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The Muppet Christmas Carol is the fourth feature film to star the Muppets, and the first produced after the death of Muppets creator Jim Henson. Released in 1992, it was one of many film adaptations of Charles DickensA Christmas CarolGonzo, claiming to be Dickens himself, narrates the story, with the help of Rizzo the RatMichael Caine playsEbenezer Scrooge, with Muppets taking the rest of the parts -- including Kermit the Frog as Bob CratchitMiss Piggy asEmily CratchitRobin the Frog as Tiny Tim, and Fozzie Bear as Fozziwig

SynopsisEdit

In this adaptation of the timeless story, narrated by Gonzo as Charles Dicken (assisted by Rizzo the Rat), it is Christmas Eve in 19th century London. The merriment is not shared by Ebenezer Scrooge, a surly money-lender who is more interested in profit than celebration. He is so cold to the season of giving that his book-keeping staff, including loyal employee Bob Cratchit (Kermit the Frog), has to plead with him just to have the day off work during Christmas by pointing out that Scrooge would have no customers on the holiday and that it would waste coal to sit alone in the office. Scrooge's nephew, Fred, arrives to invite his uncle to Christmas dinner, and two gentlemen (Dr. Bunsen Honeydewand Beaker) also come to Scrooge's offices, collecting money in the spirit of the season to provide a Christmas dinner for the poor. Scrooge rebuffs his nephew's invitation and, after his departure, shocks the charity collectors with his statement that the poor are looked after by prisons and workhouses, and their deaths will decrease the surplus population.

Later that evening, Scrooge finds himself face to face with the still mean-spirited spirits of his former business partners,Jacob and Robert Marley (Statler and Waldorf), who have been condemned to shackles in the afterlife as payment for the horrible deeds they committed in life. Nonetheless, they warn him that he will share the same fate, only worse, if he does not change his ways, and foretell the arrival of three spirits throughout the night.

Scrooge is first visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past, who takes Scrooge on a journey back through time to his youth. He recalls his early school days, during which he focused on his studies; meeting of a young woman named Belle, with whom he would later fall in love; and the end of their relationship, despite Scrooge's protests that he would marry her as soon as he feels he has enough money to provide for them, but Belle knows he will most likely never have that, given his birthing obsession with money.

Scrooge then meets the Ghost of Christmas Present, a large, festive spirit with a booming voice who lives only for the here and now. He gives Scrooge a glimpse into the holiday celebration of others, including Bob Cratchit, and his family who, although poor, are enjoying Christmas together and reveling in the anticipation of the Christmas goose. The Spirit also shows Scrooge's own family, who are not above cracking jokes at Scrooge's expense.

Finally, Scrooge meets the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, a silent entity who reveals the chilling revelation that young Tiny Tim will not survive the coming year, thanks in no small part to the impoverished existence of the Cratchit family. Furthermore, it is revealed that when Scrooge's own time has passed, others will certainly delight in his absence from the world. Upon seeing his headstone in the cemetery, it is the final epiphany that convinces Scrooge to change his ways, and makes him vow to celebrate with his fellow man.

Scrooge returns to his bedroom on Christmas Day, and he goes about the town spreading good deeds and charity. He enlists the help of Bean Bunny, at whom he threw a wreath earlier in the film, and the two travel around the town gathering items for a Christmas feast and giving gifts to characters who had previously been wronged by Scrooge. Scrooge tells his assistant, Bob Cratchit, that he is going to raise his salary, and pay for his house mortgage. He also plans a feast for Cratchit's family, and learns to adopt the spirit of Christmas throughout the year, now encouraged by the addition of new friends.

<img alt="MCC-Screengrabs-Family-a" src="http://static3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20121205184955/muppet/images/thumb/6/69/MCC-Screengrabs-Family-a.jpg/300px-MCC-Screengrabs-Family-a.jpg" width="300" height="162" class="thumbimage" data-image-name="MCC-Screengrabs-Family-a.jpg" data-image-key="MCC-Screengrabs-Family-a.jpg" />{| border="0" cellpadding="2" style="margin:0pxauto;" | style="width:20px;color:rgb(178,183,242);padding-top:8px;font-family:times;font-size:45px;vertical-align:top;"| | style="text-align:justify;"|It's hardly surprising that the Muppets look more comfortable than the humans in this Victorian London heritage ride. It's like a department-store Xmas grotto after lights-out with the toys taking over and sending up the tawdriness of the whole thing simply by indulging their cynicism and sentimentality, while Michael Caine's Scrooge wanders round like a disgusted caretaker. The film's best joke is its ongoing symposium on the problems of narration, between "Dickens" (The Great Gonzo, neither bird nor beast but a misbegotten bendy-nosed thing) and his skeptical stooge Rizzo the Rat. They have to keep climbing walls and hitching lasso rides to get the story told. | style="width:20px;color:rgb(178,183,242);padding-top:8px;font-family:times;font-size:45px;vertical-align:bottom;"| |}

— Jonathan Romney. The New Statesman December-January 1993 issue, p. 60
...There's a sense that the film-makers, overawed by their classic source, are reining back the anarchic exuberance on which the Muppets' appeal always rested. Cult acts like Fozzie Bear (Fozziwig) and Miss Piggy (Miss [sic] Cratchit) are seriously constrained by their Dickensian characters -- although at least the long-delayed union between Kermit and Miss Piggy, celebrated in The Muppets Take Manhattan, has finally borne fruit (two female pigs and two male frogs --- the opportunity for a pog, or even a frig, has sadly been passed up)... All the same, The Muppet Christmas Carol achieves the odd genuinely chilling moment, along with a lot of fun. The sets are detailed and charming, there are the usual lively, instantly forgettable songs, and several favourites (the Swedish Chef, Rowlf) show up in cheerful cameos. As lead guest human, Michael Caine makes a respectable stab at Scrooge, but never for a moment challenges the memory of Alistair Sim.

