The song "When Love Is Gone", sung by Belle, was dropped from the theatrical release (over the objections of Brian Henson) at the request of Disney chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg, who considered it too sad for young children. The last-minute decision resulted in a jarring edit in the scene, from which it was removed, and caused some confusion about Scrooge, Gonzo, and Rizzo's reactions. The scene was restored in the VHS, LaserDisc, and first DVD (full screen) releases, but it isn't used in television airings, Blu-ray releases, or the Netflix version.
This was the first major Muppet project after creator Jim Henson's death. The role of Kermit the Frog was handed down to Steve Whitmire. He said he was incredibly nervous about taking over such an iconic character. The night before he recorded Kermit's songs for the movie, he had a dream where he met Henson in a hotel lobby and told him how unsure he was. In the dream, Henson reassured Whitmire that the feeling would pass. After waking up, Whitmire was confident and able to do the part.
SERIES TRADEMARK: At the conclusion of the song "One More Sleep", Bob (Kermit the Frog) is seen standing alone in the street and a shooting star can been seen streaking across the sky. In many (not all) of the Muppet movies, a shooting star goes across the sky at some point when Kermit is on.
Before production began, Sir Michael Caine told Brian Henson, "I'm going to play this movie like I'm working with the Royal Shakespeare Company. I will never wink, I will never do anything Muppety. I am going to play Scrooge as if it is an utterly dramatic role, and there are no puppets around me." Henson replied "Yes, bang on!"
Dedicated to the memory of Jim Henson and Richard Hunt. Henson created The Muppets. Hunt was best known as the voice of Scooter. Together, Hunt and Henson performed the characters of Statler and Waldorf.
Jacob and Robert Marley tell Scrooge to leave comedy to the bears. Statler and Waldorf, who play the Marley brothers, are known for constantly heckling Fozzie Bear for his poor comedy throughout The Muppets productions.
In the commentary, the creators relate a funny story from the screenings. A few children asked what the bookkeepers did wrong, to get coal at the end. It had completely slipped their minds that Santa gives bad children coal in their stockings.
There are two more songs that are on the soundtrack but aren't in the movie at all. One is "Room in Your Heart", sung by Dr. Honeydew and Beaker as the charity workers. The other is "Chairman of the Board", sung by Sam the Eagle as Scrooge's headmaster. Both were recorded, but dropped from the script before filming started, to help the flow of the story.
Look very closely in one of the crowd sequences. One of the background Muppets is a lobster hanging out of a basement window. This is a reference to the line, "like bad lobster in a dark cellar," one of Charles Dickens' weirder turns of phrase.
This movie was never aired on any pay-TV network, up until 2016, when this film was a part of HBO and Cinemax's catalogue of archival titles from Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. HBO and Cinemax were the first and only pay-TV networks to air this film.
There's another verse on "Marley and Marley," but only on the soundtrack: We're Marley and Marley, And now it's time to part (doot doot) To go back where they keep our kind, The wretched and the heartless The news we've shared has got you scared We're glad that we got through So make amends (and make some friends!) The future's up to you.
A running gag in the film is mishaps happening to Gonzo and Rizzo, especially Rizzo such as falling from Scrooge's window twice, Rizzo being chased by a cat, Rizzo getting his tail set on fire accidentally by Gonzo, Rizzo landing on a cooked goose, and Gonzo being rendered temporarily unconscious, after both he and Rizzo, fall off a coach, when Jacob Marley screams at Scrooge.
Several characters from Fraggle Rock (1983) make appearances in the movie, most of them in crowd scenes. Sprocket the dog is the most notable, but viewers can also spot Mudwell the Mudbunny, Wander McMooch, and several of the Minstrels.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
This is the only film version where Charles Dickens appears during the story. It is also the only version where Fezziwig, or 'Fozziwig' in this film, is seen alive at the end, as an elderly Fozzie Bear is seen near the end of the film, and unlike the other films and book, Scrooge has several book keepers, rather than just Bob Cratchit as his only member of staff.