless. But I can tell you right off the bat, having been familiar with it as far back as when I was only a few years old, this movie proved more than a successful effort. As far as the Muppets are concerned, they still did their best to keep their sense of humor and levity intact. As far as A Christmas Carol is concerned, I love how this adaptation remained generally wholehearted and innocent but still embellished enough understanding of the source material to allow it to shine through and take center stage. In doing so, the movie did an excellent job honoring and juggling both properties and ensuring they complemented each other thoroughly.

As I grew older, however, besides still appreciating the Muppets for what they did and what they stood for throughout the movie, here’s another element of A Christmas Carol in the film that I’m starting to appreciate significantly. I did not read the original story until I was around high school, just like how it took me to watch The Muppets Take Manhattan. But surprisingly, a good portion of the movie’s dialogue and even narrations were carried almost word for word from the original story.

It’s kind of like A Christmas Story. When you watch it, the quotations generally felt dead on and succinct. But when you read the source material from which it was based, you’d catch on to how a good portion of them reflected what the original author expressed, leaving you with a greater appreciation for it than ever before. I can say the same about The Muppet Christmas Carol, and I give it bonus points for doing so with one of the most legendary Christmas books ever written.

Since this is an adaptation of A Christmas Carol starring the Muppets, the movie would have had to be astute and savvy enough to know which role in the story of A Christmas Carol best suited each character. So you have Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit, Miss Piggy as Emily Cratchit, Fozzie Bear as Fezziwig — or, as he is called in this version, Fozziwig — and the roles of Jacob and Robert Marley were upheld by The Muppet Show’s hecklers, Statler and Waldorf. In addition, in this version of A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens was a character, but with a sidekick. In their cases, they were played by, of all the characters, The Great Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat.

And frankly, each Muppet did wonders with each of their characterizations.

With Bob Cratchit, Kermit the Frog portrayed humble aspects to his character, coupled with some of the more common-sensical elements of his character that acknowledged the values of Christmas and talked about it as such with Ebenezer Scrooge. Add to that his and his family’s poverty state, and it honed the more insecure aspects of Bob Cratchit as Kermit the Frog would’ve demonstrated best.

Fozzie Bear was a surprisingly apt character to portray someone as lively and good-natured as Fezziwig. Not only did his upbeat attitude mesh well with the personality of Scrooge’s former employer, but his being renamed from Fezziwig to Fozziwig felt very witty and in tune with his character.

Dare I say it? Miss Piggy was a total knockout as Emily Cratchit. With most other adaptations of A Christmas Carol, I usually think of Emily Cratchit as just a background character with little to show outside of her support for Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and her family. However, with Miss Piggy playing the part, she may have thrown in some extra spiciness to her character. Miss Piggy gave Emily Cratchit some of her aggression and tenderness, highlighting some of the love and fury only Miss Piggy would’ve shown. Despite her standard nature, Emily Cratchit was fine as she was in the other versions, but here, I think Piggy made her character feel more flavorful and appealing. Plus, the costume designers excelled with her dress; whenever I think of Miss Piggy, I am prone to flash back to her humble yet nicely layered peasant dress in this film.

Statler and Waldorf, the two hecklers who continually made fun of Fozzie for his jokes in the show and always complained about everyday things, felt like equally apt characters to portray Scrooge’s business partners. However, because Jacob and Robert were twofold characters instead of just one character, there were bound to be some creative liberties to be taken with Scrooge’s business partner to apply to both characters at once. It worked in Statler and Waldorf’s favor because they each felt like perfect characters to play someone who would’ve partnered with Scrooge when he was still his miserly self. Also, I love how the other character to play Jacob Marley’s brother happened to be named Robert Marley. I caught onto this being a reference to the famous Jamaican singer Bob Marley. This added another level of subtle, almost wry humor as only the Muppets would have dished out.

Robin the Frog starred in the movie as Tiny Tim, and his performance as the character felt so tender and soft. He always makes my heart melt with his wholesome hopes for the welfare of humanity. And that’s why, when you assess his condition and how sick he’s become, he’d leave you feeling more than concerned for his welfare, as Scrooge had. It’d leave you in dejected spirits when you witness what his death would’ve brought upon his family in the future and rejoice when his recovery would’ve become more imminent.

