Seasons Greetings! Railgunfan75 here with another installment of Mad Maz Reviews’ Christmas review series. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol was first published in 1843. Since that time the story of Ebeneezer Scrooge has become an iconic Christmas story. As such, there are many television and film adaptations of the story. With there being so many adaptations of this it can become difficult to find those versions which stand out. One such version is Muppets’ Christmas Carol.
Ebeneezer Scrooge is an older wealthy individual who doesn’t care about Christmas or his fellow man. On Christmas Eve, he is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley. Marley tells Scrooge that he will be visited by the ghosts of three spirits and warns him to change his ways. The story of The Muppets Christmas Carol follows the story of Scrooge. Along the way, he gets shown the error of his of his ways as this classic story is told with a Muppet twist.
This was the version of A Christmas Carol that I grew up with. so it has some sentimental value. That said it is really a good version of the story. In particular it is a family friendly version of the story and not a bad version for children to watch. Some versions of the story can be quite dark (let’s face it the story as a whole is quite grim) but this version includes many light hearted moments and has a different feel than other versions.
The main reasons for this is the Muppets. The Muppets prove to be a perfect medium to tell stories (as Muppet’s Treasure Island is another fun movie) as the characters can fit into a wide array of roles and in this case you can believe that the various Muppets are the characters from the story. Having Kermit, Fozzie and Miss Piggy in the story not only add a new dimension to the characters but also help to attract a wider audience. In addition the Muppet characters add a certain charm to the movie. There are plenty of Muppets comedy moments in the film which help to lighten the film. Because this is a Muppets film, there are of course musical numbers included in the film. This is a staple of Muppet films and there are many great musical numbers included in the film and these scenes really convey the mood of the scenes quite well.
A version of A Christmas Carol is only as good as the individual playing Scrooge and in this case Micheal Caine shines as the main character. Of course this isn’t a surprise as he is a superb actor but I think in this case he nails the character and the character’s change from the beginning to the end of the story. Those moments when Scrooge’s character start to change are done rather well. In addition, he just seems like a nice fit with the Muppets supporting cast.
The Muppets’ Christmas Carol is a classic telling of an iconic story and a must watch come Christmas time. If you haven’t checked out this version, it is my hope that you will give it a shot. So until next time, this is Railgunfan75 signing off and wishing you happy holidays!
Trivia (source IMDB)
This was the first major Muppet project after the death of creator Jim Henson. Henson had performed Kermit the Frog and the role was now being handed down to Steve Whitmire. According to Whitmire he was incredibly nervous about taking over such an iconic character. The night before he had to go record Kermit’s songs for the movie, he had a dream where he met Henson in a hotel lobby and told him how unsure he was. In the dream, Henson reassured Whitmire that the feeling would pass. After waking up, Whitmire was confident and able to do the part.
At the conclusion of the song “One More Sleep”, Bob (Kermit) is seen standing alone in the street and a shooting star can been seen streaking across the sky. In many (not all) of the Muppet movies, a shooting star goes across the sky at some point when Kermit is on.
According to Brian Henson, the decision to use Gonzo and Rizzo to narrate the story was made because he wanted to incorporate the narration and prose of the Charles Dickens novel into the film.
Micheal Caine considers the role of Scrooge to be one of his most memorable (to him).
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