The Muppet Christmas Carol

Starring Dave Goelz, Michael Caine, The Muppets
Directed by Brian Henson

Buena Vista Home Entertainment | November 6, 2012 | DVD

The Muppet Christmas Carol is rated 5 out of 5 by 1.
'Tis the season for love, laughter, and one of the most cherished stories of all time! Join Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and all the hilarious Muppets in this merry, magical version of Charles Dickens' classic tale. Academy Award(R) winner Michael Caine (Best Supporting Actor, 2000, THE CIDER HOUSE RULES; 1987, HANNAH AND HER SISTERS) gives a performance that's anything but "bah, humbug!" as greedy, penny-pinching Ebenezer Scrooge. One fateful Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Together with kind, humble Bob Cratchit (Kermit the Frog) and his family, the Spirits open Scrooge's eyes -- and his heart -- to the true meaning of Christmas. Filled with original music and dazzling special effects, this restored and remastered 50th Anniversary Edition of THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL will become a holiday tradition your family will treasure all the days of the year.~~(C) The Muppets Holding Company, LLC and BVHE. MUPPETS characters and elements are trademarks of The Muppets Holding Company. All Rights Reserved.~

Video Release: November 6, 2012

Runtime: 89

Rating: G (MPAA)

Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment

UPC: 786936286991

Found in: General

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from A thoroughly delightful Christmas Carol Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol has appeared many times in various incarnations, in the movies, on television and on radio. I haven't seen or heard every version there is, but I would have a difficult time finding a version that is more enticing than this one. In fact, I am not currently aware of any Christmas video that touches me more than this outing by the Muppets, not even my other two favorites "It's a Wonderful Life" and "A Charlie Brown Christmas." Yes, it is directed to an extent toward children, but it is also directed toward the child in each of us, and in this it succeeds 100 percent. In fact, being an adult is definitely a plus in catching some of the humor. Some of the better-known Muppet characters play important roles in this adaptation, including Kermit as Bob Cratchit and of course Miss Piggy as Mrs. Cratchit. These two are by turns comic and surprisingly moving as the situation requires. Gonzo in the role of Charles Dickens narrates and provides comic relief, along with his cleverly-named sidekick Rizzo the Rat, but the two wisely disappear from the film during the more somber Ghost of Christmas Future episode, to return, as they tell us ahead of time, for the finale. And Fozzie the Bear appears as Scrooge's old employer named, not surprisingly, Fozziewig rather than Fezziwig. There are certain plot changes to the story, but none of them are severe and none affect the tale's basic meaning. One of the changes is that Scrooge presides over an office of bookkeepers of whom Cratchit is the spokesperson. Perhaps the biggest change is that there are two Marley brothers, Jacob and the newly created Robert, played by those two hecklers whose names I don't know. This modification gives the two of them a chance to sing a darkly comic duet about their current situation. We do get to see the brothers one more time, as guests at Fozziewig's Christmas party, so our final impression of them is not as the suffering spirits. Another important change is that the final scene takes place at Bob Cratchit's house on Christmas day rather than at Scrooge's office the day after, thus allowing for a big finale involving most of the major characters. The Muppets and even the subtle changes in plot all add a little extra something to the show. However, it is Michael Caine as Scrooge who really brings this picture off. He is younger than most Scrooges, which gives hope that he will be able to benefit his community for many more years than he might if he were older. His portrayal of Scrooge is so full of subtlety that I find myself sympathizing with the character at a much earlier point than I do in most versions. For example, when he joins his former sweetheart in her good-bye song "Love Is Gone," I am genuinely touched, because I can see that he has repeated to himself many times over the years the words she said to him that day. And when he discovers that this Christmas he is the butt of his nephew's rather unchristian Christmas game/joke, I feel Scrooge's pain. So we are well prepared for his completely believable and indeed inevitable final transformation when he sees his tombstone. Caine is so good in fact, that I don't even begrudge him his appropriation of Tiny Tim's immortal final line. He surely deserves that much of a plum, especially after spending the film acting with a bunch of Muppets, which cannot have been the easiest assignment of his career. A wonderful portrayal from every aspect. I mentioned "Love Is Gone" as a touching representation of Scrooge's state of mind. But the fact is that each of the half-dozen or so songs in the movie sets an atmosphere and a mood, and each adds something to the film that would not be there if the song were omitted. The Muppet Christmas Carol can, of course, be seen merely as an introduction to Charles Dickens' famous story (and Gonzo does in fact advise the audience to read the book if they enjoyed the movie). But I think the film also stands magnificently by itself as a wonderful retelling of this particular Christmas tale. Either way, it's a Christmas film that is not to be missed, by young or old. 5 stars? 7 or 8 at the very least!
Date published: 2009-12-29