It leaves us with Charles Dickens himself, along with Rizzo the Rat. Rizzo the Rat starred only as himself, while The Great Gonzo took over in starring as Charles Dickens and told the story to us as the real Charles Dickens did. Most of the time, he stood on the sidelines to observe and recount the story to us, while other times, he got engaged in the activities the characters did in front of us. To put it another way, Gonzo took the author Charles Dickens and turned him into a Greek Chorus character. Of course, since this is The Great Gonzo playing Charles Dickens, he gave him more of an excitable nature underneath his otherwise more grounded, mature, and clearheaded relay of Scrooge’s adventures. He even fawned over some passerby chickens on a couple of occasions while tagging along with Scrooge with Rizzo on his side. Much like Miss Piggy with Emily Cratchit, Gonzo added elements unique only to him onto a generally famous character or author like Charles Dickens.

Meanwhile, Rizzo the Rat scratched his head around the circumstances in the story, acting almost like the commentator. He always asked questions about how certain things played out the way they did. Charles Dickens, as I said, tended to have an excitable nature to him, mostly whenever Dickens participated in generally dangerous situations. And most of the time, Rizzo was roped into these perilous maneuvers, much to his annoyance or fear. So, his outbursts over such predicaments as these with Charles Dickens were funny to watch and hear.

At one point in the movie, we get a delightful performance from Sam the Eagle as Scrooge’s headmaster as he approached Scrooge in his old classroom and lectured him about making a name for himself in London. With his proud voice, he expressed himself with experienced know-how on the trials and tribulations that awaited Scrooge, even through his flubs; he said ‘the American way’ instead of ‘the British way,’ as Gonzo noted to him out-of-character.

Be that as it may, I never once thought the Muppets’ performances felt out of place. On the contrary, the little touches added to both the characters and the portrayals ranged from very creative to very appropriate, adding to the excitement of this movie.

While my mind is still fresh on the Muppets, I also need to talk about the design and presentation of the three spirits.

I am just stunned by the portrayal of The Ghost of Christmas Past. The spirit was just a little candlelight with a face in the original tale. But here, The Ghost of Christmas Past was just a delicate, childlike spirit hovering in the air and emitting a bright light all around itself. I especially adored how the spirit was portrayed as, fittingly enough, the ghostliest of the spirits. Scrooge thought the spirit was just a child, but even I can’t tell what gender or age it was, and that added to its more eerie yet beauteous essence. I can’t tell if this was done entirely by puppetry or with visual effects. Keep in mind, this was in 1992, and back then, CGI characters were being pioneered by artists like James Cameron to more believable levels, and this was just less than a year before Jurassic Park followed the lead with its dinosaurs. So, the VFX artists behind the spirit outdid themselves in portraying the spirit in all its ethereal wonder.

However, comparing the puppetry from The Ghost of Christmas Present with the other Muppets in the movie, this character felt like a more monumental undertaking. We’re talking about a ghost far taller than Scrooge himself but was still, by technicality, operated with puppetry. I can’t tell if it’s another human being working the puppet from within or if it’s operated by animatronics. But just like with Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors, the mastermind behind this portrayal of the Ghost of Christmas Present managed to make it as believable, good-natured, and fun when around Ebenezer Scrooge as all the other Christmas Carols did. Yet, this portrayal was done in a way that lent itself closer to the Muppet formula within this rendition.

And the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come? Yikes! This spirit was almost nothing more than a tall figure with a dark, rotting cloak and a bony pointing finger, just like in the book. Like Christmas Present, I can’t tell if this was pure puppetry or if it was all operated by a human being from the inside. Nonetheless, this portrayal of the spirit was also pitch perfect, honing the general creepiness of this character, plus the generally indifferent vibes in its movements and the undiluted fear that lurked underneath Scrooge as he dreaded what awaited him in the future unless he changed his ways. Interestingly enough, he was so creepy that even Gonzo and Rizzo decided to sit this portion of the story out until Scrooge was back in his bedroom. I guess that demonstrated how ominous he was in and outside the movie.

