The Muppet Christmas Carol

Few, if any, books can boast of so many different screen interpretations as "A Christmas Carol." One of the most unusual versions has to be "The Muppet's Christmas Carol," released theatrically in 1992. With part of the characters played by familiar Muppet faces, and others by human beings, it is a strange mix of reality and fantasy that somehow works.
It is also the first screen version to have Dickens himself narrating the story... even if Dickens is played tongue-in-cheek by Gonzo. This brings the welcome addition of much of Dicken's prose, heard throughout the film. The comical bits and asides that he and Rizzo the Rat sidekick add, supply much of the humor in the film.
Scrooge is played with aplomb by Michael Caine, and Steven Mackintosh portrays his nephew Fred. Kermit the Frog plays Bob Crachit, Miss Piggy as his wife Martha, Robin as Tiny Tim (in a moving portrayal), and Fozzie Bear as "Fozziwig." The role of Marley's ghost is split between the balcony hecklers Statler and Waldorf, as Bob and Jacob Marley.
In a wise move, the three Spirits are new Muppet characters created for the film. The Spirit of Christmas Past is a floating, other-worldly young girl, Christmas Present is an jolly, affable giant, and Christmas Future a silent specter with a large oversized, yet empty hood, in a nice creepy touch.
There is a remarkable undercurrent of spirituality that shines through, more overtly displayed than in any of the other more conventional films. The song "Bless Us All" invokes the blessing of God on their home, with thanksgiving for what they have expressed in the song "Thankful Heart," which is reprised in the finale.

These are touching moments, and makes me wish that some of the others had been as open in expressing the Christian spirit so prevalent in the original story.

Tiny Tim (Robin)

Mrs. Crachit (Miss Piggy) and daughters. They originally planned on having the children be a hybrid of pig and frog, but realised this was too bizarre, and wisely made the girls to be pigs like Miss Piggy and the boys frogs.

NEW BONUS!

Cilck on the images below to see larger scans of an article from :"Starlog" magazine about the movie, scanned from issue #186, published December of 1992. Each image will open in a new window; once you are finished, close the browser window and you will return here.


MENU:
Introduction
Marley's Ghost
The First of the Three Spirits
The Second of the Three Spirits
The Last of the Spirits
The End of It
A Christmas Dinner
A Christmas Present
1939 Radio Broadcast
Other Radio Broadcasts

Related Links:

Extra items and pages that are part of this site:

Christmas Essays by Dickens

"Now, the tree is decorated with bright merriment, and song, and dance, and cheerfulness. And they are welcome. Innocent and welcome be they ever held, beneath the branches of the Christmas Tree, which cast no gloomy shadow!"
-Charles Dickens

So writes Charles Dickens concerning a tradition that even in his day was precious. Enjoy his story, "The Christmas Tree," as he recollects the joy it brought to his youth!

"Who can be insensible to the outpourings of good feeling, and the honest interchange of affectionate attachment, which abound at this season of the year? A Christmas family-party! We know nothing in nature more delightful! There seems a magic in the very name of Christmas."
-Charles Dickens

The family seated around the Christmas dinner table is a treasured time that becomes forever etched in our hearts. Enjoy Dicken's story, "A Christmas Dinner," as he relates the joys it brings.

"Lost friend, lost child, lost parent, sister, brother, husband, wife, we will not so discard you! You shall hold your cherished places in our Christmas hearts, and by our Christmas fires; and in the season of immortal hope, and on the birthday of immortal mercy, we will shut out Nothing!"
-Charles Dickens

In his short story, "What Christmas Is As We Grow Older," Dickens encourages us to not forget the past joys and loves we have known, in order to shut out the pain of loss. Rather, we defeat the loss by celebrating the memories of times and people once close to us.


"My dear children, I am very anxious that you should know something about the History of Jesus Christ. For everybody ought to know about Him." -Charles Dickens

Dickens never forgot the Source of the holiday cheer he spread with his writings, or the meaning of the silent night in Bethlehem so long ago. In this excerpt from his private story written for his children, "The Life of Our Lord," Dickens explains simply in his own words "The Christmas Story."

Radio and Film Versions


Information about the
1951 version with Alastair Sim, with photos, comparisons to the novel and excerpts from the soundtrack.


Information about the
1939 radio version produced by Orson Welles and starring Lionel Barrymore.


Information about the
BBC radio version starring Michael Gough.Also the 1975 CBS Radio Mystery Theater version starring E.G. Marshall!


Information about
Disney's "A Christmas Carol" short animated feature


Information about "Scrooge," the
1970 musical version starring Albert Finney


Information about the
Muppet's Christmas Carol


Information about the
upcoming 2009 CG version starring Jim Carrey.


Information about Rich Little's one-man version of
"A Christmas Carol."

New!

Information about the
1971 Chuck Jones animated film featuring Alastair Sim as the voice of Scrooge!

Artwork


Complete scan of "A Christmas Carol"
comic book adaptation from the 70's by Marvel Comics!


Enjoy scenes from the story in these
antique illustrations!


Classics Illustrated "A Christmas Carol"
cover #1.


Classics Illustrated "A Christmas Carol"
cover #2.


Pendulum's Illustrated Stories "A Christmas Carol"
cover.


A Dean Morrissey
painting of Scrooge outside his London business. The print can be bought here.


Montage of
scenes from the novel by artist Jeffrey Bedrick made for a puzzle, which can be bought here.

NEW!

See Scrooge in various ads for merchandise that make him happy!

Other resources outside of this site:

Read the story behind of the writing of this most-loved Christmas story here, as originally published in Reader's Digest.

Christmas According to Dickens: A series of articles by Rev. Dr. Mark D. Roberts.

Dickens and Christmas: an excellent site!

View an incredible table-top reproduction of Dicken's London on this page.

In an essay on his favorite Christmas videos, columnist C. W. Oberleitner examines the best adaptations of "A Christmas Carol" on film.

Introduction /Marley's Ghost / The First of the Three Spirits / The Second of the Three Spirits
The Last of the Spirits / The End of It / A Christmas Dinner /A Christmas Present /1939 Radio Broadcast