Sunday, December 4, 2011

My Top 25 Christmas Movies List: #22: The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

     The Muppets star in this musical rendition of the Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol featuring Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge, Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit and Gonzo narrating as Charles Dickens himself.

     After informing his underpaid bookkeeper, Bob Cratchit (Kermit), that he will have to work on Christmas then denying charity to two gentlemen (Bunsen and Beaker) that are collecting for the poor, the curmudgeon Scrooge finds himself visited by the entities of his former and equally wicked business partners, Jacob and Robert Marley (played by Waldorf and Statler). They have been condemned to chains for all of eternity as penalty for a life of sins and they advise Scrooge that he is in line for the same fate unless he changes his ways.

    Later, he is then visited by the three Ghosts of Christmas that each take him on a journey. The Ghost of Christmas Past takes him back to visit his youth and first love, Belle (Meredith Braun), with whom he promises marriage once he makes enough money to provide for her. But being the greedy miser that he is, no amount of money he ever gained was enough to satisfy him so the two parted ways.

   The second apparition, The Ghost of Christmas Present shows him the current day's celebration, both at Scrooge's nephew's home where he finds his own relatives laughing and mocking him. Then at the humble home of Bob Cratchit (Kermit) where they are enjoying one another's company and anticipating their dinner of Christmas goose, despite their misfortune and poverty.

    Finally, The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come takes Scrooge on the most frightening journey of all. First he reveals that Tiny Tim (Robin the Frog) will not live beyond the next year, devastating the entire Cratchit family. Then he takes Scrooge to his own funeral where he finds that the only attendants are there not to pay condolences but to enjoy the complimentary food and drink. Upon seeing his own tombstone, he suddenly has an epiphany that he must change his fate, by changing his ways. He vows to be a different man.

    Scrooge (Michael Caine) then wakes up back in his bedroom on Christmas Day and heads into town to spread Christmas joy. He enlists a new friend (Bean Bunny) to help with his good tidings and gather the items needed for a Christmas feast. He brings the items to the Cratchit family, where he informs Bob (Kermit) that he is raising his salary and paying his mortgage thus changing the fate of Tiny Tim, the Cratchits and even Scrooge himself.

     With the popularity of the new The Muppets movie, this is a great way to introduce this Charles Dickens' holiday classic to your family. They will enjoy the music, the comedy and most of all the happy ending.

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