Of all the full-length movie versions of A Christmas Carol, The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) is probably the most fun, and definitely the most hilarious. This was the first Muppet film after the death of Jim Henson, and his son Brian Henson directed the film, as the Muppets transitioned into their new era.
Although many of the characters in this film are Muppets, it follows the Charles Dickens’ story extremely well. It is the first Muppet film to have a human as the main character (Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge), and there are very few other humans in notable roles. One major difference between the original story and the Muppet film was the addition of Gonzo and Rizzo The Rat as narrators. It is the first version to have a narrator, and it helps to smooth over many areas, especially for younger audiences. By having a narrator, many parts of Dickens’ novel are spoken in the film exactly how they were written, adding an authentic feel throughout the film. Gonzo and Rizzo (as they often do) added plenty of humor to make the film more family friendly.
I know it sounds funny, but the casting in The Muppet Christmas Carol is absolutely marvelous. Kermit is a great Bob Crachit and Miss Piggy brings the attitude and distaste of Mrs. Crachit to life in a way that all the other Mrs. Crachit’s just seemed to miss. Of course as with all Muppet films, the songs add to the enjoyment of the film. Kermit doesn’t do enough singing, but the ensemble songs are very enjoyable and promise to stay in your head for a few days.
Michael Caine makes a good Scrooge, most specifically toward the end of the film when he reforms. His biggest flaw is that at the beginning of the film, when he is hard to dislike. He actually isn’t quite mean enough, and the other characters don’t seem to dread him.
Considering this is a musical film and has a running time of only 86 minutes, it’s very impressive how much these filmmakers were able to accomplish. Unlike the other Muppet films, famous actors don’t fill this one with lots of cameo appearances. Instead, the filmmakers tried to transport their audience into the world of Dickens’ novel. Being the first Muppet film to be a period piece, the sets and costumes add to the overall ambiance, and in the end they created one of the best versions of A Christmas Carol to date.Back to Home for More Reviews