Muppet Christmas Carol – Disneycember

Celebrate Christmas with those whose legs you never see.

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.

78 comments

  1. I love the crap out of this movie. Not that any of your complaints are unfounded, but they don’t detract from the movie for me. I like “When Love is Gone”, but the song the Marley ghosts sing is easily the best one.

  2. Was the first Christmas Carol movie I’ve seen…love the movie so much even after all these years!

  3. I didn’t even know this exists, the Mickey Christmas Carol was my first.

  4. Didn’t mean to hit enter but I would’ve thought Micheal Cain would’ve been better as Scrooge. From what I’ve seen Jim Carrey did it better.

  5. Hey Doug, since we still have about five days left of December (and Disneycember I’m assuming), are you gonna do Into the Woods? I know it just came out into theaters, but last time you did Saving Mr. Banks after it just came into theaters? I’m not asking you to. I’m just asking, out of sheer curiosity, if you are.

  6. I think he should review The Muppets and Muppets Most Wanted!

    • Especially since he didn’t give us a serious review of Muppets Most Wanted after making his BUM review. At least he told us his thoughts on The Muppets. I’m hoping he gets to it.

  7. I’m a Mickey’s Christmas Carol man, but I see the appeal of the Muppet version. There’s something about a towering, curmudgeon Michael Caine shouting and pushing around muppets especially Kermit the Frog. Probably because you almost never see that happen. Actors work with and help Muppets never raise their voice and never insult them. It ups his scrooge factor even past McDuck.

    The one thing that is admirable about this Christmas Carol over others is the Henson shops commitment to staging a play. They are the last die-hards when it comes to stage and practical effects.

  8. Merry Christmas Doug! Can’t wait for another year with you!

  9. Mickey’s Christmas Carol was my introduction to the story. I’ve never seen this version the entire way through. Maybe next year. I do love this story, but I haven’t seen many film versions of it.

    Doug’s right, the emotional breakdown is a pretty big deal. The whole message/redemption hangs on it.

    So…anybody have an absolute favorite version of A Christmas Carol? Who played the best Scrooge?

    • George C.Scott. He plays an absolutely amazing scrooge, but the other actors are all excellent as well, especially the guy who played the Ghost of Christmas Present.

      George C.Scott gets the character while adding his own personal touches. His Scrooge at the beginning is cold and harsh, as he should be, but Scott adds both this sense of loneliness and emptiness, as well as a sort of gruff grit. If the last scene of the story with Scrooge being a dick (but a nice dick,) to Cratchet is any indication, Scrooge should have a sense of humor, and Scott infuses just enough of that into his performance while still being an old humbug. And the script has just about everything from the original book while adding on a few nice additional scenes on top of that, such as Scrooge coming over to his nephew’s to apologize and have dinner.

      Of course, I haven’t seen the Patrick Stewart version yet, (I’ll have to work on that; better get it done before New Years…) but I have a feeling that even after I do, Scott’s Christmas Carol will still easily rank among the best versions of the story I’ve ever seen.

    • I am a major christmas story buff. The only one o haven’t seen is the Jim Carrey one, because. … grinch, lol. Imho I believe the best delivery of the scrooge performance is Patrick Stewart. Whether the televised version ,or his one man Broadway deal. I think he got it the most on point. But I don’t dislike the Micheal Caine version. To me they played it off just right that I tear up through a lot of it. Anything is better than the tim curry animated one….which is a shame.

      • It’s probably not the best adaptation (I’m not as big a Christmas Carol buff), but my personal favorite Christmas Carol is the made-for-TV musical version (which I think was adapted from a stage musical– most of the sources say it is). It featured Kelsey Grammar as Scrooge, Jason Alexander as Marley, Jane Krakowski as the Ghost of Christmas Past, Jesse L. Martin (who steals the show) as the Ghost of Christmas Present, and (both the most interesting and the worst part of that particular adaptation) Geraldine Chaplain as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.