At this point, we got the general puppetry in the movie out of the way. So now, let’s shift to the vocal and physical actors.

I can only say a little about the physical actors since there were few striking ones to highlight here. I will say, though, that Steven Mackintosh felt like a very gentlemanly actor who expressed the jovial, kindhearted nature that was apparent in Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, throughout the movie. For all of Fred’s pleasantries, however, there were times when he showed some slight resentment against his uncle behind his back. The Ghost of Christmas Present made it painfully clear to Scrooge upon visiting him and his family at their household when they played the game of ‘Yes and No.’

Robin Weaver didn’t do very much in the movie, but whenever she came onscreen as Clara, Fred’s wife, she portrayed her with a lovely, charming disposition about her. And Meredith Braun, who played Belle, Scrooge’s ex-fiancé, expressed her character with a very sophisticated demeanor, enhancing her role in society despite her and her family’s companionship with Fozziwig. She also displayed more apparent disquiet and discourse in her voice when her relationship with Scrooge started going downhill.

Finally, the voice actors who portrayed the Muppets were as excellent as each of them as you’d expect from any Muppet installment. The classic Frank Oz did wonders with Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear as each played their characters to a tee. With the pleasant nature in his voice as Fozziwig and the cutely aggressive distillation in Miss Piggy’s voice as Emily Cratchit, he knew how to infuse their characters and make them come alive. Steve Whitmire did an excellent job of adding a finicky nature to Rizzo the Rat as he tried to knock some sense into Charles Dickens and always questioned the story’s creepier or more illogical circumstances. And Dave Goelz, as always, did a great job playing The Great Gonzo in all his wild antics and more subdued and low-key elements.

Regardless, let’s talk about the two actors who made the movie for me.

The first one is Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge. Whenever I see Michael Caine in film, he’s usually famous for portraying stiff, logical British gentlemen who each would’ve felt like they belonged in a higher position within Great Britain. He would even have gone on to play Alfred Pennyworth in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy for that exact reason. Here, however, Michael Caine felt impressively adept as Ebenezer Scrooge. Whenever he sulked in Scrooge’s gruff exterior, he was convincingly intimidating and rough around the edges whenever he gave off a scowl or rebuffed anyone as only Ebenezer Scrooge would have. He even remained within this attitude when confronted by either his old business partners or the three spirits as he tried to convince himself of where his grounded principles lay when confronted with generally otherworldly elements popping up all around him. However, as his encounters with the spirits lunged onward, the roughness on him started melting away before revealing to us a much more mellow, concerned Scrooge, who did care about the world around him. And by the time he had woken up on Christmas Day, Michael Caine embodied Scrooge as if he was full of optimism and joy at having found his long-lost self again. At times, whenever he sounded just happy or upbeat, he felt genuine. But other times, it came across as too whimsical. But, of course, I also understand that this was in stark contrast with his more bitter self whenever he was most defiant about the ordinary things going on in life, especially around Christmastime.

Sure, there have been other actors who portrayed Ebenezer Scrooge better than Michael Caine, like Alistair Sim, George C. Scott, or even Scrooge McDuck. But for me, Michael Caine’s performance as Ebenezer Scrooge was one of the more effective that I’ve ever seen or had the pleasure of being familiar with at a young age.

And the other actor is Steve Whitmire whenever he played Kermit the Frog. He was able to hone the more mellow, soft, and generally cheerful tones in Kermit’s voice as he tried to remain common sensical about Christmas and appreciate it in equal measure. However, when he had to deal with his employer, Ebenezer Scrooge, or his family’s poverty state, you can sense some discouragement in his voice as he tried to keep his spirits high and hope for the best, even when things were at their bleakest.

