Disney+ has reportedly erased parts of a classic holiday film, according to one fan, and while those missing parts may have gone completely unnoticed by most people, some fans are up in arms over the streaming platform’s decision to do so.
The Muppets’ Christmas Carol is one of the dozens of film adaptations of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, and unlike some of the others, The Muppets’ Christmas Carol stays fairly close to Dickens’ original storyline in his 1843 novel that tells the story of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, his love of money over his concern for his fellow man, and the three ghostly visitors he encounters on Christmas Eve.
The Christmas movie is beloved by fans young and old, and it has been enjoyed every holiday season since 1992. But this year, some fans noticed that Disney has taken the liberty of erasing parts of the film–namely, the arm rods in some of the scenes from the Muppets holiday film.
Shane O. Keating, who calls himself a “Muppet-liking guy,” recently tweeted about his discovery, claiming that Disney+ has removed some of the arm rods of some of the characters in the film. If so, it’s possible that this was done to keep the rods from detracting from the storyline.
Some more examples of @disneyplus erasing arm rods in Muppet Christmas Carol. Tisk tisk. pic.twitter.com/wN5tuodggU
— Shane O. Keating (@sokdrawer) December 8, 2021
But Keating doesn’t seem to approve of the change, posting “Tisk, tisk” in his tweet.
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And some fans seem to agree with Keating’s dislike for the change, saying that erasing elements of the film in this way might ultimately render viewers unable to appreciate the film. In his response to Keating’s tweet, one user, Joseph Scarbrough says the following:
“Disney seems to think our faces will melt and our heads will explode if we see any arm rods, but honestly, they’re erasing our ability to see the artistry in the art itself . . .”
Disney seems to think our faces will melt and our heads will explode if we see any arm rods, but honestly, they're erasing our ability to see the artistry in the art itself . . . it's like how Aardman never bothers to smooth out the fingerprints from their clay models.
— 🎥 𝗝𝗢𝗦𝗘𝗣𝗛 𝗦𝗖𝗔𝗥𝗕𝗥𝗢𝗨𝗚𝗛 🎬 (@ScarbroughProd) December 8, 2021
Some Muppets fans feel that knowing and remembering that the characters are Muppets can add to the enjoyment of the movie and to the appreciation for what a feat it is to make an entire movie in which live actors interact with puppets. Other fans say that arm rods aren’t usually easily seen anyway and that even if they are seen, they don’t distract viewers from the story.
Michael Caine stars as the bah-humbuggish Scrooge, and The Muppets play different characters from the story. Kermit the Frog plays Bob Cratchit, Scrooge’s faithful employee. And there’s one Muppet who has more Dickens-exact lines than any other: Gonzo. Since he portrays Dickens himself in the movie, many of his lines are direct quotes from the book.
The film had its theatrical release in 1992 and was directed by Brian Henson, son of the late Jim Henson, who created The Muppets and their franchise.
We tend to agree with the author of a post at Fatherly.com, who we think says it best:
“In a movie where Michael Caine employs a group of rats and a frog in Victorian England, is the viewing experience really going to be dampened all that much if you happen to see the occasional arm rod?”