3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good -- but missing some parts
I always loved this movie, so was excited to finally add it to my DVD collection! However, when I watched it I realized they had cut some stuff out -- like one of the songs! If you're a true Muppet Christmas Carol fan, I'd buy the older version.
if you've never seen it, it's a fantastic family movie and one of the best versions of this story I've ever seen...
Published on Jan. 6 2011 by e-beth
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe it
I really can't believe it. I've waited for so long for this DVD and now I know that it is a "edited version" of the original film. WHAT? I should buy a cutted version of the movie? Are you crazy? Selling this, Walt Disney is fooling us all. It's like to buy a "Mona Lisa" by Leonardo da Vinci with just the face and without the body, the hands and the mountains. I wonder...
Published on Dec 26 2003 by idefix7
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5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly delightful Christmas Carol,
Charles Dickens' Christmas Carol has appeared many times in various incarnations, in the movies, on television and on radio. I haven't seen or heard every version there is, but I would have a difficult time finding a version that is more enticing than this one. In fact, I am not currently aware of any Christmas video that touches me more than this outing by the Muppets, not even my other two favorites "It's a Wonderful Life" and "A Charlie Brown Christmas." Yes, it is directed to an extent toward children, but it is also directed toward the child in each of us, and in this it succeeds 100 percent. In fact, being an adult is definitely a plus in catching some of the humor.
Some of the better-known Muppet characters play important roles in this adaptation, including Kermit as Bob Cratchit and of course Miss Piggy as Mrs. Cratchit. These two are by turns comic and surprisingly moving as the situation requires. Gonzo in the role of Charles Dickens narrates and provides comic relief, along with his cleverly-named sidekick Rizzo the Rat, but the two wisely disappear from the film during the more somber Ghost of Christmas Future episode, to return, as they tell us ahead of time, for the finale. And Fozzie the Bear appears as Scrooge's old employer named, not surprisingly, Fozziewig rather than Fezziwig.
There are certain plot changes to the story, but none of them are severe and none affect the tale's basic meaning. One of the changes is that Scrooge presides over an office of bookkeepers of whom Cratchit is the spokesperson. Perhaps the biggest change is that there are two Marley brothers, Jacob and the newly created Robert, played by those two hecklers whose names I don't know. This modification gives the two of them a chance to sing a darkly comic duet about their current situation. We do get to see the brothers one more time, as guests at Fozziewig's Christmas party, so our final impression of them is not as the suffering spirits. Another important change is that the final scene takes place at Bob Cratchit's house on Christmas day rather than at Scrooge's office the day after, thus allowing for a big finale involving most of the major characters.
The Muppets and even the subtle changes in plot all add a little extra something to the show. However, it is Michael Caine as Scrooge who really brings this picture off. He is younger than most Scrooges, which gives hope that he will be able to benefit his community for many more years than he might if he were older. His portrayal of Scrooge is so full of subtlety that I find myself sympathizing with the character at a much earlier point than I do in most versions. For example, when he joins his former sweetheart in her good-bye song "Love Is Gone," I am genuinely touched, because I can see that he has repeated to himself many times over the years the words she said to him that day. And when he discovers that this Christmas he is the butt of his nephew's rather unchristian Christmas game/joke, I feel Scrooge's pain. So we are well prepared for his completely believable and indeed inevitable final transformation when he sees his tombstone. Caine is so good in fact, that I don't even begrudge him his appropriation of Tiny Tim's immortal final line. He surely deserves that much of a plum, especially after spending the film acting with a bunch of Muppets, which cannot have been the easiest assignment of his career. A wonderful portrayal from every aspect.
I mentioned "Love Is Gone" as a touching representation of Scrooge's state of mind. But the fact is that each of the half-dozen or so songs in the movie sets an atmosphere and a mood, and each adds something to the film that would not be there if the song were omitted.
