The Muppet Christmas Carol
What a wonderful introduction to Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol for the young (or a reminder of the message for the young at heart) to receive by watching A Muppet Christmas Carol with friends and family this holiday season. Muppet Gonzo the Great, as author Charles Dickens, and his friend Rizzo the Rat, as himself, narrate and add some Muppet mayhem to this classic tale. With music by Paul Williams and Michael Caine as a bemused Scrooge, this movie is sweet, funny, and heartwarming. I am a lifelong Muppet fan, and, like Jason Segal in his new Muppet Movie this year, want to save the Muppets from being forgotten. So suspend your disbelief and enjoy Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy as the Cratchits!
Jacob and Robert Marley (Muppets Statler and Waldorf) are the ghosts who haunt and heckle Scrooge in song about his avarice and greed. The chains Marley & Marley show Scrooge, which he has forged in his life, rattle his black soul and he starts his journey of self-discovery. Scrooge, of course, is haunted by Muppet ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Gonzo and Rizzo go along for the ride and add a little slapstick humor. Mixing the classic Muppet repertoire with Charles Dickens’ story is done seamlessly, such as the party at Fozziwig’s (played by Fozzie Bear) Rubber Chicken Factory with Animal jamming on the drums--a delight.
The Ghost of Christmas Present, a jolly and life-sized Muppet who ages as Christmas wanes, sings “Wherever you find love/ It feels like Christmas,” which conveys Dickens’ message to always keep Christmas in your heart all year long:
It's in the giving of a gift to another
A pair of mittens that were made by your mother
It's all the ways that we show love
That feel like Christmas
A part of childhood we'll always remember
It is the summer of the soul in December
Yes, when you do your best for love
It feels like Christmas
It is the season of the heart
A special time of caring
The ways of love made clear
It is the season of the sprit
The message if we hear it.
Gonzo and Rizzo warn the viewer of the scary Grim Reaper Muppet of Christmas yet to come so the little ones will not be scared when he comes on stage. As in the classic, Scrooge learns his lesson while Bob Cratchit (Kermit) and Emily Cratchit (Miss Piggy) and Tiny Tim all have a Merry Christmas. Good advice from Gonzo: if you enjoyed The Muppet Christmas Carol, read the story—get it from your library.