– More About This Product –

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Starring Dave Goelz, Michael Caine, The Muppets
Directed by Brian Henson

Video Release: November 6, 2012

Runtime: 89

Rating: G (MPAA)

Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment

UPC: 786936286991


Edition Description
  • Color
  • Runtime: 89 minutes
  • NTSC (Canada and USA)
  • Originally in English
  • Released in French

Synopsis

Musical-comedy adaptation of Dickens' classic "A Christmas Carol" featuring the Muppets. Miser Ebenezer Scrooge learns the true meaning of Christmas and reforms his heartless and money-grubbing ways after being visited on Christmas Eve by four Ghosts: his old business partners Jacob and Marley, the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.

Description

With Kermit as the dutiful Bob Cratchit and Miss Piggy as his feisty wife, the Muppets do Dickens with Michael Caine as the miserly Scrooge. The songs in this musical version were penned by Paul Williams.

Notes

Feature-film directorial debut for Brian Henson, the 29-year-old son of the late puppeteer Jim Henson. Brian Henson began working as a puppeteer at his father's studio at age seventeen and took over as president and CEO of Jim Henson Productions following his father's death in 1990. Color by Technicolor. Charles Dickens' novella "A Christmas Carol" has been adapted for the large and small screens on numerous occasions, including: "Scrooge" (1935, directed by Henry Edwards, starring Seymour Hicks, Maurice Evans, and Robert Cochran) "A Christmas Carol" (1938, directed by Edwin L. Marin, starring Reginald Owen, Gene Lockhart, Kathleen Lockhart, June Lockhart (debut), and Leo G. Carroll) "A Christmas Carol" (aka "Scrooge," 1951, directed by Brian Desmond Hurst, starring Alastair Sim, Jack Warner, and Kathleen Harrison) "Christmas Carol" (1954 musical, starring Fredric March and Basil Rathbone) "Scrooge" (1970 musical, directed by Ronald Neame, starring Albert Finney, Alec Guinness, Edith Evans, Kenneth More) "Stingiest Man in Town" (1978 musical, starring Tom Bosley, Walter Matthau, Paul Frees, Theodore Bikel, Robert Morse, and Dennis Day) "A Christmas Carol" (1984, directed by Clive Donner with George C. Scott, Frank Finlay, Edward Woodward, David Warner, and Susannah York) "Christmas Carol" (1984, 2 different animated versions, one by Chuck Jones) "Scrooged" (1988 black comedy, directed by Richard Donner, starring Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, John Glover, Bobcat Goldthwait, David Johanssen, Carol Kane, Robert Mitchum, Michael J. Pollard, Alfre Woodard, Robert Goulet, John Houseman, and Buddy Hackett) Also available on video are "A Jetsons Christmas Carol" (1989), "Mickey's Christmas Carol" (1983), "Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol" (1962), and "Rich Little's Christmas Carol" (1990). Other effects credits include Larry Jameson (Muppet electro/mechanical effects supervisor); Paul Gentry (miniatures unit director); David Sharp (miniature unit supervisor); Mark Zeszotek and Tim Miller (Muppets workshop production unit supervisors); Fred Buchholz (Muppet stunt coordinator); Mike Quinn and Karen Prell (puppeteer coordinators); John Stephenson and William Plant (Jim Henson's creature shop creative and production supervisors); and Paul Wilson (miniatures unit camera). Rated BBFC U by the British Board of Film Classification.
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