The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)


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The Muppets were a cultural phenomenon. Having started in the 50’s and continuing on to star in their own 70’s show, The Muppet Show, it wasn’t long before they started appearing in theatrical films.

The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, and The Muppets Take Manhattan were all somewhat successful in the box office. So, it wasn’t long before Disney became interested in buying the Muppets. Sadly, negotiations broke down with the death of Jim Henson in 1990.


Nevertheless, Disney still offered to co-produce 2 theatrical films with Jim Henson Productions before officially buying the Muppets in 2004. After the acquisition of the Muppets, Disney would produce two more theatrical Muppets films.

So in total, there are four Disney theatrical Muppets films which I have to review. So if you want to know what I think of The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper, The Muppets Take Manhattan, and Muppets from Space, you won’t find out on this blog.


The only Muppets films being discussed on this blog will obviously be the ones that Disney produced. Today, we take a look at the first of these films: the 1992 classic, The Muppet Christmas Carol.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has been adapted for the cinemas and television multiple times. Because of this, the story of the greedy, miserly cold, Ebenezer Scrooge is widely known and is somewhat a ubiquitous tale, at least in America.

Alistair Sim, Albert Finney, Reginald Owen, George C. Scott, Patrick Stewart, Jim Carrey, Tim Curry, Kelsey Grammer, and Simon Callow among others have all portrayed Ebenezer Scrooge. With all these multiple adaptations of the story and multiple incarnations of Scrooge, everyone has their personal favorites.

This one is my favorite. Don't judge me!
This one is my favorite adaptation of the story. Don’t judge me! (My favorite Scrooge is Alistair Sim, though.)

However, this is the Muppets adaptation of the classic novella with the amazing Michael Caine as Mr. Scrooge, himself. So without further ado, let’s begin the review.

And remember, SPOILERS AHEAD!

The movie begins in your typical A Christmas Carol town where all the townsfolk and Muppets are enjoying the last day before Christmas. Amongst them are Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat. Gonzo introduces himself as Charles Dickens and Rizzo introduces himself as…well, Rizzo. The two of them serve as the narrators of the story, well Gonzo more so, and provide light-hearted comic relief as well. It’s an interesting aspect as it puts a Muppets touch on the classic Christmas tale and actually works really well!

You could probably just let them two narrate any book and it'd be enjoyable, or at least, tolerable.
You could probably just let them two narrate any book and it’d be enjoyable, or at least, tolerable.

Gonzo begins telling the story and introduces the audience to Ebenezer Scrooge, the greedy, miserly, unmerciful, cold-hearted main character. We first see Scrooge in the shadows as a song is sung by all the townsfolk describing his qualities.

What’s the song entitled? Scrooge, of course!

This, in my opinion, is the only commendable song in the film.


I know, I’m sorry. I have quite an issue with the songs and music in this film. I feel that the majority of the songs aren’t memorable, aren’t unique, and suffer from some lazy lyrics and rhyming schemes. There are other 2 other songs in this movie that I’d “tolerate”, but other than that, I don’t commend any of the other songs. I just don’t feel that this movie is a great musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol.

This one isn't much better, but I could (and do) sing Thank You Very Much all the time!
This one isn’t much better, but I could (and do) sing Thank You Very Much all the time!

Anyway, as the song, Scrooge, ends, we finally get a look at our Ebenezer Scrooge in this film: one of my favorite actors (if not my #1 favorite actor), Michael Caine!

"Bah, humbug! Not a lot of people know that I never said, 'Not a lot of people know that'."
“Bah, humbug! Not a lot of people know that I never said, ‘Not a lot of people know that’.”

Scrooge, by trade, is a moneylender, and his characteristics fit perfectly well with the stereotype of the unmerciful, tight-fisted moneylender trope. Just to demonstrate proof of his stinginess, Scrooge actually rations how much coal his employees can use to warm themselves!

Another example of his demeanor is shown when two fundraisers, played by Dr. Honeydew and Beaker, come to ask Scrooge for donations, Scrooge brushes them off and says that if the poor are meant to die, then they should die “and decrease the surplus population”. Yeah, Scrooge is one of those elders whom you wouldn’t want to be your grandfather. Thankfully, Scrooge doesn’t have any grandkids.

However, he does have a nephew, Fred, played by Steven Mackintosh. Fred loves his uncle dearly and tries to get Scrooge to spend Christmas with him and his wife. But, Scrooge refuses and doesn’t really want anything to do with his nephew.

