What a treat it is to see Disney’s best Christmas film on the big screen. Up until this year, I had only seen The Muppet Christmas Carol on television; whether it be via VHS, DVD, or HD broadcast. It holds a special place in my heart; we have always watched it when decorating the Christmas tree each year. But this year I made a slight alteration to tradition and went to enjoy the film, presented in its full glory thanks to a new digital print distributed by Park Circus, in a cinema auditorium.
The movie is, as the title suggests, an inspired retelling of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, with many familia Muppet faces filling the speaking roles. Scrooge, however, is flesh and blood. He is played by Michael Caine, proving what a jolly good sport he is. At the end he is required to sing, and even though it’s about as musical as a cow being slaughtered, one can’t help but love him for just going for it, apparently without shame or embarrassment.
The songs, written by Paul Williams, are terrific little works of genius. It’s such a shame that Meredith Braun’s deeply moving performance of ‘The Love Is Gone’, cut originally but still got an appearance on British home video, hasn’t been reinstated. I had hoped that with all the fuss over the Muppets this year, thanks to their new film outing, that Disney would bring out a UK blu-ray with the number included. No such luck. It’s corny, it’s frothy, and overwhelmingly Christmassy. The Muppet Christmas Carol will always be a part of Christmas for me and I would urge anyone who enjoys it to see it in the cinema if they get the chance.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), directed by Brian Henson, is distributed in the UK by Park Circus, Certificate U.