Finally we come to a Muppet movie I truly love, The Muppets Christmas Carol. If ever you needed to see the Dickens classic, only ever choose this version, it takes the dry, stilted, dark elements and makes it a fantastically funny event, with Gonzo in character most of the time as Charles Dickens, though when he gets to Fozziwigs’ he does lose focus as Camilla walks by, and beyond Rizzo playing himself, everyone is acting, sometimes badly, in it.
Michael Caine’s Scrooge is as straight as they come, no playing to the audience here, unless you count the happy dance, but it’s all a little too dry, so throw in the narrator managing to hurt poor Rizzo throughout, a bunch of songs and sight gags, Beaker swearing at Mr. Caine and Muppet cameos throughout.
This whole post is reflective of a screening of the film I caught last week, in an adults only Christmas party type deal, which involved the deadly drinking game when anyone says Merry Christmas (5 times in one scene), Scrooge says humbug (Often enough), someone bursts into song (Lots), Caine gets teary-eyed (He’s bloody emotional), Rizzo falls down (All. The. Time.) and Tiny Tim has a coughing fit. And the audience cheered when Tiny Tim hacked up a lung, they were happy to drink. This game is sick!
Anyway, I’ve seen a fair few Christmas Carols, but this was the one I was raised on, and quiet honestly the Christmas future segment can’t work without the Muppets, the men talking about the free lunch at Scrooge’s funeral can only be pig Muppets, not humans, and the back-alley purchaser of Scrooge’s items has to be a giant spider Muppet, it actually cannot work without him, and it’s futile to try.
I simply adore this film, it manages to be as hysterical and cartoony as The Muppets should be, whilst offering a smattering of heart and songs that are very whistle-inducing. I don’t care that they took out the boring-arse song from the Christmas past segment, which we saw before the film and made the edit so much more obvious in the real film, and I don’t mind the stilted nephew performance, or the dull Christmas Past ghost, we have the poor little rabbit Muppet being abused, Animal playing triangle, and of course “Light the lamp, not the rat!”.
If all Muppet movies could be this calibre, well then, I think we’d all have a much more entertaining time. Sometimes I feel I’ve been harsh on earlier works, then I remember they didn’t try hard enough, so sod ’em.
Also, Beaker in a scarf, Michael Fassbender?
Ain’t that swell.