Not sure what Fred's looking at. Maybe his paycheck being held off-screen?
Not sure what Fred’s looking at. Maybe his paycheck being held off-screen?

When the time to close up shop commences, one of Scrooge’s clerks, Bob Cratchit, played by Kermit the Frog, cautiously asks Scrooge if he and the other workers can have the day off tomorrow as it’s Christmas. Scrooge is strongly against the idea of losing a day’s worth of business on account of a holiday, but eventually acquiesces to Bob’s request.

Scrooge then heads home and leaves Kermit and the other workers to close up shop. As they do this, Kermit begins singing One More Sleep ’til Christmas, signifying his and all the townspeople’s anticipation for the upcoming joyous holiday. I’m not a fan of this song. It just bothers me how sometimes the lyrics rhyme with the word “sleep” in the chorus, and at others, with the word, “one”. And at the end of the song, the word “Day” is added to “Christmas”. I dunno, the lyrics and rhyming scheme are just sloppy as I’ve said before.

When the song finishes, we see Scrooge approaching the door to his home. As he attempts to unlock it, something strange happens. The door knocker transforms into Statler.

This is probably the creepiest part of the whole movie!
This is probably the creepiest part of the whole movie!

A bit shocked by this queer and eerie happening, Scrooge hurries inside. While he’s sitting near the fireplace, one of the doorbells in his house starts ringing and he hears what sound like chains and shackles. All of a sudden, the ghosts of Statler and Waldorf appear before him.

Still heckling even after their deaths!
Still heckling even after their deaths!

The duo play the ghosts of Jacob and Robert Marley (get it? Bob Marley!), the deceased partners of Scrooge who used to work alongside him as moneylenders years before. As if their being there  wasn’t strange enough, the two are also chained and shackled.

Scrooge is both frightened of the ghosts as well as curious as to why they’ve come. They then sing a song, Marley and Marley, describing how when they were alive, they treated people badly out of their own avarice and greed. And as a result, they’re left to be chained and shackled for eternity to pay for the sins they’ve committed.

But, they’ve come back to warn Scrooge that if he doesn’t change his ways, he too will meet the same fate. In order to help him, they notify him that three spirits will visit him throughout the course of the night in an effort to make him a better person. This, of course, frightens Scrooge even more as if meeting two ghosts in one night wasn’t enough!

Not long after, the Marleys disappear and Scrooge tries to shrug off everything and go to sleep. At the toll of 1, he’s visited by the first ghost: The Ghost of Christmas Past, a translucent, child-like, over 1900 year-old, indescribable spirit.

Come to think of it, this is probably the creepiest part of the whole movie!
Come to think of it, this is probably the creepiest part of the whole movie!

I quite like the design of this ghost as in the original book, this ghost was described as being unable to be ascertained to be a boy or a girl or old or young, rather somewhere in-between. The ghost tells Scrooge that he’s come to show him events from Scrooge’s Christmases in the past. It beckons Scrooge to hold on it. When Scrooge does, they both start flying out of the window, much to Scrooge’s fear.

Not long after, they land. However’ they’ve landed in Scrooge’s past. They’ve arrived at Scrooge’s school when Scrooge was a young boy. As Scrooge looks around, nostalgia hits him as he sees familiar faces and familiar sights. However, as this all has taken place already, the people in the past can’t hear or see Scrooge and the ghost.

"Marty, that physics seems a bit shaky to me."
“Marty, that physics seems a bit shaky to me.”

As Scrooge and the ghost explore, Scrooge suddenly sees a familiar sight. He sees himself when he was a schoolboy sitting alone in the school building during the Christmas holiday. Every Christmas, his family wouldn’t bring him home for the holidays. Rather, they’d leave him there to study more. Years pass by in front of the old Scrooge’s eyes until we see the day when Scrooge has become old enough to take on a job.

It must be so weird to watch yourself in the past. Then again, it must be so awesome to watch yourself in the past!
It must be so weird to watch yourself in the past. Then again, it must be so awesome to watch yourself in the past!

The ghost then takes Scrooge to a later Christmas in his life. It’s a Christmas where he’s working at Fozziwig and Mom’s rubber chicken factory! Fozziwig is played by Fozzie Bear, of course, and his mom is played by…umm…Fozzie too? Heck, why does there even need to be a mom?

Maybe Fozzie Bear had it in his contract? Or maybe Fozzie's mother wouldn't allow her son to act anymore until and unless she would appear in the next film?
Maybe Fozzie Bear had it in his contract? Or maybe Fozzie’s mother wouldn’t allow her son to act anymore until and unless she would appear in the next film?

