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The Muppet Christmas Carol

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The Muppet Christmas Carol is a film starring Michael Caine and the Muppets in the classic Charles Dickens tale A Christmas Carol. It is notably the first feature film to star the Muppets following the death of their creator, Jim Henson. It is also the second of three theatrical films released by Walt Disney Pictures based on the story, between Mickey's Christmas Carol in 1983 and Robert Zemeckis' CGI influenced version in 2009.

Synopsis

In this adaptation of the Christmas story, narrated by Gonzo as Charles Dickens (with the occasional commentary of Rizzo the Rat), it is Christmas Eve in 19th century London. The merriment is not shared by Ebenezer Scrooge (portrayed by Michael Caine), a surly money-lender who is more interested in profit than celebration. He is so cold to the season of giving that his book-keeping staff, including loyal employee Bob Cratchit (Kermit the Frog), has to plead with him just to have the day off work during Christmas by pointing out that Scrooge would have no customers on the holiday and that it would waste coal to sit alone in the office. Scrooge's nephew, Fred (Steven Mackintosh), arrives to invite his uncle to Christmas dinner, and two gentlemen (Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker) also come to Scrooge's offices, collecting money in the spirit of the season to provide a Christmas dinner for the poor. Scrooge rebuffs his nephew and complains that it is not worth looking after the poor, as their deaths will decrease the surplus population. Fred is shocked at his uncle's uncharitable and cold nature, but repeats his invitation, makes his own donation, and departs.

Later that evening, Scrooge finds himself face to face with the still mean-spirited spirits of his former business partners, Jacob and Robert Marley (Statler and Waldorf), who have been condemned to shackles in the afterlife as payment for the horrible deeds they committed in life. Nonetheless, they warn him that he will share the same fate, only worse if he does not change his ways, and foretell the arrival of three spirits throughout the night.

Scrooge is first visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past (voiced by Jessica Fox), a childlike specter who takes Scrooge on a journey back through time to his youth. He recalls his early school days, during which he focused on his studies; meeting of a young woman named Belle (Meredith Braun), with whom he would later fall in love; and the end of their relationship, despite Scrooge's protests that he would marry her as soon as he feels he has enough money to provide for them, but Belle knows he will most likely never have that, given his birthing obsession with money.

Scrooge then meets the Ghost of Christmas Present, a large, festive spirit with a booming voice who lives only for the here and now. He gives Scrooge a glimpse into the holiday celebration of others, including Bob Cratchit, and his family who, although poor, are enjoying Christmas together and reveling in the anticipation of the Christmas goose. The Spirit also shows Scrooge's own family, who are not above cracking jokes at Scrooge's expense.

Finally, Scrooge meets the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, a silent entity who reveals the chilling revelation that young Tiny Tim (Robin the Frog) will not survive the coming year, thanks in no small part to the impoverished existence of the Cratchit family. Furthermore, it is revealed that when Scrooge's own time has passed, others will certainly delight in his absence from the world. Upon seeing his headstone in the cemetery, it is the final epiphany that convinces Scrooge to change his ways and makes him vow to celebrate with his fellow man, never to be greedy again and share his money with the poor.

Scrooge returns to his bedroom on Christmas Day, and he goes about the town spreading good deeds and charity. He enlists the help of Bean Bunny, at whom he threw a wreath earlier in the film, and the two travel around the town gathering items for a Christmas feast and giving gifts to characters who had previously been wronged by Scrooge. Scrooge tells his assistant, Bob Cratchit, that he is going to raise his salary, and pay for his house mortgage. He also plans a feast for Cratchit's family and learns to adopt the spirit of Christmas throughout the year, now encouraged by the addition of new friends.

Songs

MCC-Screengrabs-Sprocket

Sprocket from Fraggle Rock makes a brief cameo.

MCC-Screengrabs-WanderMcMooch-a

Fraggle Rock characters Wander McMooch and Brool in The Muppet Christmas Carol

Songs featured in the film include:

One of the songs, "When Love is Gone", was cut from the film's original theatrical release, because the filmmakers found that the test audiences (mainly family viewers with younger children) become restless during the scene in question, including the UK DVD and the 2012 Blu-Ray releases. When the movie was released on VHS and Laserdisc in the US and the UK the following year, "When Love is Gone" was reinstated, since the filmmakers decided it worked better in a home-viewing context. Subsequent video releases of the film have included the song, with the 2005 DVD release also containing the original theatrical version.

