Muppet Christmas Carol, The (1992)

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), directed by Brian Henson.


(Gonzo picks up Rizzo and uses him to wipe a window).

Rizzo the Rat: Thank you for makin' me a part of this.

Some mythologies -- think Robin Hood, Zorro, Sherlock Holmes -- can be endlessly elaborated into new stories. A Christmas Carol is not like that, being a specific, fixed tale. It is unlikely we will see successful Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge or The Young Jacob Marley Chronicles projects.

So, as with Shakespeare and Austen, we want to see the same story again and again, with new actors and techniques, maybe the occasional novel interpretation that doesn't stray too far from the message.

As you'd expect from the Muppets, we have a lot of physical gags and snide, witty comments from the sides. I laughed out loud. They actually stick pretty closely to the original and quote the text freely. The narrators excuse themselves during the scary Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come segment.

I remember when the Muppets first appeared -- Jim Henson with Rowlf the Dog on The Jimmy Dean Show in the 1960s -- but I did not closely follow their career later. I'm always amazed how naturally the human actors fit into the movies. Michael Caine is an excellent Scrooge and I know he was pleased to do it.

I never noticed before:

The music is light but not too painful.

Available on Blu-ray.