The song "When Love Is Gone", as sung by Belle, was recorded and filmed, but then dropped from the theatrical release (over the objections of director Brian Henson) at the request of Disney chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg on the grounds that it would be too sad for young children. This last-minute decision resulted in a jarring and obvious edit in the scene where it was removed, and leaves some confusion to Scrooge, Gonzo & Rizzo's reactions. The scene was restored in the VHS,Laserdisc and first DVD (full screen versions only) releases, but it isn't used in TV airings of the movie, the Blu-Ray releases, or the Netflix version.
This was the first major Muppet project after the death of creator Jim Henson. Henson had performed Kermit the Frog and the role was now being handed down to Steve Whitmire. According to Whitmire he was incredibly nervous about taking over such an iconic character. The night before he had to go record 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.
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.
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. Together, Hunt and Henson performed the characters of Statler and Waldorf, who in this film, are voiced by Jerry Nelson and Dave Goelz.
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.
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.
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.
Originally, the three ghosts that visit Scrooge were to have been played by Miss Piggy, Scooter, and Gonzo (the last of the three as "The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come" - with only his nose sticking out of his dark hood).
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.
This movie was never aired on any pay-TV network, up until 2016 when this film was a part of HBO and Cinemax's catalog of archival titles from Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. HBO and Cinemax were the first and only pay-TV networks to air this film.
Before production began, 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.", to which Henson replied "Yes, bang on!"