Two extra songs were also written for the film by Paul Williams - "Room in Your Heart" (sung by Bunsen and Beaker), and "Chairman of the Board" (sung by Sam the Eagle). These two songs were dropped from the script early on because the filmmakers felt the film was already going to be quite lengthy, that the songs didn't help progress the story, and that they would hurt the overall pacing and feel of the film. However, the songs were included on the film's soundtrack album.

Home video releases

Main article: The Muppet Christmas Carol (video)

Trivia

  • This is the first of the Muppet movies in which the focus of the story revolves around characters played by human beings.
    • However, several pivotal roles -- in particular, the three Christmas Spirits -- were portrayed by specially-created Muppet characters.
    • It was at one time considered that well-known Muppets would be cast in these roles (Piggy, Scooter, and Gonzo, specifically) before it was decided that it would detract from the ominous effect the spirits would need to convey.
  • Unlike the 2009 CGI film, this Disney film adaptation totally omits Scrooge's sister.
    • In the novel, she took Scrooge home for Christmas when he was a child, but passed away giving birth to Fred in her adulthood.
  • Near the end of the film, Scrooge and company pass by a store called "Micklewhite's."
    • Michael Caine's real name is Maurice Micklewhite.
    • Another store sign is called "Statler and Waldorf," the names of the Muppets who portray Jacob and Robert Marley.
  • This film was originally planned to be a TV special. [1]

Deleted scenes

When love is gone

Belle sings "When Love is Gone" in a scene cut from the theatrical version of the film.

  • The song "When Love is Gone" was originally planned to be part of the film; however, it was dropped from the theatrical release of the film after being shown to test audiences.
    • It was not until the film was released on home video that the song was reinserted, although current DVD/Blu-ray releases and TV airings have the song still omitted.
  • Two additional songs were written for the film that wasn't used.
    • The songs "Room in Your Heart" (sung by Bunsen and Beaker) and "Chairman of the Board" (sung by Sam Eagle) were written by Paul Williams for the film.
      • These musical sequences never made it into production and were not filmed, but the songs were included on the film's soundtrack album.

Videos

Videoswiki For more Disney videos check out Wikia's video library

Cast

Humans

Actor Character
Michael Caine Ebenezer Scrooge
Steven Mackintosh Fred
Meredith Braun Belle
Robin Weaver Clara
Edward Sanders Young Scrooge (Child #1)
Theo Sanders Young Scrooge (Child #2)
Kristopher Milnes Young Scrooge (Child #3)
Russell Martin Young Scrooge (Adolescent)
Raymond Coulthard Young Scrooge (Adult)
Anthony Hamblin Boy #1
Fergus Brazier Boy #2

Muppet Performers

Muppeteer Characters
Dave Goelz

Charles Dickens (Gonzo)
Robert Marley (Waldorf)
Dr. Bunsen Honeydew
Betina Crachit

Pig Businessman

Rat Bookkeepers

Steve Whitmire

Bob Cratchit (Kermit the Frog)
Rizzo the Rat
Beaker
Bean Bunny
Belinda Cratchit

Rat Bookkeepers

Inkspots

Businessman

Laundress

Frank Oz

Emily Cratchit (Miss Piggy)
Fozziwig (Fozzie Bear)

The Headmaster (Sam the Eagle)

Animal (Muppet)

George the Janitor

Jerry Nelson

Tiny Tim (Robin)
Jacob Marley (Statler)
Ma Bear
The Ghost of Christmas Present

Lew Zealand

Mr. Applegate

Father Mouse

Pig Businessman

Rat Bookkeepers

Penguin

Inkspots

Dr. Julius Strangepork

David Rudman

Peter Cratchit

The Swedish Chef

Performer of Old Joe

Rat Bookkeepers

Wander McMooch

Karen Prell

The Ghost of Christmas Past

Daughter Mouse

Aretha

Mike Quinn

Performer of Miss Piggy

Performer of Fozzie Bear

Undertaker

Pig Businessman

Boppity Frackle

Louise Gold

Cockney woman

Brool the Minstrel

Background Muppets (non-speaking)

Dr. Teeth, Floyd Pepper, Janice, Zoot, Rowlf, Lips, Sprocket, J.P. Grosse, Pops, Lyle the Dog, Chester Rat, Masterson Rat, Murray the Minstrel, Begoony, Mudwell the Mudbunny, Snowman, Mrs. Appleby, Wolf, Bobby Benson, Vegetable Seller/Prisoner, Dogs, Link Hogthrob, Punch and Judy Puppets, Richmond the Horse, Babies, Geri and the Atrics, Frackles, Cashboxes and Locks, Whatnots, Christmas Turkey, Louise (chicken), Lobsters, Raccoons, Chickens, Frogs, Wolfhound, Cows & Sheep

Promotional Gallery

Full gallery coming soon.