    • The Alistair Sim version. I love it. It seems to “nail” the book so well. In terms of “alternate versions”, however, I loved “Scrooged” quite a lot. To me, the key thing for any actor playing Scrooge is he’s got to be a curmudgeony, totally-hateable miser at first but, by the end, he’s got to be loveable and endearing. Few actors can pull that off. They usually do one part “great” and the other part “meh”.

  10. Hmm, can’t believe I missed this one as a child.

    Seems pretty neat, might try checking it out sometime.

  11. This is one of my favorite versions, but my favorite is definitely the one with Patrick Stewart

    • Same here. I love the Patrick Stewart version.
      That part after he’s redeemed, and he goes to see his nephew Fred, and asks if Fred will still have him for Christmas Dinner, and Fred is happily ready to accept him? I cry every time. I just love that part. Sometimes, I just skip to that scene, I love it so much.

    • Ditto here. Muppet Christmas Carol is probably my second favorite version. First is definitely Patrick Stewart. And there are so many out there to choose from for third it’s not even funny.

  12. George C Scott’s version was great. But the first one, back in the 30’s is good just for the creepy effects.

  13. SomeFoxyWithACamera

    They should do “Marvel-vember” in November one day! A tribute to all Marvel movies! Good idea, huh?

    • ALL Marvel movies?

      *has Xmen and Fantastic Four flashbacks*

      Ehhh…… I dunno…….. I’m pretty sure they’re all pretty well known and have been fairly well covered by plenty of people before. Everyone kind-of knows which ones are good and which ones suck and have a good idea why. I feel like he could find something better to do for next year if he tried. Heck, at worst, there is A LOT of horrible live action Disney Channel films to comb through and I feel like with so many attempts, there’s got to be at least one or two hidden gems among them. And then there’s always a lot of direct to DVD sequels and stuff to go through.

  14. I agree about Caine. Did he have trouble working with the Muppets? Did he just not feel inspired by the role (which can be tough to do, given all the baggage around it)? Did director Brian Henson not know how to bring out the best in him? I have no idea, but I find that for the most part he’s just kind of…there, throughout most of the film.

    • It may be because it was a more kid friendly version of the story and he didn’t want to scare people too much.

    • He actually said his approach to doing the film was to act as though the Muppets were members of the Royal Shakespeare Company, so he did seem to at least be trying. I don’t know, I thought Caine’s performance was fine.

  15. I think Caine did the part quite well. If you consider him playing “muppet”. It’s not a performance that would have fit in an all-human cast, but it is a performance that seems to fit into the world of muppets.

  16. Anthony Williamson

    First off, merry Christmas Doug, to you and yours. And good review, but i have to say one thing about your assessment of Caine’s performance. While some of what you said is relatively true, whether i want to admit it or not, i don’t think his breakdown to the ghost of Christmas future should be overlooked. Yeah it’s not quite as dramatic as others have been, but the way he builds up to it is near perfect. The way he pleads to the ghost; you can sense the raw emotion of his character and that he shows a real regret for everything that he’s done; which, in my opinion, few Scrooges have been able to do so well. I feel it shows great development for the character, and i’m glad it didn’t feel the need to show the intense falling into the grave scene that other have done (although, that might have been a budget concern) and just show scrooges pure anguish at what his actions could lead to, not unlike the George C. Scott version. Regardless, have a very merry Christmas; to you and all of Channel awesome.

  17. Merry Christmas, Doug!

    This is one of my favorite versions of “A Christmas Carol” for all the reasons you said. Michael Caine isn’t the best Scrooge I’ve seen, but he’s far from the worst. One thing he does really well (that’s not very noticeable) is interact physically with the muppets. A lot of times human actors seem a little awkward when they’re touching or interacting with the felt characters, but he makes it seem like he’s walking with them and holding their hands in a very natural way.

  18. I’ve heard of this movie only for the Muppet legs. I didn’t know anything else about it! I won’t be seeing this because some of the earlier Muppets scare me. Thee eyes, look at thee eyes!

  19. I love this movie!

    • This was the first Muppet movie I’ve ever seen (and I still didn’t saw the first one by the way). And it was to me a really good adaptation of Charles Dickens’s novel, I have yet to see someone mess this up by the way. I already saw three adaptations of this film and none was bad.

