Gonzo, Kermit the Frog, and Miss Piggy, all together in a classic retelling of Charles Dicken’s masterfully written A Christmas Carol (1843), what’s not to love? Since 1992, The Muppet Christmas Carol has been delighting audiences with its humorous take on the classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge, Christmas spirit of past, present, and future, and Tiny Tim.
A Jim Henson take on one of the most recognizable and memorable Christmas-themed stories ever told, The Muppet Christmas Carol is arguably one of the greatest, if not the best, Muppets film ever made. With rumors of a potential sequel swirling around, Muppet fans will be happy to know that they can relive their favorite holiday film this Christmas season with an international twist!
‘The Muppets Christmas Carol’
Set in London and featuring some of your favorite Muppet characters, The Muppet Christmas Carol is a hysterical, festive film for all ages. The lovable puppets, created by Jim Henson, bring to life one of the most cherished masterpieces, highlighted with Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit, Fozzie Bear as Fezziwig (or Fozziwig), and Michael Caine as Scrooge.
Directed by Brian Henson, The Muppet Christmas Carol brought back traditional Henson puppeteers Frank Oz, Steve Whitmire, Dave Goelz, and Jerry Nelson for a memorable, gut-splitting Christmas special in 1992.
Outside of a few gags, mostly centered around Rizzo the Rat, The Muppet Christmas Carol doesn’t stray too far from the original classic by Charles Dickens; instead, presenting the components of the story in a humorous and fun way for audiences.
The bitter Ebenezer Scrooge, cold to the world following a lifelong pursuit of wealth, is visited by four (in the Muppet’s case, five) ghosts on the night of Christmas Eve. Each spirit, two representing his former business partner Jacob Marley (Statler and Waldorf), visits Scrooge in an attempt to show him his fault in the lives he’s touched and restore his Christmas spirit.
Ultimately, Scrooge is awakened to the errors of his greed and hardened heart, bestowing a rejuvenated appreciation for Christmas upon his poor associate Bob Cratchit and his family. Scrooge learns to “keep Christmas well,” saving the life of Tiny Tim and becoming a prominent celebrator and financial contributor within his community.
A Story Told a Million Times
A Christmas Carol is likely one of the most repeated stories ever written. There are several versions written and produced in popular media. Disney themselves own a few versions of the story, one featuring the Muppets, their 2009 CGI masterpiece featuring Jim Carrey, and of course, Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983).
Other popular renditions of the classic writing have made their way to the screen, such as Bill Murray’s Scrooged (1988) and accurate retellings featuring Patrick Stewart in 1999 and George Scott in 1984.
A Staple on Christmas Watchlists
Unlike other holidays, Christmas sets itself apart with a barrage of films dedicated to getting viewers in the holiday mood. Elf (2003), Polar Express (2004), and Home Alone (1990) are just a few titles in a long list of Christmas films that families gather around the decked halls to enjoy over the holiday season.
Since its release, The Muppets Christmas Carol has solidified its place among Christmas greats like It’s a Wonderlife (1947), A Christmas Story (1983), and White Christmas (1954). Michael Caine’s performance as the “merry-less miser,” as Inside the Magic so accurately put it, is a standout role for the English actor, especially considering that the majority of his co-stars were puppets.
Something else that sets this rendition of the classic Charles Dickens story apart and makes it a must-watch each Christmas is the music. As with any Disney production, The Muppet Christmas Carol doesn’t hold back in the musical department, offering festive tunes like “Marley and Marley,” “One More Sleep ‘Til Christmas,” and “Bless You All.”
‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’ is Back in a Brand New Way
As reported first by Inside the Magic, the popular Christmas-themed Muppet film by Brian Henson is getting a revamp for its fans across the Atlantic, bringing comedic holiday joy to theatres across the UK.
However, this time it won’t be just a film; instead, the lovable, goofy Muppets will present their story of Christmas spirit via a live concert complete with a live orchestra, which will play alongside the film.
Venues will include Glasgow, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Sheffield, Liverpool, Birmingham, and the home of Dickens and Scrooge, London. Disney Concert tickets are on sale for shows running from November 26 to December 30.
Disneytickets.com bills the live concert as follows:
“Disney’s The Muppet Christmas Carol will be presented live in concert this winter across the UK, featuring its musical score performed live to the film. The Muppet Christmas Carol sees The Muppets perform the classic Charles Dickens holiday tale, with Kermit the Frog playing Bob Cratchit, the put-upon clerk of stingy Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine). Gonzo, as Dickens, narrates the story with the help of Rizzo the Rat. The film also features Miss Piggy as Emily Cratchit, Gonzo as the narrator Charles Dickens, Fozzie Bear as Fozziwig, and Robin the Frog as Tiny Tim. Scrooge receives visits from spirits of three Christmases – past, present and future. They show him the error of his self-serving ways, but the miserable old man seems to be past any hope of redemption and happiness. The original score was composed by Miles Goodman (“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”, “Little Shop of Horrors”) with songs by Oscar®, Emmy® and Grammy®-winning songwriter Paul Williams (“Rainbow Connection”, “Evergreen”).“
Although not available in the United States, this seems like a great way to celebrate Christmas and one of the most beloved holiday stories ever written. When adding popular Muppets like Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Gonzo, and Fozzie Bear, all made famous by The Muppet Show (1974), what’s not to love?
If you aren’t in Europe, or don’t plan to be, don’t worry, you can still enjoy The Muppet Christmas Carol on Disney+.