The Muppet characters tell their version of the classic tale of an old and bitter miser's redemption on Christmas Eve.
Release Year: 1992
Rating: 7.4/10 (15,885 voted)
Stars: Michael Caine, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire
A retelling of the classic Dickens tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, miser extraordinaire. He is held accountable for his dastardly ways during night-time visitations by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and future.
Writers: Charles Dickens, Jerry Juhl
The Great Gonzo as Charles Dickens
Dr. Bunsen Honeydew
Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit
Rizzo the Rat
Ghost of Christmas Present
Miss Piggy as Emily Cratchit
Fozzie Bear as Fozziewig
Sam the Eagle as Headmaster of Junior High Graduates
George the Janitor
Horse and Carriage Driver
Ghost of Christmas Present (performer)
Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (performer)
Ghost of Christmas Past
Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (performer)
Ghost of Christmas Past (performer)
Additional Muppets (uncredited)
Fred, Scrooge's Nephew
Release Date: 11 December 1992
Filming Locations: Shepperton Studios, Shepperton, Surrey, England, UK
Did You Know?
The movie is dedicated to the memory of Jim Henson and Richard Hunt. Henson, of course, was the creator of the Muppets. Hunt was one of the Muppet voice performers, perhaps best known as the voice of the character Scooter.
Bob closes the door when he gets home with Tiny Tim, the latch does not close, yet it is closed in the next scene.
Why do you doubt your senses?
Because a little thing can effect them. A slight disorder of the stomach can make them cheat. You may be a bit of undigested beef, a blob of mustard, a crumb of cheese. Yes. There's more gravy than of grave about you.
More gravy than of grave?
What a terrible pun. Where'd you get those jokes?
Leave comedy to the bears, Ebenezer.
The Muppets are for life, not just for Christmas!
The number of Christmas films that would work well at any other time of
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
detailed and endlessly rewatchable life. The set design in this film is
amazing – check out the amount of action taking place at the windows, in
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
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
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.
than getting bogged down in special effects and technical wizardry for its
own sake, the scenes that utilize visual trickery are smoothly
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
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
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
aspect of this beautifully subversive take on the beloved Dickens classic
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
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
you don't double up laughing at his acapella sing-song with his nephew
(here cast, inevitably, as Tiny Tim) as they come skipping over the hill
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
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
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
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
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