I find this role particularly important because, as I said, this was the first movie ever released after Jim Henson’s death. Usually, Henson did the voice of Kermit the Frog, and always to flawless results. Much like the future of the Muppets, nobody was sure what would’ve happened with Kermit the Frog without the classic voice actor being around to voice him. According to reports, Whitmire was even afraid of potentially doing a disservice to the famed character because Jim Henson perfected him. However, because of the right fluctuations, the proper tone, and the adequate voice, he kept this character alive after Jim Henson’s death. I should know because Wayne Allwine managed to do wonders with Mickey Mouse long after Walt Disney passed on. And now, we have Chris Diamantopoulos doing the same thing after Allwine’s death. All it takes is the right actor who understands the character enough to give him the proper voice to match.

Not only that, but Steve Whitmire’s more delicate essence of his voice went hand-in-hand with Bob Cratchit’s humbler and more down-to-earth demeanor throughout the story. So, Steve Whitmire did wonders not just with Kermit but also with Bob Cratchit.

Come to think of it, did you know that Wayne Allwine got his big break voicing Mickey Mouse, also as Bob Cratchit from A Christmas Carol?

Anyway, the performances made this movie feel equivalent to watching a well-constructed Christmas play. You’d see a lot of well-known actors and characters playing certain parts, and the idea of knowing which ones played their roles would’ve been enough to arouse intrigue. My parents told me that when watching performances on stage, the characters expressed whatever they did partly because of what the actors could provide through them. So, watching either the Muppet characters or such iconic actors playing their designated roles, I felt their colorful variety of expressions and inflections brimming about from this picture. Most importantly, the human and Muppet characters expressed a thorough sense of chemistry between them. After a while, you’d forget that half of the characters in this version of A Christmas Carol are even Muppets because, especially given the story’s timeframe and location, the way they worked off each other felt believable, fine-tuned, and astonishingly natural.

Now that I think about it, something else that seemed particularly striking to me was the Muppets’ costumes. Something about them feels very low-key yet festive and vibrant. With Kermit the Frog, he wore the casual clothes you might probably expect from every Londoner in everyday 19th-century society. With Emily Cratchit, her dress looked maidenly but layered enough to arouse a very “conscientious wife” essence. Heck, whenever I thought of Miss Piggy, sometimes my mind wandered back to her in this dress, it looked so stunning. Fozziwig’s outfit, topped off with his white wig, felt so rich, bright, and high in class that it seemed as appropriate to the times as it was to his character. And Charles Dickens’ outfit carried a handsome showmanship to it. The brown top hat, red coat, and blue scarf helped enliven The Great Gonzo as the type of storyteller we should take seriously. Whoever did the designs on the puppets sure knew how to handle such iconic characters and ground them into a designated time in the far past.

The costumes on the human characters weren’t too shabby, either. Whether in Scrooge’s black outfit with the black top hat or his beige nightgown with the white cap, they helped define Scrooge’s character throughout the movie, even into his moral transition. The black costume went from being intimidating to belonging to a higher societal role. And his beige nightgown expressed his slightly disgruntled nature at nighttime but later felt more emblematic of who Scrooge was underneath.

Everyone else’s outfits, including those of Fred, Belle, and especially Clara, showed off more distinct features that seemed fitting with their bearers while also displaying a visual grandeur fit for Victorian England.

One aspect of this movie I remember very well, and with some admiration, was the songs by Paul Williams. They ranged from Scrooge, One More Sleep ’til Christmas, It Feels Like Christmas, Marley and Marley, and a particularly noteworthy song I’ll elaborate on soon.

The first song, Scrooge, was generally ominous and equally snarky as sung by the London passersby, mainly the Muppets, as they criticized Ebenezer Scrooge’s reputation within London. It carried the introductory, gossipy natures of ‘Belle’ and the scathing yet upbeat aspects of ‘You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.’ But while the song expressed more whimsy to it compared to the Grinch song, it still synced its way in as a catchy and equally condemning song about someone so despised.

