On December 11, the holiday favorite The Muppets Christmas Carol celebrated his 30th birthday. The Muppets Christmas Carol it was the first of the Muppet films to be made without the Muppets’ creator Jim Henson, who passed away two years earlier at the age of 52 of pneumonia. Instead, the film was directed by Henson’s son and current president of the Jim Henson Company Brian Henson. The film was also the first time Kermit the Frog was voiced by anyone other than Jim Henson, as a veteran of the Henson Company. Steve Whitmir he approached the plate to give voice to his beloved amphibian.
For many, The Muppets Christmas Carol it is a staple of the holiday season. The catchy songs, heartwarming storyline, and sheer nostalgia factor could make even the most Scrooge-like viewer dizzy. Veteran star of stage and screen Michael Cain as the icy Ebeneezer Scrooge, The Muppets Christmas Carol is a bizarre retelling of the classic novel by Charles Dickens. While the novel has had many adaptations over the years, including a gritty FX show and a Disney CGI adaptation starring Jim Carrey, many people consider The Muppets Christmas Carol be at least the most nostalgic, if not the best.
Watch the original trailer for The Muppet Christmas Carol
The original trailer of Christmas Carol it gives an incredible sense of the 90s nostalgia that the film brings, but also showcases the artistry that went into the film. On top of this, Christmas Carol was Brian Henson’s directorial debut, which makes the attention to detail all the more impressive. Many of the puppeteers who worked on the film had been with the Jim Henson Company since its founding in 1976, including songwriter Paul Williams.
While Williams wasn’t exactly a puppeteer, he and Henson had a long history of working together and they readily agreed to write what is now one of the Christmas Carol‘S most iconic songs. Williams was a co-writer together Kenneth Ascher on the Muppet classic Rainbow Connection, guest stars on The Muppet Show, and has contributed to or guest starred in several other Muppet projects.
How to stream The Muppet Christmas Carol?
If you are looking to relax with the 30th anniversary edition of Christmas Carol this Christmas, Disney+ subscribers are in luck: the re-release of The Muppets Christmas Carol is available to stream on Disney+ starting December 11, 2022.
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For those interested in watching the original cut but don’t have access to Disney+, the film is available to rent and purchase from your favorite digital platforms.
The film is also available for purchase on Blu-ray and DVD through Amazon.
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What is The Muppet Christmas Carol about?
The Muppets Christmas Carol is based on A Christmas carol, a book written by the famous novelist Charles Dickens. Published in 1843, A Christmas carol follows the story of Ebeneezer Scrooge, an old miser with more money than friends. When Christmas arrives, Scrooge continues to bully his workers and everyone around him (muttering the now famous catchphrase of all haters of the holiday season, bah nonsense!). However, one night she is visited by the ghost of her deceased business partner. He warns Scrooge not to die as he did, lonely and bitter, and tells him that he will be visited by three spirits before the night is through the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.
Dickens is famous for his morality plays and each of his novels has a strong moral message. The message of A Christmas carol it’s simple: be good to each other, especially at Christmas. This kind of heartwarming message with a classic Victorian Gothic twist makes it the perfect source material for a Muppet adaptation.
While the title itself is one of Dickens’ most adapted works, many have praised it The Muppets Christmas Carol as the “gold standard” of Dickens adaptations. In the film, Dickens himself is played by the lovable weirdo Gonzo in the film, who serves as the story’s narrator. The film is also the protagonist Kermit the Frog as Scrooge Bob Cratchit’s clerk, Miss Piggy as Mrs. Cratchit, Rizzo such as himself and Robin the Frog as Tiny Tim, Bob’s sickly young son. This adaptation splits the role of Jacob Marley into two parts, allowing him to be played by the elderly hecklers Statler and Waldorf.
How is the re-release of The Muppet Christmas Carol different from the original?
Now, on his 30th birthday, The Muppets Christmas Carol is getting a re-release with a brand new song that was cut from the original film version. The song, When love is gone, it had been cut by the then-president of Disney Jeffrey Katzenberg, who claimed it was too exciting for a children’s film and that children watching would be bored. While Henson and the rest of the Muppets team objected to this decision, Disney executives had the final say and the song was cut from the final theatrical release. Although included on some VHS releases of the film, the song was soon lost over time and was excluded from future laserdisc and DVD releases as well as network screenings.
It was originally sung by Meredith Braun, in which she played Belle Christmas Carol. Belle is Scrooge’s ex-girlfriend and the song is sung to show her dismay at the end of her relationship with him during a flashback scene with one of the ghosts. The original negatives of the scene had been lost in the editing process, but Brian Henson recently revealed in a Radio 2 interview that the footage had been found just in time to remaster the film for his 30th birthday.
More Muppet titles ready to stream
Since Disney acquired the rights to the Muppets, along with their entire catalogue, there are plenty of options for those looking for more Muppet content.
The Muppet Show (1976) – Almost all episodes of The Muppet Show are available to stream on Disney+. The Muppet Show began in 1976 and ended in 1981, and introduced the world to the Muppets as we know them now. Starring Kermit the Frog as a troubled variety show producer, The Muppet Show features a new celebrity guest each week, giving viewers an entertaining look into 1970s star culture.
Watch on Disney+
Muppet Treasure Island (1996)- Another adaptation of a classic novel, Muppet Treasure Island is a star-studded retelling of the 1882 novel treasure island, by the Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson. The film is the protagonist Tim Curry as the pirate Long John Silver and features music by an acclaimed composer Hans Zimmer.
Watch on Disney+
The Muppets (2011) – Available to stream on Disney+, The Muppets is the seventh theatrical film in the franchise and stars many classic Muppeteers how I Met Your Mother alum Jason Segel, Amy Adams, and comedy powerhouses Rashida Jones and Black Jack.
Watch on Disney+