Oh well, as Scrooge becomes happy seeing his old boss and workplace again, he sees that it’s the annual Christmas party at the rubber chicken factory. And he soon sees something else. He sees his younger self catching eyes with a lovely, young lady. This woman is Belle, played by Meredith Braun. She’s the woman with whom he fell in love years ago. Seeing his young self and Belle together brings emotions back to the old Scrooge.

Just imagine being there at the scene where you first met your love.
Just imagine being there at the scene where you first met your love!

One wants to know whatever happened to Belle. Did she and Scrooge marry? Did she die? Is that why he’s such a cold man?

To answer that question, the ghost takes Scrooge a few more Christmases later in his life, much to Scrooge’s not wanting to. As Scrooge and the ghost look out, they’re in a snowy area where the young Scrooge and Belle are talking together. Apparently, the young Scrooge and Belle have been engaged to be married, but the young Scrooge has been so preoccupied with seeking money that he seems to be neglecting Belle and constantly postponing their marriage. It’s clear from Belle’s face that she’s unhappy at how everything’s turned out and tells Scrooge that they should just cancel their engagement.

It’s here where we come to an interesting place, depending on which version of the movie you have. There actually was a song called When Love is Gone that was supposed to be sung at this point in the movie. It was supposed to be sung by Belle wherein she would explain how she and the young Scrooge almost had love, but that they had to go their own separate ways. The song was deemed too boring though, and was cut from the film.

Fortunately, I have the DVD version which includes this song and this is one of the two songs that I said I could tolerate. I don’t think it’s amazing, but just seeing the emotions going through the old Scrooge’s face as Belle sings this song is just heartrending! This is probably the only reason why I would recommend buying the DVD, to be precise, the DVD that has this deleted song.

When the song finishes and Belle walks away, we see how distraught the old Scrooge is. As he weeps, the Ghost of Christmas Past disappears and Scrooge finds himself back inside his bedroom. It’s not long after, at 2 o’clock precisely, that he’s visited by the second spirit: the Ghost of Christmas Present.

"Come in and know me better, man!"
“Come in and know me better, man!”

One of the changes that this movie makes to the original story is that they change the personality of the Ghost of Christmas Present. In the story, he’s a stern, to-the-point ghost, whereas in this version, he’s jolly, cheerful, and a bit absent-minded.

Anyway, as you can imagine, this ghost decides to show Scrooge various current Christmases. They venture out (via ghostly magic) into the town on Christmas Day to see all the people being happy and cheerful while singing the song, It Feels like Christmas, which is an incredibly forgettable song, in my opinion.

All this good-naturedness makes Scrooge somewhat cheerful especially when compared to the Christmases that the other ghost showed him. The Ghost of Christmas Present then takes Scrooge to the home of his nephew Fred, where Fred is hosting a Christmas party. And just like before, nobody can see or hear Scrooge or the ghost. Fred and his guests are playing a game in which Fred is thinking of something and they all have to guess what it is by asking questions. Fred’s thinking of an animal, an unwanted creature, to be precise. Take a guess. Yep, Scrooge!


Understandingly, this puts a damper in Scrooge’s spirit (see what I did there? Spirit? Ha…hmm…well, I thought it was fun) and he wants to leave this place. So, the ghost takes Scrooge to another house: the home of his clerk, Bob Cratchit. Scrooge sees that Bob is quite poor. Bob’s married to Emily, played by Miss Piggy and they have four kids: two frogs and two pigs.

This is even weirder genetics than the Lady and the Tramp kids!
This is even weirder genetics than the Lady and the Tramp kids!

The youngest child though is named Tiny Tim. He’s sickly and has to use a crutch to walk. Nevertheless, he has a cheerful personality and is actually the most cheerful in his family. He loves Christmas and has such a big heart that he wants God to bless everyone, including Mr. Scrooge (whom his mother and sisters despise because of his stingy habits). Nevertheless, Tiny Tim’s cheerfulness makes his mom and sisters forget their dislike for Scrooge and they all start singing, Bless Us All, the other song in the film that I can tolerate.

Scrooge, who has been watching all of this, develops a care towards the young boy and asks the ghost if Tiny Tim will live, despite his sickly disposition. The ghost replies that if nothing changes and the current shadows remain their course, then he doesn’t think that Tiny Tim will live. The ghost also reminds Scrooge about his earlier points of view regarding the poor and how they should just die and decrease the surplus population. Those words come back to sting Scrooge.

