Ebenezer Scrooge learns to repent from his miserly ways and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas with the help of the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future. The Christmas Carol is a traditional holiday story authored by Charles Dickens, but the Muppets take their own spin on the premise with this detailed and thorough movie rendition. The movie opens with one of countless song and dance routines, setting the tone for a movie that has a serious and sometimes tragic theme, but also features the famous Muppet humour and entertainment. Ebenezer Scrooge (played by MIchael Caine) is a miserable and miserly businessman, and has spent his life putting finances and business ahead of his personal life. He has one employee named Bob Cratchit (played by Kermit the Frog) who bears Scrooge's poor treatment and wages so that he can support his large family, including Tiny Tim, his disabled son. We are guided through the storyline by two narrators, Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat, who also provide comic relief when needed.
Click here to see the rest of this review
On Christmas Eve, Scrooge heads home from his work to a lonely manor house. He is visited by the ghosts of his two former business partners (the Marley brothers, played by Statler and Waldorf, the two hecklers from the Muppet Show). The Marley Brothers warn Scrooge that he will be condemned to a miserable afterlife like theirs if he doesn't change his ways, and that three spirits will visit him that night to guide him. After the ghosts depart, Scrooge goes to bed and dismisses the apparition. He is woken by the Ghost of Christmas Past, who takes him on a journey to remember the events that shaped him and his current life, as well as to remind him that Christmas used to be a joyous time. Scrooge is saddened by much of what he sees. Next, the Ghost of Christmas Present appears to Scrooge, taking him to see how his nephew is celebrating the holiday, and how Bob Cratchit and his family celebrate, despite their poverty. Finally, the Ghost of Christmas to come appears to Scrooge, by the the creepiest of the Ghosts. He takes him to the scene of his own death, where he is mourned by no one, and then to the graveyard where he will be buried in a lonely grave. Scrooge sees his mistakes, and begs the Spirit for another chance. He promises to celebrate Christmas the whole year through, and to remedy his miserly mistakes. As he sobs, Scrooge awakes in his own bed, and realizes that it is Christmas morning. He has been given another chance. Scrooge excitedly sets out to start making amends. He donates money for the poor, buys makings for a lavish holiday supper for the Cratchits, and calls on his estranged nephew. We are told that this is only the beginning, and that going forward, Scrooge was a kind and generous man who was a loving uncle to the Cratchit family, ensuring that Tiny Tim was able to thrive.
Best part of story, including ending:
I loved Michael Caine as Scrooge. He had the perfect blend of arrogance and humanity, and was able to convincingly act opposite puppets!
Best scene in story:
I simply adore the scene when Scrooge flings open the windows on Christmas morning and speaks to the small rat in the street, ordering him to go purchase that turkey. Scrooge is giddy, and the rat is suitably confused.
Opinion about the main character:
I liked Scrooge's willingness to change after being confronted with his frailties and how they affected the people around him.
This version of the timeless classic is done by the Muppet Show characters. Very few parts are played by humans, including Scrooge (Michael Caine), Nephew Fred (Stephen Mackintosh), and Fred's wife Clara (Robin Weaver). The rest of the cast are the muppets.
Gonzo plays Charles Dickens himself, telling the story with the help of Rizzo the Rat. Kermit the Frog portrays Bob Cratchit, with Miss Piggy as his wife (and if you are wondering what kind of children a frog and a pig will have, their two boys are frogs, and two girls are pigs). The first ghosts to visit Scrooge are two Marley brothers, Robert and Jacob, played by Waldorf and Statler (the two old guys from the balcony). Other ghosts, except for the Ghost of Christmas Past who is a cartoon character, are new muppets, made specifically for the show.
The review of this Movie prepared by Laura Southcombe