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The Muppet Christmas Carol

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The theatrical poster for the film.


A promotional photo of the Cratchits (played by Kermit, Robin, and Miss Piggy).

The Muppet Christmas Carol is a 1992 film starring Michael Caine and the Muppets in an adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens tale A Christmas Carol. It is notably the first theatrical film to star the Muppets following the deaths of Muppets creator Jim Henson and fellow puppeteer Richard Hunt; as such, the film was dedicated to the memory of both Henson and Hunt. It is also the second theatrical film adaptation of A Christmas Carol released by Walt Disney Pictures, between Mickey's Christmas Carol in 1983 and Robert Zemeckis' CGI-influenced version in 2009.


In this adaptation of the Christmas story, narrated by Gonzo as Charles Dickens (with the occasional commentary of 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 (played by Kermit the Frog), have 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 Honeydew and 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 and complains that it is not worth looking after the poor, as their deaths will decrease the surplus population. Fred is shocked at his uncle's uncharitable and cold nature, but repeats his invitation, makes his own donation, and departs.

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, a childlike specter 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 (Robin the Frog) 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. It is also revealed that, as a result of Scrooge's transformation, Tiny Tim will not die the premature death predicted by the final ghost. In the meantime, Scrooge plans a feast for Cratchit's family, and learns to adopt the spirit of Christmas throughout the year, now encouraged by his many new-found friends.


Songs featured in the film include:

The song "When Love is Gone" was cut from the film's original theatrical release, because the filmmakers found that the test audiences (mainly family viewers with younger children) become restless during the scene in question. When the movie was released on VHS and Laserdisc in the United States and the United Kingdom the following year, "When Love is Gone" was reinstated, since the filmmakers decided it worked better in a home-viewing context. Subsequent video releases of the film have included the song, with the 2005 DVD release also containing the original theatrical version. However, the United Kingdom's DVD release and the 2012 Blu-ray release did not include the song.

Two extra songs were also written for the film by Paul Williams - "Room in Your Heart" (sung by Bunsen and Beaker), and "Chairman of the Board" (sung by Sam the Eagle). These two songs were dropped from the script early on because the filmmakers felt the film was already going to be quite lengthy, that the songs didn't help progress the story, and that they would hurt the overall pacing and feel of the film. However, the songs were included on the film's soundtrack album.


The Muppet Christmas Carol Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was initially released by Jim Henson Records in 1992 in conjunction with the film's theatrical release. It was subsequently reissued by Walt Disney Records in conjunction with the 2005 DVD release, and later as a digital download in 2012. The album contains all of the songs featured in the film, including the above-mentioned deleted songs. The film's score, composed by Miles Goodman, was also included on the album.


  • This is the first of the Muppet movies in which the focus of the story revolves around characters played by human beings. However, several pivotal roles -- in particular, the three Christmas Spirits -- were portrayed by specially-created Muppet characters. It was at one time considered that well-known Muppets would be cast in these roles (Piggy, Scooter, and Gonzo, specifically) before it was decided that it would detract from the ominous effect the spirits would need to convey.
  • This was the first theatrical Muppet film to not include cameos from any Sesame Street characters (not counting Kermit). However, Sprocket from Fraggle Rock appears in several crowd shots and even sings along in "Thankful Heart" at the end.
  • The character of Scrooge's sister, Fan/Fran, is completely absent from this version.
  • Near the end of the film, Scrooge and company pass by a store called "Micklewhite's." Michael Caine's real name is Maurice Micklewhite. Another store sign is called "Statler and Waldorf," the names of the Muppets who portray Jabob and Robert Marley.
  • This film was originally planned to be a TV special.[1]

Home video releases

After its original theatrical release, Buena Vista Home Video, under the Jim Henson Video label, released The Muppet Christmas Carol was released on VHS and Laserdisc in the United States on November 5, 1993. It was released on home video in the United Kingdom on November 19th of the same year.

Disney later released the movie on DVD for the first time on October 8, 2002. In addition to the pan-and-scan "home video edit" of the film, the DVD contained an audio commentary by director Brian Henson, a 22-minute making-of documentary, an educational featurette about worldwide Christmas traditions starring Gonzo and Rizzo, and a blooper reel. It also contained parental screens that were stored in the "Title Menus" section of the disc which were left unused due to the MPAA rating for the film.

