Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Special Countdown #1: The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppet Christmas Carol is my FAVORITE Christmas flick ever!


In this everyone-has-a-version-to-tell (Checkout Post number 4?) adaptation of A Christmas Carol, we are transported to Jolly Olde Scrooge-Terrorized-Dickensian-England. The story is narrated by Charles Dickens himself…as portrayed by The Great Gonzo, who is accompanied by Rizzo the Rat who conveniently asks questions that kids in the audience may have about parts of the tale, and, provides extra comic relief.

Michael Caine is Ebenezer Scrooge (whose name I learned, and, forever garnered respect as an actor from this very film—I mean, he got to work with KERMIT and GONZO! How could he not be cool in my 9 year old mind?!?!?), and Kermit is his Bob Cratchit.

I won’t go over the tale as to be honest, the synopsis is the same as number four on the list. But that DOES NOT mean this version is bad, or one to skip! Heck, it’s my number one for a reason. I just think that there are three reasons why this is my favorite rendition: the cast, the comedy, and the songs!

As I said before, Kermit is Cratchit, Gonzo is Charles Dickens, but there are other Muppet faces to be recognized. Miss Piggy gets to fulfill her life-long ambition as a Mrs.to Kermit’s Mr. vis a vie her portrayal as Mrs. Cratchit. Kermit’s nephew Robin (whom I always thought was super kawaii…so little! Squee!) is Tiny Tim. The incomparable Fozzie Bear is Fozziwig, and his mum stars as his mom too (a nod to A Muppet Family Christmas, me thinks?). Dr. Bunson Honeydew and Beaker are the two gentlemen who try to raise money for the poor. Sam the eagle is Scrooge’s school teacher. Statler and Waldorf split the role of Jacob Marley into Jacob and Robert Marley. There are also some new Muppets; most notably the three Ghosts, of Christmas (Past, Present, and, Yet to Come). Even now, I like looking not only at the speaking characters, but the Muppets in the background.

This movie has many funny parts that always make me chuckle. But the exchanges between Charles Dickens/Gonzo and Rizzo are comedy gold for me. They play the straight-laced, and jester duo so well! The Great Gonzo's desire for thrills are still there. For instance, when Scrooge is hurtling through the vortex of time and space, Gonzo exclaims sheer glee as he throws a grappling hook onto the Ghost of Christmas Past. Or when Rizzo lands on the Cratchit family's flaming hot goose, Gonzo exclaims "you have all the fun."

The Great Gonzo is my favorite Muppet starting with Muppet Babies. OK, confession time: you know how Gonzo isn't like, a pig, or frog, or anything familiar? In Muppet Babies, the one thing I remember was that Gonzo or Piggy said that he was a weird-o, and, that at one point they concluded that Gonzo was an alien. When I was little I felt like an oddball too, and for a while, I thought I was maybe an alien from outer space. I remember asking if I was adopted once or twice because I believed so strongly that I was an alien, and, related to Gonzo. So, I am sure that may have a little to do with his lines being some of my favorite.

Besides the comedic elements, this Muppet movie is a great musical, and has some (in my opinion) wonderful songs—and one  ubiquitous“bathroom break” song. Here are my favorite two:

It Feels Like Christmas is wonderful, especially the line, “in all the places you find love, it feels like Christmas,” as this holiday is about love--it is the beginning and the ending of the story, and this song in a tale about love for your fellow man.


My other favorite is With a Thankful Heart. It was this song that made me want to adopt Michael Caine as my British Uncle/Grandad (like I said he got to work with the Muppets…so jealous!).


While I do not intend to paint Dickens as a saint, he was pretty awesome for writing about the atrocities that the poor went through, and, the hypocrisy of the upper class who claimed to be good people yet would rather the poor: “[die] and decrease the surplus population” (Oliver Twist, Nicolas Nickleby, and Great Expectations all tell about the problems with avarice and elitism as well).

And with that, those are my MUST-see-every-year Christmas specials!
I know I left off a few that I enjoy (but there are so many to choose from), but these are my favorites!
Also, I am curious as to what YOUR favorite specials are, soooooo…
Share them with me!

So, to you and your's, I wish you a VERY Happy Christmas, and Holidays!

You! Stop being jolly! And watch some movies! :P
The Rest of the Top Ten are Below


4 comments:

  1. Joie, I remember this! It's classic girl! I agree and can see why it's #1 on your list. I've really enjoyed this series. You did a great job telling us about them all without giving everything away. Wishing you a MERRY CHRISTMAS! Hope you're enjoying yourself. Have fun doll!
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

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    1. Thank you so much! I hope your Christmas was fantastic!!!
      Thank you for reading it!

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  2. I saw this movie the other day, after years and years of having not seen it. I love Michael Caine as Scrooge! My daugher (who is 3), actually sat through most of it, which is surprising considering she normally bounces off the walls.

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    1. LOL! The Magic of the Muppets! I'm glad she enjoyed it!
      And I agree, Michael Caine is a great Scrooge.

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