CastEdit

  • Muppet Performers

Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Jerry Nelson, Frank Oz, David Rudman, Louise Gold, Karen Prell, Mike Quinn, Robert Tygner, Donald Austen, William Todd Jones, Jessica Fox, David Shaw Parker, David Alan Barclay, Robbie Barnett, Ian Allen, James Barton, Joan Barton, Michael Bayliss, Simon Buckley, Dave Bulbeck, Marcus Clarke, Craig Crane, Sue Dacre, Taylor David, John Eccleston, Geoff Felix, Kate Frost, Ken Haines, Ronnie LeDrew, Christopher Leith, Anthony Lymboura, Rebecca Nagan, Angie Passmore, Peter Passmore, Nigel Plaskitt, Judy Preece, Sally Preisig, Peter Robbins, Gillie Robic, Tim Rose, Kaefan Shaw, David Showler, John Thirtle, Ian Thom, Mark Alexander Todd, Ian Tregonning, Simon Williamson, Victoria Willing, and Phil Woodfine

  • Human Cast
Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge
Steven Mackintosh as Fred
Meredith Braun as Belle
Robin Weaver as Clara
Edward Sanders as Young Scrooge (Child 1)
Theo Sanders as Young Scrooge (Child 2)
Kristopher Milnes as Young Scrooge (Child 3)
Russell Martin as Young Scrooge (Adolescent)
Raymond Coulthard as Young Scrooge (Adult)
Anthony Hamblin as Boy #1
Fergus Brazier as Boy #2
  • Muppet Characters (speaking)

Gonzo as Charles Dickens 

Rizzo the Rat as himself 

Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit 

Miss Piggy as Emily Cratchit '

Robin the Frog as 'Tiny Tim Cratchit

Statler as Jacob Marley 

Waldorf as Robert Marley 

''''Fozzie Bear as Fozziwig 

'Ma Bear as Ma Fozziwig 

''''Betina Cratchit Belinda Cratchit 

'Peter Cratchit 

''''Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker 

'Sam the Eagle 'Bean Bunny 

'Ghost of Christmas Past 

''''Ghost of Christmas Present 

'Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come 

'*Other Characters (speaking) The Swedish Chef, Animal, Droop, Lew Zealand, George the Janitor, Mr. Applegate, Old Joe, Mrs .Dilber, Undertaker, Laundress, Rats, Dr. Julius Strangepork, Wander McMooch, Brool the Minstrel, Aretha, Penguins, Inkspots, Pigs, Vegetables, Mouse Family, Horses, Boppity Frackle, Cats, Pigeons, Porcupine

'*Background Characters (non-speaking) Dr. Teeth, Floyd Pepper, Janice, Zoot, Rowlf, Lips, Sprocket, J.P. Grosse, Pops, Lyle the Dog, Chester Rat, Masterson Rat, Murray the Minstrel, Begoony, Mudwell the Mudbunny, Snowman, Mrs. Appleby, Wolf, Bobby Benson, Vegetable Seller/Prisoner, Dogs, Link Hogthrob, Punch and Judy Puppets, Richmond the Horse, Babies, Geri and the Atrics, Frackles, Cashboxes and Locks, Whatnots, Christmas Turkey, Louise (chicken), Lobsters, Raccoons, Chickens, Frogs, Wolfhound, Cows, Sheep, Frank the Lizard, Doc Bullfrog, Stanley Weasel, Alice Otter

NotesEdit

  • In the 2002, 2005 and 2012 DVD releases, Frank Oz's lines for Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal and George the Janitor are dubbed by Eric Jacobson.
  • In the 2002 DVD release, Frank Oz's lines for Sam the Eagle are dubbed by Kevin Clash.
  • In the 2002, 2005 and 2012 DVD releases, Jerry Nelson's lines for Statler are dubbed by Steve Whitmire:.
  • In the 2002, 2005 and 2012 DVD releases, Karen Prell's lines for Aretha are dubbed by Matt Vogel.
  • In the 2002, 2005 and 2012 DVD releases, Louise Gold's lines for Brool the Minstrel are dubbed by Matt Vogel.
  • In the 2002, 2005 and 2012 DVD releases, Dave Goelz, Jerry Nelson, Steve Whitmire and David Rudman's lines for Rats, Inkspots, Pigs, Vegetables, Mouse Family, Horses, Cats, Pigeons and Penguins are dubbed by Various Performers.
  • In the 2005 and 2012 DVD releases, Frank Oz's lines for Sam the Eagle are dubbed by Eric Jacobson.
  • In the 2005 DVD release, Jerry Nelson's lines for Robin the Frog are dubbed by Brian Henson.
  • In the 2005 DVD release, Jerry Nelson's lines for Lew Zealand are dubbed by Bill Barretta.
  • In the 2012 DVD release, Jerry Nelson's lines for Robin the Frog, Lew Zealand, Emily Bear and Dr. Julius Strangepork are dubbed by Matt Vogel.
  • In the 2012 DVD release, Jerry Nelson's lines for Droop are dubbed by Peter Linz.
  • In the 2012 DVD release, Mike Quinn's lines for Undertaker are dubbed by Victor Yerrid.
  • In the 2012 DVD release, David Shaw Parker's lines for Old Joe are dubbed by Matt Vogel.

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