Starring: Michael Caine, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire
Director: Brian Henson
Jim Henson and his Muppets pals take on the classic Dickens tale of A Christmas Carol, with Michael Caine as Ebeneezer Scrooge.
What Is It?
An oddly accurate telling of the classic story, with most of the Muppets taking on a role somewhere. Michael Caine seems to be having a good time and makes a good Scrooge, even if his singing is a little awkward (personally, I like that, it feels true to the character). There’s songs, laughs, great sets and costumes, and some of that beautiful Muppet poignancy that always surprises you.
Why Do I Love This One?
I love the Muppets. There’s more than one Muppet Christmas special and I think they’re all pretty charming. I think there’s two main things I love about this. The Victorian setting is so festive but also very ghostly. And also because I remember hiring this on VHS when I was little and watching it loads of times one year. Isn’t it funny how kids can watch the same thing over and over again?
Jim Henson was very focused on heart. His humour was rarely mean, and he set out to change the world through a reminder of innocence and honesty. His work was aimed at adults as well as children, and I think this film is really nice because of that. It has plenty of jokes, and I love them because they’re cheesey, but I think it also has heart too. I love how Kermit as Bob Cratchit feels just right, scrounging to make ends meet and caring about his family and co-workers. The songs as well are really sweet. The ending of this film always gets me. I don’t know why.
So this one is definitely a nostalgia trip for me, but I do love the hopeful, heartfelt but hilarious madcap tone that the Muppets always hit. A lovely little film.
There are many versions of the Christmas Carol story, and a lot of them are really good. But this one is a personal favorite.