Not long after, it’s time for the Ghost of Christmas Present to go away. He disappears while he and Scrooge are by a church. Then, everything gets cloudy and gloomy as the third spirit arrives: the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come.

Nah, I still think that the Ghost of Christmas Past is creepier.
Nah, I still think that the Ghost of Christmas Past is creepier.

This ghost is a fearsome, faceless spirit whose job is to show Scrooge of future Christmases in his life. As he does this, we see that all of them are gloomy. Some of Scrooge’s old friends are speaking happily about an acquaintance of theirs who has died. Tiny Tim has died and his family is extremely bereaved. And if that weren’t enough, Scrooge is taken to a graveyard where he sees his own gravestone and realizes the big truth. He’s the one whom his “friends” were happy about when he died! He’s the one who didn’t do anything to save Tiny Tim!

"What have I done?!"
“What have I done?!”

It’s at this moment that Scrooge is most repentant and promises to be a better person and honor Christmas throughout the whole year. As he’s begging and pleading, he realizes he’s back in his bed and it’s Christmas morning!

Elated by having a second chance of life, he does all he can to right his previous wrongs: he donates money to the fundraisers, visits the Cratchits with a turkey, raises Bob’s salary, drops in on Fred, finally meets his wife, visits his old headmaster and Fozziwig (who both must be like 130 years old, by now), spreads cheer and gifts throughout the town, and sings the song, Thankful Heart, which sounds just like It Feels Like Christmas to me.

And so, with Scrooge a changed man and all the ones around him surprised, but happy about his change, the movie ends.

And that’s A Muppet Christmas Carol. As an adaptation of A Christmas Carol, it’s not bad. It keeps most of the original and important plots, and it’s a movie I enjoy watching and can watch it over and over. Heck, I can watch any adaptation of A Christmas Carol over and over!

Ok, maybe not this one.
Ok, maybe not this one.

But, that’s not to say that I don’t think that this movie has any problems. It does, in my opinion. One big problem it has is that I don’t feel that Michael Caine is a very good Scrooge. I’m sorry! I love the man, but I don’t think he captures the essence of Scrooge.

"Don't think that just because my wife and your family come from the same country that I'll allow you to insult me so!"
“Don’t think that just because my wife and your family come from the same country that I’ll allow you to insult me so!”

Yes, he tries his best and is bitter and mean when he has to, but his Scrooge is way too repentant and way too easily swayed. I mean, even when the Ghost of Christmas Past is around, Scrooge already seems willing to change right there and then, rather than stick around for two more spirits!

Another big problem for me that I’ve mentioned before is the music/songs. For a musical, I didn’t think it was a good one. I mean, there are only 3 songs in here that I think are any good: only 1 of them I’d actually commend, 1 I’d merely tolerate, and 1 isn’t even on all the copies of this movie! The music and songs really disappointed me!

"You do realize your fans are going to hate you, right?" "Nah, I don't really have steadfast, loyal fans like unshavedmouse." "Really? Well, just wait and read the comments, ignorant one!"
“You do realize your fans are going to hate you, right?”
“Nah, I don’t really have steadfast, zealous fans like unshavedmouse.”
“Really? Well, just wait and read the comments, ignorant one!”

Maybe I’m too harsh about it as I guess most of the other songs are Christmas classics that people sing during the holidays, whereas I don’t celebrate Christmas, so the only time I hear these songs is in connection with this film.

Other than that, the performers of the Muppets are superb as always and the backgrounds/sets are good. It’s nothing extravagant or amazing, but good. In the end, even though this movie will get a low-ish grade, it’s definitely one that I would recommend to all lovers of A Christmas Carol films and personally watch over and over!

(You can click on the image below for an enlarged version of my rating sheet.)


So, the final score for this film is 25/35 = 71.43% (C-) !

The next review will be posted on November 10th.

32 thoughts on “The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

  1. Yeah, I agree…but then, I say about this movie more or less the same I say about Muppet’s Treasure Island: It is first and foremost a Muppet’s movie. And I bet that Muppet fans really enjoy it. As someone who didn’t really grew up with the muppets (don’t look at me so sad, I had the whole German children’s programming plus the fraggles and some other gems produced in different countries, I certainly didn’t miss out) and always saw it is “this one show which is okay to watch but not half as interesting as Die Sendung mit der Maus”, I see it without nostalgia and therefore more critical. I agree, the Scrooge doesn’t really fit. I am also not into the music. Normally that’s the one thing I like about Muppet movies, but in this case I find the pieces mostly bland. But that might be because I really love the classic pieces used in the Scott version and in Mickey’s Christmas Carol, which are all long term Christmas hits, so to speak, and go straight into my heart.

