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. Written by
Murray Chapman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
While the 1951 Alistair Sim version of A Christmas Carol is the most faithful to the original Dickens story, A Muppet Christmas Carol possesses heart, whimsey, and a joy that is so very much lacking in our evermore commercialized holiday season. Michael Caine's performance as Scrooge easily surpasses those of Reginald Owen (1938), George C. Scott (1984) and Patrick Stewart (2001). There is a more genuine degree of transformation and redemption in his characterization than has often been portrayed. This makes the story a truly wonderful experience both for adults as well as for children.
The use of the Muppets in the various roles makes for a lively film experience. Statler and Waldorf as Jacob & Robert Marley are appropriately heckling as they seek to convince Scrooge to change his ways. Kermit the Frog is a wonderfully sympathetic Bob Crachit just as Miss Piggy is appropriately and aggressively belligerent Mrs. Crachit. Perhaps one of the better-inspired comedy bits comes with the arrival of Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past at Scrooge's former workplace, described as "Fozziwig's Rubber Chicken Factory." Such bits are frequent and help to keep the story fun. Paul Williams' music score and songs are eminently singable and leave the viewer with a lasting memory.
A Muppet Christmas Carol has joined the pantheon of classic holiday films, easily ranking alongside Holiday Inn, White Christmas and A Christmas Story. It is the opinion of this reviewer that for those whom holiday films have become a part of holiday celebration should make this a part of their seasonal experience. One might even complete the film humming the tunes and thinking better of themselves as well as of their fellow humans. In other words, Henson and company have made Dickens story as memorable as Dickens himself wished it to be.
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