While the 1951 Alistair Sim version of A Christmas Carol is the most faithful to the original Dickens story, A Muppet Christmas Carol possesses heart, whimsey, and a joy that is so very much lacking in our evermore commercialized holiday season. Michael Caine's performance as Scrooge easily surpasses those of Reginald Owen (1938), George C. Scott (1984) and Patrick Stewart (2001). There is a more genuine degree of transformation and redemption in his characterization than has often been portrayed. This makes the story a truly wonderful experience both for adults as well as for children.The use of the Muppets in the various roles makes for a lively film experience. Statler and Waldorf as Jacob & Robert Marley are appropriately heckling as they seek to convince Scrooge to change his ways. Kermit the Frog is a wonderfully sympathetic Bob Crachit just as Miss Piggy is appropriately and aggressively belligerent Mrs. Crachit. Perhaps one of the better-inspired comedy bits comes with the arrival of Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past at Scrooge's former workplace, described as "Fozziwig's Rubber Chicken Factory." Such bits are frequent and help to keep the story fun. Paul Williams' music score and songs are eminently singable and leave the viewer with a lasting memory.A Muppet Christmas Carol has joined the pantheon of classic holiday films, easily ranking alongside Holiday Inn, White Christmas and A Christmas Story. It is the opinion of this reviewer that for those whom holiday films have become a part of holiday celebration should make this a part of their seasonal experience. One might even complete the film humming the tunes and thinking better of themselves as well as of their fellow humans. In other words, Henson and company have made Dickens story as memorable as Dickens himself wished it to be.
That question pretty much sums up my reaction to "The Muppet Christmas Carol", a hilarious, yet touching film.What did I like about the movie? Just about everything! Michael Caine made a great Scrooge, and this film showed us, possibly better than just about any other version I've seen, just how Scrooge came to be such a miser (although that could partly be because the versions I saw which really go into Scrooge's childhood were clearly adult versions, which meant they could be more subtle in their explanations). To Caine's eternal credit, he made Scrooge very believable, which is no small feat considering most of his fellow cast members were puppets.And what about the Muppets? They were also brilliant! Kermit made an excellent Bob Cratchit, loyal and humble, and he had a wonderful tribute to Tiny Tim which also served as a brilliant tribute to Jim Henson. Miss Piggy was a great Mrs. Cratchit, feisty yet very loving toward Bob (the worst of her temper was thankfully muted by the story). Fozzie the Bear was a hilarious Fozziwig, and The Great Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat made a great team, having some of the best lines out there (my favorite is Rizzo's "Light the lamp, not the rat! Light the lamp, not the rat!"). The ghosts were definitely believable (and in the case of the two Marley Brothers, hilarious as well). Incidentally, the original text had only one Marley -- Jacob, but to get the two comedians from the balcony in the story, Robert Marley was added.Finally, the songs were rather good, with the best one (in my humble opinion) being "When Love is Gone".So, I firmly recommend "The Muppet Christmas Carol" to one and all.Belle Book
I recently rented this movie for my young son. I never imagined that I'd end up liking it more than he does. If you can get past the fact that most of the cast are muppets, this is actually a terrific version of A Christmas Carol. Michael Caine makes a fine Scrooge, one of the best I've ever seen in fact. I usually hate musicals, but all of the songs in this film are great (and the girl who plays Belle - this girl can SING!) The comedy is mostly provided by Gonzo, narrating as Charles Dickens, and his sidekick Rizzo the Rat. The humor is truly funny and appropriately placed (notice how a very good reason is created for Gonzo and Rizzo to exit during the serious Christmas Yet to Come portion .) This is truly one of those movies "for young and old alike", though it will probably go over the heads of very young children. But anyone who generally likes A Christmas Carol should like this version of it.
This is just a wonderful telling of Charles Dickens great Christmas story. The story being so good, you would have to try had to make a bad movie out of it. But the Muppet Christmas is a splendid modern version which probably Dickens himself would have liked a lot.Other than Disney movies, the singing does not get on the nerves and the comic relief is actually funny. Muppet characters we have known for decades like Kermit and especially Gonzo are having great moments.This is the perfect Christmas movie to watch with kids. It is something to lighten up your soul. And the fate of Tiny Tim is a cause for tears again and again, no matter how often you watch the film.Merry Christmas!
In terms of humor or songs, I can't honestly rank this was high as most of the other Muppet films BUT it may be the most touching version of the Dickens classic story I've ever seen on film.The lyrics to the last two songs are fantastic: very Christian-like and very profound. Scrooge (Michael Caine), meanwhile, is not portrayed as some screaming maniac as he so often is in other versions. His transformation from cold-hearted tightwad to caring, generous person is done more subtly, too, than in other films. However, to be fair, sometimes the slapstick humor in here gets in the way of the touching story.The last part of the movie is a lot sentimental drama than Muppet comedy and I found that refreshing. Not much offensive in here, either, making this a good film for little ones as well as older, sentimental folks.
I love this movie. I am a big muppet fan, and when this movie came out on video I had to get it. Of course I was in third grade. I watched this movie all the time, and still do around Christmas time. Every December I watch this movie twenty times. Everything about this movie is great. The plot to the music. I especially like the music. I recommend this movie to anyone who likes the Muppets, or the story of The Christmas Carol.