The Muppet Christmas Carol can, of course, be seen merely as an introduction to Charles Dickens' famous story (and Gonzo does in fact advise the audience to read the book if they enjoyed the movie). But I think the film also stands magnificently by itself as a wonderful retelling of this particular Christmas tale. Either way, it's a Christmas film that is not to be missed, by young or old. 5 stars? 7 or 8 at the very least!
5.0 out of 5 stars Caine Delivers A Great "Carol",
Imagine a world in which muppets and humans exist and live side by side; now imagine that scenario being used to present one of the most beloved stories in literature, and you have "The Muppet Christmas Carol," directed by Brian Henson and starring Michael Caine as the inimitable Ebenezer Scrooge. A movie for children, you say? Absolutely. Adults? Most certainly. All that's required of any audience is that you suspend disbelief for awhile and check your doubts at the door; do that and you're in for a thoroughly enjoyable ninety minutes or so as Caine, Kermit, Miss Piggy and all the rest bring you a unique and entertaining version of the Charles Dickens' classic, guaranteed to be unlike any you've seen before. For the younger set, the antics of the muppets alone will be enthralling; for the rest of us there's some subtle humor (as can be found in all of the muppets outings), and of course the story itself which, when well crafted and delivered-- as this one is-- always seems fresh, especially when seeing a new version for the first time. Henson has done a tremendous job of melding the live actors with the animated and presenting them together in such a natural setting, and with such imagination, that it's easy to accept the world in which they live and thrive; so much so that if Gonzo came to your door while you were watching this one, you wouldn't think twice about it. And there are so many clever bits sprinkled throughout, for instance, having the Marley "Brothers," Jacob and "Robert." Things adults will pick up on, and which will be entertaining to kids who will take what they see and hear at face value. As for the casting of Michael Caine as Scrooge, to land such a gifted actor to anchor the story was a coup indeed; and Caine more than delivers, creating an imposing figure of Scrooge that he makes quite his own. And how gratifying to see yet another interpretation of one of the most well known figures in literature played so well. Caine immerses himself in the part and performs opposite Kermit the Frog or Miss Piggy with the same dedication and eye for detail that he did opposite Olivier in "Sleuth," or Connery in "The Man Who Would Be King." It's a performance that lends distinction to the film and illustrates what a consummate professional Caine is. Everyone's favorite muppets are on hand for this one, with Kermit in the role of Bob Cratchit, Miss Piggy as Mrs. Cratchit and The Great Gonzo in the role of Charles Dickens, who also narrates the story, along with the help of Rizzo the Rat. The familiar tale remains intact under Henson's direction, and what a treat "The Muppet Christmas Carol" will be to the youngsters who are being introduced to it with this film. And for the holiday season it's like a bright and sparkling decoration that will fit in nicely with the traditional festivities of every family, and will help to keep the spirit alive within all of us.
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! Awesome! Wonderous!,
There aren't enough words to describe how wonderful this movie is! You watch the movie and don't think that you are watching a bunch of puppets, you become engrossed in the classic Dickens story in this totally wonderful retelling. The songs, oh the songs, they are wonderful too. If I could own only 1 movie, this would be the one I pick. I watch it over and over as if watching it (in awe) for the first time. I would gladly pay an outrageous sum of money for a DVD or a CD-soundtrack of this film.
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE THIS MOVIE!,
I thought this was perhaps the best adaptation of the Dickens' tale yet. First of all, Micheal Caine delivers a wonderful performance worthy of an Oscar nomination. He plays along wonderfully with his co-stars. The Muppets themselves, especially Gonzo as Charles Dickens and Rizzo the Rat as himself, are equally wonderful. They have the Muppet zest, freshness and vitality featured in "The Muppet Show". The music is very good too, and most of the songs are quite memorable. All in all, I beleive this may be my favorite Christmas movie.