Three years later, Disney released the film on DVD again, this time labeled as a "Kermit's 50th Anniversary Edition" release. The 2005 DVD featured the film in both its original theatrical cut (presented in widescreen) and the home video edit (presented in pan-and-scan), and it also contained most of the extra features from the previous DVD (with the strange exception of the making-of documentary) as well as a new "Pepe's Profiles" featurette profiling Gonzo.

A 20th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray / Digital Copy combo pack, labeled the "It's Not Easy Being Scrooge" Edition, was released on November 6, 2012, alongside a reissue of the 2005 DVD release (with new cover art and a different label). The Blu-ray contains all of the bonus features from the previous two DVD releases, plus a second audio commentary by the Muppets; however, the film is presented without the "When Love is Gone" song. A combo pack containing the DVD, the Blu-ray, and the Digital Copy was also made available exclusively on

US releases

International releases



A promotional photo with Kermit, Miss Piggy, Robin, and Gonzo.


Director/producer Brian Henson on the set of the movie.

Caine greenscreen

Michael Caine films a flying sequence against a green screen.


Mike Quinn, Michael Caine and Steve Whitmire posing with the Cratchits.


Mike Quinn, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire and Jerry Nelson performing pig businessmen.


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


Muppeteer Character
Dave Goelz Charles Dickens (Gonzo)
Robert Marley (Waldorf)
Dr. Bunsen Honeydew
Betina Crachit
Pig businessman
Steve Whitmire Bob Cratchit (Kermit the Frog)
Rizzo the Rat
Bean Bunny
Belinda Cratchit
Pig businessman
Frank Oz Emily Cratchit (Miss Piggy)
Fozziwig (Fozzie Bear)
The Headmaster (Sam the Eagle)
George the janitor
Mr. Bitte
Vegetable vendor
Jerry Nelson Tiny Tim (Robin the Frog)
Jacob Marley (Statler)
Ma Fozziwig (Emily Bear)
Floyd Pepper
Lew Zealand
The Ghost of Christmas Present
Mr. Applegate
Father Mouse
Pig businessman
Rat bookkeepers
Singing food
David Rudman Peter Cratchit
The Swedish Chef
Old Joe
Beggar on crutch
Karen Prell Daughter Mouse
The Ghost of Christmas Past
Mike Quinn Pig businessman
Turkey vendor
Louise Gold Cockney woman
Mrs. Dilber