Having seen previous Muppet offerings that were, frankly, banal this little gem almost escaped me. This film is best enjoyed if you already know the Dickens tale inside out so that you can relish the way it has been adapted to fit well-known Muppet characters and also so that you can spend you time watching for the throwaway comedy in the background. This is the same throwaway humour that Nick Park (Chicken Run) has become famous for. I recommend buying this movie on video and getting it out once a year, in the run-up to Christmas, as a family tradition.
This is an excellent re-telling of Dickens' classic, with the added twist of Muppet humor and charm. The Muppet characters fit Dickens' characters so well that it would be easy to think he had them in mind while writing. The music adds a magic to the movie that brings out all the emotion that Dickens wrote into the original novel. This will be hard to top!
This retelling of Charles Dickens' novella starring your favorite muppets in supporting roles has become a Christmas classic in its own right. Michael Caine is perfect as Scrooge, and his chemistry with the muppets in tow are an amazing match. The movie is legitimately funny, spooky or touching all at the right moments—it's one of those rare films that hits the right note every single second. There doesn't seem to be any pattern with the intermixing of humans and muppets, but regardless, it works just fine without any distractions. Perhaps the strongest point of all is the musical numbers composed by Miles Goodman and written by Paul Williams.**** (out of four)
The Muppet Christmas Carol is my favourite of all the Muppet flicks. Jim Henson, of course, never lent his name to anything even remotely resembling 'bad', but nevertheless, there is a clear mark of sheer mastery and brilliance in this movie that is somehow less evident in most of the other muppet movies.In a way, I have to admit that I find this surprising. This was the first Muppet movie to be shot after Henson himself passed away; the voice of kermit, the most beloved and indeed inventive puppeteer ever to have lived was dead. Could Henson's magic touch ever be recreated? Did the Muppets have a future at all without their creator? The answer, of course we now know, is Yes they did.As is the secret to all truly great children's movies, The Muppet Christmas Carol does not pander to notions of anything being 'too scary'; nor does it shy away from the innate darkness of the material at hand. Dicken's tale is one that revolves almost uniformly around themes of corruption, poverty and death, and here it has most certainly not been diluted."There was the year we evicted the entire orphanage! I remember the little tykes all standing in the snowbank, with their little frostbitten teddy bears!" hollers a ghostly apparition of Scrooge's dead business partner early in the film. We witness a heartbreaking lament from Scrooge's lover, who leaves him because he has become too money-hungry to love her. We watch as Bob Cratchett's family mourn the empty chair at their table where their beloved and selfless young son once sat. At the eleventh hour, scrooge even bends before his own tombstone and begs in tears of desperation to a grim reaper-like spirit to be allowed to live. So much for it being the season to be jolly.Where there is humour, it is frequently black, and where there is emotion, it is generally somewhat adult by todays standards. Of course, before you decide not to show this to your five year old son or daughter, you should consider that these dark themes by no means drag the film down; rather, they help to raise it up to become, just like the original story, a stirring and emotional story of triumph and redemption in the face of mortality. Whilst the script writers wisely keep the story pretty much identical to the original in all of it's major aspects, there is plenty mayhem and indeed magic here too which is 24 carat Henson Studios. I remember as a 5 year old simply adoring the spectacle of Kermit's Bob Cratchett taking part in a the Penguins of London Annual Christmas Skating party, or the delight of Gonzo and Rizzo's almost post-modernist presence as physical participants but also omnipotent narrators in the tale. Indeed, the translation from book to screen is almost peculiarly elegant; the Muppet characters all seem to open up to new ranges of poignancy and dramatic possibility when placed in the storyline. You will find yourself feeling immense pity for Miss Piggy's somewhat hysterical but ultimately warm Mrs Cratchett for example, and indeed a whole host of wonderful performances on show from the familiar Muppet Show Cast. Of course this review could not be complete without tribute to the simply brilliant performance from the great Michael Cane in the role of Ebeneezer Scrooge. he understands his role excellently and invests it with a moving, convincing and genius reality; always resisting the temptation, that must surely be strongly felt when one is the sole human among a ca
Brian Henson does his dad proud in this, the first Muppet feature filmed after Jim Henson's death. All the things which have made the Muppets appealing--charm, humor, tenderness--are very much in evidence in this adaption of Charles Dickens' much-retold classic.Michael Caine fills the central role of Ebeneezer Scrooge admirably, throwing himself into the part with much energy and gusto. Familiar Muppet faces take up several roles--Kermit and Miss Piggy as Bob and Mrs. Cratchit, Robin as Tiny Tim, elderly hecklers Statler and Waldorf as the Marley brothers (Dickens' character Jacob and original creation Robert)--with new Muppets designed for the roles of the three Christmas ghosts. The result is a somewhat fanciful 19th-century London where humans, animals, talking vegetables, and various undefinable creatures live side-by-side. In spite of potential complications the concept works very well, thanks to the spirited performances by both actors and Muppet handlers.Gonzo (adopting the persona of Dickens himself) and Rizzo the Rat narrate the story and add a healthy dose of humor to the proceedings. But the film knows when to be serious--the climactic scene focusing on Christmas Yet to Come is as eerie and touching as it should be. And ultimately, the resolution leaves one with the warm, peaceful joy synonomous with the season. Definitely a movie which deserves a place among the family classics of the holidays.
If you're looking for a great family film that will delight everyone, look no further than Muppet Christmas Carol. Even if it's not Christmas this is well worth watching, and you will spot more and more gags every time you watch. Brilliant.