      1. It’s a programming which consists of a mix of different clips…there are for one very short cartoons with a mouse and an elefant (those are without speaking, so you can enjoy them, too):

        Then there are “Lach- and Sachgeschichten” (freely translated “fun stories and learn stories”). The fun stories can be a song (, or a short story. When I was a child they still had cartoons with the little Mole which were produced in Czech and sadly weren’t available anymore one day because of the war in the region. After that they had “The little ice bear” and “Captain Blaubär” (the latter was very popular, they were about a ship captain who tells unbelievable stories about his travels, kind of like a modern Munchhausen)…not sure what they have nowadays.

        And the “Sachgeschichten” were educational. Recently they had a series about how normal families in different countries live (yeah, I admit, I still watch the show from time to time, they tackle very interesting topics), but they are mostly well known for answering questions like “how do you create stripes in the toothpaste”, or “how does XY work”.

        The intro is always fun. They start every episode with a summary what kind of clips they will show this time around, and then will repeat the whole summary in a different language, concluding with “This was French/Turkish/Swedish/ Japanese/ something totally obscure”. It was always fun to guess which language they picked this time around.

      1. I just really had to think about which one this was, which says everything. It is okay, I guess, but one step under the three I consider the best. It is hard to go really wrong with the story, but I think it is just as hard to really elevate it.

      2. I like more Alistair Sims acting than the movie as a whole. There are some aspects in it I didn’t like. They basically changed the story so that Scrooge was lead on the wrong path by someone else, and I think that takes away from the story, because it lessens his own responsibility.

        Scott And Mickey’s Christmas Carol are my two favs, Alistair Sim I appreciate for a lot of reasons, but don’t really love.

        I think Scott might be the closest to the original story, and Scrooge is played by a really good actor. As is Cratchit, which is nearly as important in my eyes.

      3. I really dislike the motion capture one, and the animated one (mostly for the low quality overall). I also couldn’t get into Patrick Steward as Scrooge…not at all.
        There was also a stage adaptation, which had really nice music, but a horrible ending which turned Belle in Scrooge’s guardian angle.

      4. Which animated one are you referring to as there were a few animated adaptations?

        My least fave is probably the animated 1969 version that I hinted to. You can find it on Youtube if you haven’t seen it (they cut out so much stuff from the story).

      5. The one you mentioned, otherwise I would have specified. I admit, I have never seen it completely, but the quality of the animation is so low I really don’t have to.

    1. Just because you enjoy The Muppets does not mean you are letting nostalgia rule the day. I am not a big fan of the Great Muppet Caper or Dark Crystal so I don’t give them a total pass. People can see things and genuinely have a different take. That doesn’t mean they are somehow blinded by nostalgia while you are critical and objective. Just saying.

      This, however, I really love. I think the music is a lot of fun. To focus on the rhyming I think is a bit of a nitpick as every great musical writer plays fast and lose with the rhymes to make the lyrics work. I love One More Sleep Till Christmas.
      I also really think Michael Cain is very good. Oh well, can’t please them all.

      There is also a ton of the Dickens text in the film which I like, especially for a kids movie. The humor works and it gets pretty scary in spots even Gonzo has to leave.
      Anyway, I just wanted to point out that some of us genuinely like this film, nostalgia or not.

  2. Aww, I love this movie! I grew up with it, so it brings back all the good nostalgia. I never even thought about the songs in it, to be honest. They must be forgettable! Ha! Great review, Mark. 🙂

      1. Thanks, Mark! I hope to add something thoughtful after a person takes the time to write a post, because it is a lot of work! Great movie to review right now. Can’t believe it’s November in just a couple days!!

  3. I will have to agree with Kristin. Except for the love song, which I’m so glad they cut, I think the music is a lot of fun and definitely makes a round in my holiday playlist every year. I particularly like One More Sleep Till Christmas. We watch this every Christmas Eve for that song.
    I also think Michael Cain is very good. He plays it straight with the Muppets as if they were real actors. He may not be my top Scrooge but he’d be in my top 5.
    I think criticizing the rhyming is a bit of a nitpick. You could go through Rogers and Hammerstein or Lerner and Lowe and find lots of time when the rhymes go in and out to make the lyrics work.
    I like how much of the original text is in the film because of Gonzo being Dickens. The humor was nice and the sets are pretty good.
    I’m surprised you didn’t enjoy it more. Oh well. Definitely one of my favorites.