One More Sleep ’til Christmas felt like a sentimental song about the holidays, but thankfully it never felt too sentimental. Instead, the general tone felt appropriate given that it was mainly of the anticipations to be experienced as Christmas drew nearer. It was sung by Bob Cratchit and his coworkers, many of whom were rats, as they closed out the shop and headed home for the night before Christmas Day. And it still carried the movie through with its exquisite tones as the excitement that the characters hid underneath them as they did their daily work at Scrooge’s counting house started breaking through.

Marley and Marley felt like a delightfully spooky and slightly self-aggrandizing song. It oozed in the general complacency the Marleys felt about their underhanded deeds when they were alive while also showing elements of regret for their actions. This was how they all ended up as ghosts wrapped around in chains for the rest of their afterlife. Because of this, they similarly intended to warn Scrooge about it to keep him from suffering the same fate as they did.

It Feels like Christmas, sung by the Ghost of Christmas Present, was a more joyful and upbeat song celebrating Christmas in all its essences. But, of course, the more jovial nature of the song felt generally modest as what’s being sung about Christmas is more demonstrational as the characters all engaged in musical overviews of the joys to be experienced around Christmas time, whether it’s with friends, family, or life in general.

Bless Us All, sung by Tiny Tim and then the rest of the Cratchit family, was a melodic and deeply riveting song. In it, Tim expressed how thankful the family felt for all the things and people they had in their lives, especially when they had to wrap their heads around Tiny Tim’s predicament and their state of poverty because of Bob Cratchit’s undercompensation. It felt like the ultimate prayer to express in song for all the things to have in life and be thankful for.

Speaking of which, A Thankful Heart, sung by Ebenezer Scrooge after changing his ways, also carried on more upbeat elements to be gained around Christmas time, and like Bless Us All, this song came forth with more thankful features in its tones. The sentimentality apparent in this song was very appropriate given this is sung by Scrooge as he started appreciating now what elements of Christmas he began to open up to more. Despite some aspects of the song coming across as too giddy, it hit all the right notes and lifted my spirits a little every time I heard it.

And the last song I will talk about here is arguably one of the more famous in the movie because of how it went missing in most of the versions available. The song is entitled When Love is Gone, sung by Belle as she sang to Scrooge about how he grew so devoted to his work and money that they’re better off on their own. It was a bittersweet, soulful, and slow ballad sung with simple yet evident passion by Meredith Braun. For part of the song, even the present-day Scrooge came to sing along before stopping because he choked up as he realized what his actions had done to other people, especially the love of his life. This song was not present in the original theatrical version, but in its VHS and laserdisc releases, it was snuck back in because of complaints about its removal in the movie. Director Brian Henson said that the song was taken out of the film by Jeffrey Katzenberg when he was still the head of Disney because he felt that the song felt too emotional and sophisticated for younger audiences. And, as some of the younger test audiences showed, rather than being moved to tears, they were bored to tears. However, everyone else complained about the song not being in the movie because it added some substance to Scrooge’s and Belle’s relationship. It also added a level of meaning to Scrooge’s character since it allowed him to see what his actions have done to Belle, arguably the only person he ever loved. I grew up with the version of The Muppet Christmas Carol that had this song, and I will admit, I did not care very much for the song when I was little, either. However, as I rewatched the song through grown-up eyes, I suddenly found some value in the song. So much, that the mere idea of the song being omitted from the movie feels like a borderline crime. Without the song, the film would’ve felt a bit empty, like somehow there’s a gaping hole whose presence invites an insatiable need to have it filled. And the scene of Belle and Scrooge splitting up and going their separate ways felt a tad rushed and halfhearted. And with the song missing, so too was one of the more crucial components of Scrooge’s character development in the movie. With the song added back in, even though it dragged on a little, it just made it feel more complete, like it was for the better.

