The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Comedy, Drama, Family, Fantasy, Music, Musical
Michael Caine, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Jerry Nelson
The Muppet characters tell their version of the classic tale of an old and bitter miser's redemption on Christmas Eve.
It may not be the finest version of Charles Dickens' tale to grace the screen, but The Muppet Christmas Carol is funny and heartwarming, and serves as a good introduction to the story for young viewers.
  • Walt Disney Home Entertainment Company:
  • G Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 11 Dec 1992 Released:
  • 08 Oct 2002 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Charles Dickens, Jerry Juhl Writer:
  • Brian Henson Director:
  • N/A Website:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

Does the word "brilliant" mean anything?5/10

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
This is what Christmas is all about10/10

A truly superb Christmas treat for old and young alike. This is the re-telling of the classic Dickens novel 'A Christmas Carol'. Michael Caine is cast superbly as Scrooge but the muppet characters are absolutely brilliant, particularly Gonzo and Rizzo.

The sets are excellent and the music stirring (so much so I bought the CD soundtrack and listen to it at the festive season whilst driving).

I never fail to watch this movie at least once a year and if you haven't seen it you should, it really does make you feel good.
One of the must-see holiday classics5/10

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.
Incredibly moving10/10

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!
The Muppets are for life, not just for Christmas!5/10

The number of Christmas films that would work well at any other time of the year can be counted on the fingers of a mitten, but THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL is definitely one of them. Right from the glorious opening shot, as Brian Henson's camera glides over a convincing Dickensian townscape before coming to rest in a snowy town square teeming with surreal and hilarious activity (fans of the show will get a big kick out of the speaking vegetables and the brief cameo by lunatic boomerang fish salesman Lew Zealand), you know you're in for something very special. Gonzo, the self-styled connoisseur of pain, and his wisecracking little pal Rizzo the rat take centre stage as the storytellers, setting the scene just before Michael Caine as Scrooge (in one of his very finest performances) strides around the corner and an already unfeasibly busy film bursts into stunning, detailed and endlessly rewatchable life. The set design in this film is just amazing - check out the amount of action taking place at the windows, in the gutters, in the doorways and almost everywhere else - and the animation of the puppet characters never ceases to be charmingly convincing. The production design is also remarkably good - there's an early example during the first song, when the appearance of Caine causes a sudden shift in the lighting and atmosphere from the warm glow of Gonzo's prologue to an almost eerie pale blue light. Although Rizzo actually remarks on this, the change is so subtle you probably won't notice it until your second or third viewing, but you certainly will appreciate it, subconsciously or not. Rather than getting bogged down in special effects and technical wizardry for its own sake, the scenes that utilize visual trickery are smoothly incorporated into the flow of the story rather than being imposed upon the film as self-conscious "set pieces" - take, for example, the Spirit of Christmas Past's flight over London (our attention is with Gonzo's death-defying method of hitching a ride), or the ever-changing size of the Spirit of Christmas Present (clue - look in the background during the brief glimpse of the party being held in the mousehole), or the location segues during the Spirit of Christmas Past's visitation. This approach benefits the film immensely, as it never distracts or misleads the viewer - a lesson the Disney company still refuses to take on board, as even their finest efforts are invariably laden with "showstoppers" that stick in the mind long after the rest of the film has faded into distant memory. But the most remarkable aspect of this beautifully subversive take on the beloved Dickens classic is that the core story, with all its attendant pathos, humour and timeless theme of welcome redemption, is neither diluted or stripped of its resonating power. Whilst the Disney animated version, in which Donald Duck played the unscrupulous miser, fell on its face with its ceaseless romanticism and stylization, this "Muppetational" version retains not just a
Dickensian mood but, with the narration of Gonzo and much of the human players' dialogue, a truly Dickensian flavour as well.

Besides, what's not to love about this film? It's virtually flawless. Kermit, as Bob Cratchit, remains one of the most loveable and endearing characters in the Muppet repetory company. Everything about this self-effacing little green frog is funny - the way he walks (slightly stooped), his half-dazed eyes, his voice, his ultra-expressive face...and if you don't double up laughing at his acapella sing-song with his nephew Robin (here cast, inevitably, as Tiny Tim) as they come skipping over the hill on Christmas day, then you should hire a stonemason to carve the word CYNIC onto your heart. And yes, Robin gets to sing again, Jerry Nelson making his voice sound uncannily like a child's with the charming "Bless Us All", a logical companion piece to "Halfway Down The Stairs". Waldorf and Statler, perhaps the show's ultimate cult figures, are finally rewarded with a scene-stealing turn as the ghostly Marley brothers, backed up by a chorus line of singing cash boxes (it's the Muppets, remember!); Fozzie bear is suitably overwhelmed as Fozziwig, the rubber chicken manufacturer (and his use of an ear trumpet in the closing scenes provide the hapless would-be comedian with his biggest laugh for decades); Bunsen and Beaker get some decent scenes as a pair of charity collectors (is it just me, or does Beaker flip the bird at Scrooge at the end of their first scene together?!); Miss Piggy makes a fine wife for Cratchit, and Animalgets a well-deserved close-up, although Dr Teeth and the Electric Mayhem are hardly suited to playing slow waltzes! Paul Williams's songs, on first hearing, are servicable rather than memorable, but after a couple of viewings they'll be as hard to get out of your head as "Rainbow Connection", and ultimately emerge as one of the reasons this film stands up to repeated viewings so well.

THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL is a delightful family film, possibly too good for kids, but definitely worth dusting off at any time of the year, especially when you're feeling blue. Jim Henson would have been proud of this one.