S. LaMere

Frozen Flashback time. The temperature felt about 2 degrees today, so I figured I would write about one of my favorite Christmas movies that came out when I was 2 years old. Valid connection, right? The Muppet Christmas Carol was a holiday staple for many ‘90s kids, and for good reason. The Muppets are awesome.  I love the classic Muppet Movie from 1979, and HAD to go see The Muppets (2011) in the theatres to welcome my felt friends back to the silver screen. And around Christmas one may see about a hundred versions of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol; but let’s face it, nothing beats the Muppets taking on a classic.  

Gonzo the Great recounts the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine), and his encounter with the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future to find happiness in the holidays and appreciation in the small things in life. Kermit the Frog plays the role of Bob Cratchit, the employee of Scrooge, constantly advocating for the welfare of the other employees during the holiday season, and father of Tiny Tim, a small, ill frog-child in this situation. Surprisingly dark for a Muppet film, at least compared to Kermit’s “Rainbow Connection”-banjo-playing days, The Muppet Christmas Carol was responsible for a few nightmares during my early childhood, especially of the ghost of Christmas future:  a Dementor looking creature, breaking to Scrooge that poor Tiny Tim had taken a turn for the worse in his illness (shown to Scrooge during his time spent with the ghost of Christmas Present), and Scrooge’s own lonesome tombstone. Rizzo, the rat, even comments on the darkness of the movie, saying, “Boy, that’s scary stuff! Should we be worried about the kids in the audience?” to which Gonzo replies, “Nah, it’s alright. This is culture.” You’ve got that right, Gonzo. Culture.

So maybe not something to watch with your kindergartener, but instills an appreciation for the literary classics, as well as for film appreciation. The Muppets themselves are a cinematic centerpiece of American childhood. Always recruiting top celebrities for cameos in their films to stay relevant with the times, the Muppets cater to each generation; the same puppets and characters, but different stories allowing different sides of the Muppets to shine through. The 1970s Muppets highlighted the Muppets’ rise to fame, while the 1990s were a dark time, exploring the fragility of life following the death of the Muppets’ creator, Jim Henson (interesting fact: The Muppet Christmas Carol was the first feature film to be released after Jim Henson’s death). In 2011, the Muppets satirically focused attention on their disappearance from the limelight, expressing this in an exchange of quotes between Rico Rodriguez (Manny from Modern Family) who asks, “Are you one of the teenage mutant ninja turtles?” while Kermit quickly answers, “yes, I am,” to recruit him for celebrity help, showing the generation gap between fans of the Muppets and those younger than them. Keep the Muppets and A Christmas Carol alive this holiday season, and watch The Muppet Christmas Carol!

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.