5.0 out of 5 stars Perhaps the Best Version of Dickens' Tale (No Kidding!),
This movie has become a regular holiday tradition in our home (along with It's A Wonderful Life) and I'm serious when I say it may well be my favorite version of Dickens' classic story. Yes, it has the typical Muppet elements (it is very funny at times), but stays true to the story and is actually quite moving. Michael Caine is a thoroughly convincing and wonderful Scrooge. Few actors could portray the transformation of Scrooge with such a mix of humor and warmth, and with Muppets no less! Paul Williams' musical score is fantastic and it's a wonder to me that he didn't receive more acclaim for it (it far surpasses the recent Disney scores of Tim Rice and others). Make this movie a tradition for your holidays...adults and children alike will be glad you did.
5.0 out of 5 stars Ridiculously accurate!,
At first, its easy to be skeptical of the idea of this classic of literature being portrayed by a frog, a pig, and their assorted friends. Believe it or not, however, this is probably the most touching rendition of "A Christmas Carol" I have ever seen! Although the Muppets present things in a light and sometimes downright silly way, the characters are so incredibly likeable that I really "got" the point of the story from watching this version.
The video features sarcastic humor and visual jokes and will make you laugh from beginning to end. At the same time, you can't help but care for all the characters, and you really are concerned for Tiny Tim and his family, almost forgetting that they are frogs and pigs. The video transitions neatly back and forth from humor to sensitivity. Although obviously this video is not completely accurate to the details of Dickens's version of the story, the spirit that he was trying to convey is definately present. Aside from the adorable plot, the music in this movie is wonderful! The songs are touching and memorable, and the fact that they are sang by rats and vegetables is just an added bonus. "It feels like Christmas" is absolutely adorable!
Don't think this video is just for kids either! Even my father couldn't help but chuckle at the dry humor of Gonzo in his role as Charles Dickens. This is a video that the family can watch and rewatch together, and should become a part of anyone's Christmas tradition.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest holiday movies.,
I love Christmas movies. I love the kindness, and love, and warmth in these movies, even if they aren't about Jesus Christ. It helps to show that people can be good, and kind, and caring. That's what the whole season is about, to my mind. Christmas movies show us that. And this is a great movie, because it is very much a perfect Christmas movie. The songs are absolutely perfect ("It Feels Like Christmas" is probably one of my favorite Christmas songs now), the acting (both human and puppet) is great, and the story is very true to the actual novel by Dickens. The dialogue is both funny and touching, and it makes a lot of points that you both wouldn't expect in a Muppet movie, and wouldn't see the first time around. In short, this is a great movie that gets better every time you watch it. So watch it, and watch it...
4.0 out of 5 stars I NEVER Would Have Thought It Possible!,
As an English Major, I abhor it when movies desecrate timeless classics of literature. (Disney's desecration of Hugo's "Hunchback of Notre Dame" offended me to the quick.) As charming as the muppets are, I never would have thought that they could tell the story of Dickens' "Christmas Carol" so well! Interestingly the personalities of the different muppets actually do coincide with the the characters from Dickens' book quite well. Even Mrs Piggy's outbursts and harsh remarks are not very distant from the actual character in the book. The truth is, the movie is so well done, that you almost lose awareness of the fact that the majority of characters are puppets. The images and music are very well done. I still feel Caine is at his absolute best in his role as Detective Fred Abberline in "Jack the Ripper." But, he is one of the best Scrooges I have ever seen. I honestly feel this movie accomplishes something wonderful. Not only does it tell the story very well, but the use of the muppets can actually get children interested in the timeless works of Charles Dickens.
5.0 out of 5 stars Family Christmas tradition,
Every year my family has invited friends over to participate in the yearly viewing of this wonderful movie. It's become a tradition. Now that my children are grown, I'm buying each of them their own copy so they can continue the yearly practice wherever they're stationed. Enjoy!
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and touching,
By A Customer
I went to see this movie in the theater when it came out and found it hilarious then. We sat in front of several football players from University of Kansas and they laughed as hard as we did. But aside from being funny, this is a very lovely film. It's one of the great stories of all time, and the fact that most of the characters are puppets only adds to the magic. Michael Caine plays it straight and, in so doing, makes a genuinely poignant Scrooge. Watch it carefully - there are subtle pieces in there which take attention to notice.
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The Muppet Christmas Carol by Brian Henson (DVD - 2002)