“What right have you to be merry? You’re poor enough.”
“What right have you to be dismal? You’re rich enough.”
It’s hard to create a film, especially a children’s movie, that will stand the test the time. Usually, when we get older, those childhood films stay with us, but for more of a nostalgic reason. But every now and again, there’s that film that will turn you into a child again. The Muppet Christmas Carol is just that kind of movie. The film is a “child-like” take on Charles Dickens’, A Christmas Carol. With the whole Muppet gang (Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and Rizzo) in tow, and the clever addition of Michael Caine, The Muppet Christmas Carol makes for a brilliant way to tell this celebrated Christmas tale.
This version of the classic tale takes some liberties with the original material, in addition to the various musical numbers that make their way into the story. But the extra content, or shifts in storytelling, never bog down the film. Instead, by making these adjustments to Dickens’ original story, The Muppet Christmas Carol feels fresh. Caine’s performance as the humbug Ebenezer Scrooge, is probably one of Caine’s best performances. I’m not at all sure about what persuaded him to take this role, but he embodies Scrooge, while also making it his own. I don’t have to detail the amazing puppeteer work that went hand and hand into making this movie. It is worth noting, however, that Brian Henson —son of Muppet creator Jim Henson— takes over the reins from his father, but keeps every bit of love and creativity, intact.
Maybe I’m one of those people whose love for this film is completely outweighed by the more nostalgic factor, but I don’t care. It’s starting to become that movie that we pass along to the younger family members, in an effort to keep this tradition alive. Whether you sit and watch this for your own pleasure, or show it to keep your youngsters entertained this holiday season, The Muppet Christmas Carol is a wonderful, heart-warming Christmas film that will always put a smile on your face.
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Directed by: Brian Henson
Starring: Michael Caine, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Jerry Nelson, and Frank Oz