Xmas: 'The Muppet Christmas Carol' (1992) Dir. Brian Henson
A classic for all ages, blending everything from festive musical numbers, live action and puppetry and a new comedic take on a classic Christmas story...
The Muppet's tell the tale of notorious Ebenezer Scrooge (Caine). He makes life difficult for his colleague, Bob Cratchit (Whitemire) and his nephew Fred (Mackintosh).
Scrooge is haunted by the ghosts of former partners Jacob and Robert Marley, (Nelson/Goelz) warning him to change his ways or suffer the consequences.
Sure enough, Scrooge is visited by three Spirits; Christmas Past, Present and Future. He is taken on a journey across time to show the error of his ways and seek a chance for salvation before Christmas Day arrives...
One of the most popular, good-hearted and fun interpretations of the classic Dickens tale, this is one that is just as appealing to adults and children alike.
Full of bright characters, thanks to the Muppet cast, toe-tapping and heart-felt songs and a memorable turn by British legend Sir Michael Caine, this has all the right elements for a family festive classic.
While the film does drag a little by skimming over the foundations of the story in order to be more user-friendly for younger viewers and less "intense and nightmarish", it doesn't fall short for imaginative use of sets and special effects, blending live action and puppetry together in many scenes for a really effective world where you can believe Michael Caine is eating dinner with Kermit the Frog, or dancing alongside The Great Gonzo. This mix of acting talent and the inimitable Muppets strike a chemistry that is something that sounds ridiculous on paper but comes over very effective on film.
As there is much passion to the telling of this story, all the jokes, silly gags and light-hearted humour works well in the context, and as this is a family friendly film, can easily be allowed. There is equal amounts of heart-warming moments also that show just what the difference is in being selfish and greedy to loving and thoughtful.
All good Disney films need that typical theme running through it, and Dickens does it for them here.
It may not cater to everyone wanting a story to really get their teeth into, especially the Dickens classic, but it is brilliantly done for all generations to enjoy.
'The Muppet Christmas Carol' is a Jim Henson Productions / Walt Disney Pictures production