The Muppets did their own take on the Dickens classic 19 years ago.

Cast and Crew Information

Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge
Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit
Miss Piggy as Emily Cratchit
Gonzo the Great as Charles Dickens
Rizzo the Rat as himself
Statler as Jacob Marley
Waldorf as Robert (Bob?) Marley
Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker as people collecting for the poor
Fozzie Bear as Fozziewig
Sam the Eagle as Headmaster
Robin as Tiny Tim

Written by Jerry Juhl, based on the novel by Charles Dickens
Directed by Brian Henson

Availability Information

This is available on DVD and in digital rental or purchase versions.

Premise

The Muppets adapt Dickens. Does anyone need to hear more than the title to know what to expect?

High Point

Gonzo and Rizzo, followed closely by the Marleys.

Low Point

There are long stretches of the movie that don’t feel very Muppety. In fact, the high points are the only characters that really feel like Muppets throughout.

The Review

This is not original. There are a LOT of adaptations of this one out there already, and the unique elements here are not terribly different from the elements unique to Mickey’s Christmas Carol (for the recasting of fictional characters) or the Albert Finney version (for the musical numbers). I give it 1 out of 6.

The effects were not immersive. This is a Muppet movie; there is never any question about which characters are Muppets and which ones are not. There are some fading effects, as well as optical filters around the Ghost of Christmas Past, but nothing extravagent or immersive. Many of the scenes showing Muppet feet look awkward, such as the “log roll” street Bob and Tim Cratchit walk across. Though none of the effects are bad, they are unmistakable. I give it 4 out of 6.

The story is the story of A Christmas Carol. Odds are, everyone old enough to read this review without assistance already knows what that means. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting from Caine is well done. The other humans are barely in it, and the Muppets are as expressive as they can get. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production is done well enough. It’s hard to tell if this feels slow because it’s paced that way or because I’ve just seen so many versions now that it’s like I’m seeing it for the 50th time, even though this was my first viewing. I give it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response was lacking. They deliver the Dickens elements very well, but it doesn’t feel enough like the Muppets to me. There is a very specific type of humor that I associate with that property, but I don’t find much of that here. I give it 3 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a decent adaptation of the classic, but I wouldn’t suggest rushing out to get it. The Muppet elements that should make it unique aren’t here enough to make that worthwhile. I give it 4 out of 6.

In total, Muppet Christmas Carol receives 26 out of 42.