A Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

A Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

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This 1992 retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol, first published in 1843 is a heartwarming exploration of the true meaning of Christmas and what it really means to be wealthy. This film reaches out of the screen and tears you oh so gently from the comfort of your armchair into a world that is dark and cold, into the very charismatic experiences of the denizens of 1840’s England in the midst of pre-Christmas winter.

Muppets Gonzo and Rizzo narrate the adventure throughout, introducing us to several choice pieces of classic scripture that were artfully woven by Dickens, and providing their own comedic relief to lighten the otherwise harsh and sometimes brutal shredding of Scrooge’s sturdy emotional barriers that he has formed over a lifetime.

Almost from the very beginning we experience near perfect introduction to a hated and feared man, Ebenezer Scrooge (masterfully acted by Michael Caine); a man so entrenched in his disgust of joy, that he has all but become an avatar to miserly living. Since his early childhood he has devoted himself to capitalism and the acquisition of wealth, yet both he and we learn what it truly means to be wealthy thanks to repeated visits by spirits.

Even before these celestial visitations there is a sense that Ebenezer does know that his vast sum of monetary wealth is not bringing him the expected joy of his youth; only the expected comfortable living, and that his hatred for other’s happiness stems from his own lack of it. Only by dispossessing others of it, can he become their emotional equal, if only for a fleeting moment.

Perhaps what is most lovable about this film is its integration of death as a natural part of existence and that it is something that comes to us all, man, Muppet, and Christmas spirit alike. The increasingly blunt guidance of the spirits really hammers home the message that it is the journey that matters, and there are no “backsies” in life.

This is a film that I always watch in December on the build up to Christmas as I start to conceive my New Year resolution, before birthing it climatically to random partygoers in eggnog induced overzealous ramblings.

Whether you put this movie on for the kids as a pre-warning that it’s not the number or quality of gifts they’re getting, but the fact that someone loves them enough to give them gifts at all (despite their very public tantrum in the supermarket), or for yourself as a heartwarming tale of a miser’s resolution of an existential crisis, this film has something for everyone, including musically inclined Muppets. It is a joy to behold.

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Posted by Andrew

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