  20. Please do Muppet Treasure Island for Disneycember!!!!

  21. This has always been a must watch classic in my family.

  22. It’s also worth pointing out that a lot of Gonzo’s/Dicken’s narration and a lot of the dialogue is lifted directly from the book, so this is probably the “straightest” adaptation of the book to a film you’ll find, in spite of the Muppets. A lot of the movies keep some of the iconic dialogue (“Then perhaps they should, and decrease the surplus population,” etc.), but actually keeping some of the original narration in there really helps the film stand out. I also admire that they went the extra mile of creating original Muppets to portray the spirits, rather than just sticking existing characters in the roles.

  23. Muppet Treasure Island, Muppet Treasure Island, Muppet Treasure Island…. What I can make a movie request.

  24. Merry Christmas to one and all, may this day bring you endless happiness and joy plus bring you one step closer to Jesus Christ.

  25. Merry Christmas Doug… =3

    I’ve seen both, but being honest, this one was always close to my heart. I fucking loved this move growing up and still do today.

  26. Okay, I know you were describing that odd little beat between XMas Present and Scrooge as a negative, and you’re right, it looks downright silly, but I have this abiding love of campiness and good intentions gone awry that just makes me want to take that moment, and give it a big hug the way a parent embraces his or her dimwitted but sweet-natured child.
    I’m a little biased in favor of this one because it has probably the most Gonzo screen time of any (except for Muppets from Space and let’s not dwell on that film), and he has been my personal “identification” character since WAY back in the day. In fact, for the longest time my facepic was Gonzo dressed as Nightcrawler from the X-Men since I have a thing for fuzzy, charming blue guys.

  27. Doug should Definately do a muppet month of some sorts. Going through all the movies and maybe an overview of the show. I don’t know I would really like to see his opinions on them. The muppet Caper and Muppet Treasure Island are my favourite ones

  28. *Sigh* Looks like no ‘Cat from outer Space’ episode this year. 🙂

    • Meh. I’ve been nagging Doug & co to review ‘John Denver & the Muppets:A Xmas Together’ for years without success. Oh well.
      I personally love this version of Xmas Carol. Caine beautifully underplays the character,which works a lot better for me tham other versions. I find Patrick Stewart’s version unwatchable as it is too bombastic,stagey and OTT. And I LOVE how the film ends with ‘if you like the movie,check out the book!” from Rizzo & Gonzo. Lovely stuff.

  29. AzerathMetrionMentos

    To be honest, I didn’t see this movie til adulthood, and my first encounter with A Christmas Carol was the staging by North Shore Music Theatre (Beverly, Massachusetts). My grandmother was a middle school English teacher and her class would go on a field trip to the see the performance every winter and she took me along a few times.
    But I think Michael Caine did a decent job. Not “OMFG stop the presses no one else should ever be Scrooge Michael Caine is THE Scrooge to end all Scrooges!” but better than you let on. Just my opinion though.

  30. I usually agree with you Doug, with few exceptions, but this time you couldn’t be more wrong. This is my all-time favorite Christmas Carol, and I love Michael Cain in this. He honestly loved doing those musical numbers that he did them over and over, take after take from the top. I love his graveyard scene, playing on the idea that we all know what’s coming that Scrooge knows too. He knows all too well what his fate is and is doing whatever he can to avoid admitting it. Then there’s the end scene where he prays on his knees while looking to the sky – not an easy trick.

    No one can sell Mrs. Cratchet’s lines like Ms. Piggy. No one. I love the spirits for the same reason Doug mentions, and I love the Dark Crystal/Labyrinth feel that the new Muppet characters bring to it. I love the fact that they bring so much more from the book than any other movie version. And I love that Gonzo and Rizzo crack me up every single time.

    • I like that the actors and Muppets get a chance to break out of their own mold and tell a legit story straight, while also feeling very Muppet-ish and funny. I wish they’d do this more often. Arguably my favorite Muppet movie ever as well as favorite Christmas movie.

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