  4. Aw man! This was my very first exposure to the Muppets, as well as A Christmas Carol. For me, I really like Michael Caine as Scrooge, I feel he has a lot of humanity and subtle moments. I can understand your criticism of the songs, as taste in music is ultimately subjective. As far as introductions to both the Muppets and Dickens go, I think this film did that job nicely.

      1. Personally, I loved Michael Caine as Scrooge and the songs (with only one exception), so in my bias I would have pushed for a B or B+ according to your grading system. Still, I didn’t really disagree with anything major in this review, so I can’t really complain!

      2. It is a personal favorite, but I do respect the George C. Scott Christmas Carol a lot, as it does feel closer to the spirit of the Dickens book and boasts and incredible cast. The Muppets version is indeed funnier, and I definitely prefer it to the Robert Zemeckis ilm, but it’s not quite the best adaptation.

  5. As someone who thinks very poorly of most things Christmas-related (mostly due to the way it’s been commercialized to within an inch of its life) and of Christianity in general (partly for the fact that it has been used to justify all the crimes that the white race has committed against people different from them while it touts itself as being based on the same altruistic, tolerant principles as Islam and Judaism, and partly for taking the books of the Hebrew Bible and claiming them as their own before adding on their “divine conception of a child of the Great Spirit” concept, which contradicts its own hard-line stand against deification of mortals), I’m not fond of A CHRISTMAS CAROL.

    That being said, this film is my least favorite of the theatrically-released Muppet movies- in fact, the very presence of the Muppets themselves is its only saving grace, for me.

    1. Loved your little rant there, lol. I’ve often thought Islam and Judaism had more in common with each other than Christianity did in certain aspects.

      I guess I can agree that the Muppets were what saved this film for me too since I don’t think Michael Caine makes a good Scrooge, at least in this film.

  6. I just re-watched the film again on the DVD I got from my grandmother for Christmas when I was about 9. It’s annoyingly pan-and-scanned, but the film still holds up well and it does include the original song between Scrooge and his former lover that was cut out of the theatrical release.

    Granted I haven’t read the original story (despite Gonzo/Dickens’ recommendation), but it really is a very solid retelling. What’s strange is it almost feels like two different movies, with the Muppet hijinks taking place in one while in the other Scrooge’s story is told with dead seriousness. And I completely disagree with you about Michael Caine’s performance. The thing I love about this film is how he never once acts as if he is aware that he is in a Muppet version of the classic story. So much so that if you just played his scenes as Scrooge to someone, they would probably be shocked to learn that it wasn’t from a straightforward adaptation. Michael Caine’s rendition of Scrooge can certainly compete with any of the greats, from Alastair Sim to George C. Scott to Albert Finney, and so forth. The fact that the writing only services that all the better is just the cream on the cake.

    I only have two complaints: the first being that the Muppet comedy feels incredibly forced and out of place. If you pay attention, virtually none of it comes out of the actual plot, making you wonder why it needed to be a Muppet version at all. The only thing it does add is an interesting metafictional commentary on the story, which in itself is probably enough for me to recommend it, as it gives an amusing and intriguing level of self-awareness to the story that we never get by just watching it play out.

    I also think the flashback scenes are a bit disappointing. What we do learn about Scrooge’s childhood is interesting, and helps explain why he became the “squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner” that he is introduced to us as. It just never seems to do enough. What we do see does wonders to help humanize Scrooge, combined with Caine’s refreshingly sympathetic and human portrayal, but it never seems to go far enough somehow. Just when we start to really understand him, the film simply moves away, and creates more psychic distance.

    But these are mostly small quibbles. It’s easy to see why Charles Dickens’ own grandson referred to this as one of the best adaptations of A Christmas Carol. But really, I think the greatest accomplishment of the film is that it kept the Muppets’ legacy alive and well in the wake of Jim Henson’s death and is something it feels obvious he would have been proud of. His vision of the Muppets and their timeless innocence rings true from beginning to end, and that’s what anchors things.

    1. I may have been too harsh on Michael Caine’s performance in this film (surprisingly since he’s pretty much my fave Hollywood actor), so I feel if I rewatch this film, my opinion may change.

      You make interesting points about this not needing to be Muppet-ized. I didn’t know that Dickens’ grandson was even alive when this came out, lol!

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