About Christmas TV History

Saturday, July 1, 2023

Christmas in July 2023: Muppets Christmas Carol (1992)



Merry Christmas in July! It is Day #1 in the month-long celebration of Christmas entertainment. Each day this month I will be sharing brief reminisces about Christmas TV episodes, specials, and movies that are a creative or imaginative adaptation of Charles Dickens' tale A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Just a little something different and a way for me to show off the diversity of holiday stories I've collected in the encyclopedia Tis the Season TV (the updated and expanded 2nd edition will be released soon). 


Today's discussion is on the 1992 theatrical release movie The Muppets Christmas Carol, directed by Brian Henson. While this feature-length story is set in Victorian London--a setting viewers expect from a traditional adaptation of Dickens' story--it is creatively re-imagined as a musical, a comedy, and the characters are mostly brought to life with puppets--or Muppets, to be more precise.


The Oscar-winning British actor Michael Caine plays Ebenezer Scrooge. Kermit the Frog plays Bob Cratchit, Miss Piggy is Emily Cratchit, Fozzie Bear is Fezziwig (or Fozziwig), Robin the frog is Tiny Tim, Dr. Bunsen and Beaker are the charity collectors, and Statler and Waldorf are the brothers Jacob and Robert Marley. This version adds the character of brother Robert Marley which is not in Dickens' original book. Another change includes a narrator character, Charles Dickens, played by The Great Gonzo. The characters of the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future are not familiar Muppets but original puppets created for the roles. This movie is easy to watch and a pleasant introduction to Dickens for the whole family.


The outstanding songs are written by Academy Award-winner/Grammy winner Paul Williams and include "Scrooge;" "One More Sleep 'Til Christmas;" "Marley and Marley;" "When Love is Gone;" "It Feels Like Christmas;" "Bless Us All;" and "Thankful Heart." The song "When Love Is Gone" sung by Belle has been cut from some versions of the home video releases. Thankfully, in December 2022, the song “When Love Is Gone” was added back to the movie for the version streaming on Disney+.



Joanna Wilson is a TV researcher and book author specializing in Christmas entertainment. More about the TV programs mentioned on this website can be found in her book "Tis the Season TV: the Encyclopedia of Christmas-themed Episodes, Specials, and Made-for-TV Movies." Her latest book "Triple Dog Dare: Watching--& Surviving--the 24-Hour Marathon of A Christmas Story" was released in 2016. She is currently updating and expanding the encyclopedia for an upcoming release. Her books can be found at the publisher's website: 1701 press.com

*Support this website and its research by purchasing the books at 1701 press.com



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