External links


v - e - d
The Muppets Logo
Media

Television shows: The Muppet Show | Muppet Babies | Little Muppet Monsters | MuppeTelevision | Muppets Tonight | The Muppets
Television specials: Hey Cinderella! | The Frog Prince | The Muppet Musicians of Bremen | The Muppets Go to the Movies | The Fantastic Miss Piggy Show | The Muppets: A Celebration of 30 Years | The Tale of the Bunny Picnic | A Muppet Family Christmas | The Muppets at Walt Disney World | The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson | Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree | Studio DC: Almost Live | A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa
Movies: The Muppet Movie | The Great Muppet Caper | The Muppet Christmas Carol | Muppet Treasure Island | The Muppets' Wizard of Oz | The Muppets | Muppets Most Wanted
Video games: My Muppets Show | Animal Drummer | Tap Tap Muppets

Disney Parks

Muppets Courtyard | Muppet*Vision 3D
Entertainment: Here Come the Muppets | Hollywood's Pretty Woman | Muppet Mobile Lab | Muppets on Location: Days of Swine and Roses | The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History
Restaurants: Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano | PizzeRizzo | The Great Gonzo's Pandemonium Pizza Parlor (Unbuilt)
Shops: It's A Wonderful Shop | Stage 1 Company Store | The Writer's Stop
Parade: Disney Stars and Motorcars Parade

Characters

Muppets: Kermit the Frog | Miss Piggy | Fozzie Bear | Gonzo | Animal | Rizzo the Rat | Pepe the King Prawn | Statler and Waldorf | Bunsen Honeydew | Beaker | Scooter | Bean Bunny | Dr. Teeth | Floyd Pepper | Janice | Zoot | Rowlf the Dog | Robin the Frog | The Swedish Chef | Sam the Eagle | Sweetums | Bobo the Bear | Uncle Deadly | Camilla | Walter | Clifford | 80s Robot | Thog | Seymour | Lew Zealand | Beauregard | The Moopets | Constantine | Denise
Humans: Max | Doc Hopper | Snake Walker | Professor Krassman | Bernie the Agent | Lew Lord | Gary | Mary | Dominic Badguy | Nadya

Vehicles

The Electric Mayhem Bus | Le Maximum

Songs

The Muppet Movie: The Rainbow Connection | Moving Right Along | Never Before, Never Again | I Hope That Somethin' Better Comes Along | Can You Picture That? | I'm Going to Go Back There Someday | America
The Great Muppet Caper: Hey a Movie! | Happiness Hotel | Steppin' Out With a Star | Night Life | The First Time It Happens | Couldn't We Ride
The Muppet Christmas Carol: Scrooge | Good King Wenceslas | Marley and Marley | Chairman of the Board | Fozziwig's Party | When Love is Gone | It Feels Like Christmas | Christmas Scat | Bless Us All | Thankful Heart | When Love Is Found
Muppet Treasure Island: Treasure Island | Shiver My Timbers | Something Better | Sailing for Adventure | Cabin Fever | Boom Shakalaka | Love Led Us Here | Love Power | Love Led Us Here
The Muppets' Wizard of Oz: Kansas | When I'm With You | Nap Time | The Witch Is in the House | Calling All Munchkins | Good Life
A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa: Delivering Christmas | It's All About Heart | I Wish I Could Be Santa Claus | My Best Christmas Yet
The Muppets: Life's a Happy Song | Pictures in My Head | Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard | We Built This City | Me Party | Let's Talk About Me | Man or Muppet | Smells Like Teen Spirit | Forget You | The Whistling Caruso
Muppets Most Wanted: We're Doing a Sequel | I'm Number One | The Big House | I'll Get You What You Want (Cockatoo in Malibu) | Interrogation Song | My Heart Will Go On | Something So Right | Working in the Coal Mine | Together Again | Moves Like Jagger | Macarena


Notes

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