I must also mention that even in the theatrical cut, with ‘When Love is Gone’ being out, its reprise, ‘The Love We Found,’ still played at the end of the movie. While the song on its own would’ve felt like a generally heartwarming conclusion to wrap up The Muppet Christmas Carol with, it felt standard on its own. What’s more confusing is that the pop version of ‘When Love is Gone,’ performed by Martina McBride, played over the end credits, like it was a self-aware but unusually depressing way to close off the film. Whereas with the original ‘When Love is Gone’ added back in, it makes its reprise feel like a more triumphant and glorious one fit to conclude The Muppet Christmas Carol and demonstrate a renewed essence of hope that could be found by the unlikeliest of people, like Scrooge. And as for the pop version of the song, though this version felt a little more depressing, I still listen fawningly to the effort McBride poured into her performance and the music, just like many of the cinematic closing pop tunes throughout the 1990s. So, when all is said and done, I prefer that ‘When Love is Gone’ stays in the movie.

Fortunately, hope may be on the horizon for this movie yet. A couple of years ago, Brian Henson and his associates struck gold when they discovered the original film reels that had ‘When Love is Gone.’ So now, the filmmakers gave the song a thorough 4K restoration and successfully restored it into the movie just in time for its 30th anniversary, around Christmas, on Disney+. There’s no way this song will remain missing any longer now that the long-overdue extended cut is available to see as it should be seen.

Getting back to the music in general, even the musical score by Miles Goodman has its moments. Sometimes, it felt very whimsical. Other times, it can express just the right amount of moodiness fit for whatever circumstance occurred. And when the movie delved into the ghostlier aspects of the story, it lunged forth and conveyed the haunting essences in all their suspicious glory.

I must say, I’m also very fond of the settings. Being that this is the Victorian era, the wintery elements of London and Great Britain felt very clear, crystally, and quiet. There’s a soft glow in the wintery scenes, sometimes white and crisp, other times colorful and serene, and it sinks you into the frosty sense of glee and softness to be experienced with winter and Christmastime. However, when you look at London, some buildings looked a little warped and generally lacking in color. Many buildings stood rigid and stiff like they were generally lifeless elements of London society around the 19th century. It highlighted the drearier aspects of London and British culture and their uncompromising, dirty underbelly. It was common in Charles Dickens’ works, and it’s captured in equally meaningful clarity here in the Muppets’ take on A Christmas Carol. As I said, the movie knew how to do wonders for both the Muppets and A Christmas Carol and to make them work in unison with one another very effectively.

And that’s one of the things I can express with a thankful heart about this movie. At a time when the future of the Muppets was hanging in the balance, this movie did the unthinkable by reigniting the spirit of the Muppets as only the public knew them while successfully utilizing it alongside the classical elements of one of the most famous Christmas stories ever written. And it did so with skillful puppetry, great acting, splendid settings, amazing visual effects, and a faithful retelling of the classic story that knew how to use generally uncooperative elements and make them work together to pristine results.

God bless us, everyone, and Merry Christmas.

My Rating

A low A-

Additional Thoughts

Here’s a funny story you might get a laugh at. Do you remember the bookkeepers in Scrooge’s counting house, who complained about the offices being so chilly and needed to get warm? According to the creators, when the kids at the premiere screening watched Scrooge leave behind gift baskets full of coal for the rats to warm themselves up with, they wondered what the rats ever did wrong to be repaid like this. They responded like this because they knew that naughty children would end up with coal in their stockings. Of course, they have the right idea, but I always saw this as a nice complimentary gift for Scrooge to give since I remembered how much the rats needed warmth. Besides, I love how scenes like this show another angle to giving out coal on Christmas: on some Christmases, when they’re most frigid, coal is a far greater necessity than they appear to be.

Steve Whitmire admitted that during his hesitations to play Kermit in the movie, he had a dream where he visited Jim Henson at a hotel lobby and poured his heart out to him concerning his doubts about taking on the mantle of being Kermit's voice. But then, Henson set him at ease, telling him they would've passed. He elaborated more about it in detail through an interview he gave, which you can read here.

Works Cited

Grace, W. (2014, December 12). Why The Muppet Christmas Carol’s Deleted Song Was Cut, But Really Should Have Stayed. Houston Style Magazine. Retrieved from

Peters, J. (2022, December 9). Disney Finally Fixes A 30-Year-Old Muppet Christmas Carol Mistake. ScreenRant. Retrieved December 21, 2022, from

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