  1. Lewis, Jim The MuppetCast episode 35

External links

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed
content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Jim Henson Productions and Related Shows
Sesame Street and related shows Christmas Eve on Sesame StreetA Special Sesame Street ChristmasElmo Saves ChristmasElmo's World: Happy Holidays!A Sesame Street Christmas CarolElmo's Christmas CountdownChristmas with Ernie & Bert • "Monster Monster Day" • Untitled 2016 Christmas special
The Muppets John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas TogetherA Muppet Family ChristmasThe Muppet Christmas CarolIt's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas MovieA Muppets Christmas: Letters to SantaLady Gaga & the Muppets' Holiday Spectacular • "Single All the Way"
Other shows and specials The Great Santa Claus SwitchEmmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas • "The Bells of Fraggle Rock" • The Christmas Toy • "Refrigerator Day" • Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree • "A Berry Bear Christmas"
Merry Christmas from Sesame StreetJohn Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas TogetherA Sesame Street ChristmasElmo Saves Christmas: Holiday FavoritesA Green and Red ChristmasBob! from Sesame Street: Christmas Sing Along
The Walt Disney Company
Animated shorts
Empty SocksMickey's OrphansSanta's WorkshopMickey's Good DeedThe Night Before ChristmasToy TinkersPluto's Christmas TreeThe Small OneMickey's Christmas Carol • "Jingle Bells, Something Smells" • "The Nutcracker" • "Mickey's Mixed Nuts" • "Mickey's Christmas Chaos" • Operation: Secret Santa • "Oh, Christmas Tree!"
Animated The Nightmare Before ChristmasBeauty and the Beast: The Enchanted ChristmasMickey's Once Upon a ChristmasWinnie the Pooh: Seasons of GivingMickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of MouseRecess Christmas: Miracle on Third StreetA Very Merry Pooh YearMickey's Twice Upon a ChristmasMy Friends Tigger & Pooh: Super Sleuth Christmas MovieA Christmas Carol
Live-action Babes in ToylandOne Magic ChristmasThe Christmas StarErnest Saves ChristmasA Mom For ChristmasIn the Nick of TimeThe Muppet Christmas CarolThe Santa ClauseThe Christmas TreeI'll Be Home For ChristmasSanta Who?The Ultimate Christmas Present 'Twas the NightThe Santa Clause 2Eloise at ChristmastimeThe Santa Clause 3: The Escape ClauseSanta BuddiesThe Search for Santa PawsGood Luck Charlie, It's Christmas!Santa Paws 2: The Santa Pups
Television specials and episodes
Television specials From All of Us to All of YouA Disney Christmas GiftA Disney Channel ChristmasWinnie the Pooh and Christmas TooA Goof Troop ChristmasPhineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation!Prep & LandingMickey's Christmas SpecialPrep & Landing: Naughty vs. NiceToy Story That Time ForgotFrozen holiday special
Television episodes Disney Television Animation "Jolly Molly Christmas" • "It's a Wonderful Leaf" • "Miracle at the 34th Precinct" • "Doug's Secret Christmas" • "A Christmas Cruella" • "Yes, Mikey, Santa Does Shave" • "Don't Be Elfish" • "A Kosher Christmas" • "A Dog For All Seasons" • "The Worst Holiday Ever" • "Holiday Time" • "Seven Days of Kwanzaa" • "The Blight Before Christmas" • "Cheery Theerlap, Lloyd" • "Pete's Christmas Caper" • "Clarabelle's Christmas List" • "Happy Holidays, Mr. Gruff!" • "A Very Possible Christmas" • "Topper" • "On Whiskers, On Lola, On Cheryl and Meryl" • "Hairy Christmas" • "A Giftmas Story" • "Season's Beatings" • "Dick Daring's All-Star Holiday Stunt Spectacular V" • "Stitch and Santa" • "A Phineas and Ferb Family Christmas" • "A Cousin Kyle Christmas" • "Merry Fishmas, Milo" • "The Gift" • "Gingersnaps and Grumpy Snaps / Jollybells"
Playhouse Disney / Disney Junior "A Circus Town Christmas" • "Twinkle's Wish" • "The Christmas Wish " • "The Wind-Up Toy Prince" • "Mickey Saves Santa" • "The Night Before Zipsmas / A Gift For Zooter" • "Flicker Saves Christmas" • "The Ayalas' Christmas Extravaganza" • "The Living Holiday Lights" • "It's a Winter Never Land!" • "A Very McStuffins Christmas" • "Holiday in Enchancia" • "Captain Scrooge" • "Winter's Gift" • "Toby's Christmas Critter / A Very Tricky Christmas"
Television specials The Walt Disney Christmas ShowChristmas at Pooh CornerA Magic Kingdom Yuletide SpecialThe Disney Christmas SpecialMickey's NutcrackerDisney's Christmas Fantasy on IceA Muppets Christmas: Letters to SantaGood Luck Jessie: NYC ChristmasJessie's Aloha Holidays with Parker & JoeyDisney Channel Fa-La-La-Lidays Celebrates a Radio Disney Family Holiday
Television episodes Walt Disney Television "Christmas at the Circus" • "Christmas in Wonderland" • "Refrigerator Day" • "A Roman Holiday" • "Fountain" • "Happy Holidays" • "Heck of a Hanukkah" • "Xtreme Xmas" • "Escape Claus" • "Christmas at the Tipton" • "Christmas Break" • "Killing Me Softly With His Height" • "Present Problem" • "Happy Ha-Ha Holidays" • "A So Random! Holiday Special" • "A London Carol" • "Bro Ho Ho" • "So Random! Episode 18" • "Pair of Santas" • "sANTa's Little Helpers" • "Christmas Story" • "Jingle It Up" • "A Little Elf Esteem" • "A Duncan Christmas" • "Bark! The Herald Angels Sing" • "Merry Merry It Up" • "Oh, Christmas Nuts!" • "Big Dreams & Big Apples" • "Nanny in Miami" • "Fa La La La-A-Rooney" • "Mix-Ups & Mistletoes" • "Twas the Mission Before Christmas" • "silANT night" • "Twas the Fight Before Christmas" • "Girl Meets Home for the Holidays" • "Stan Steals Christmas" • "Merry Miss Sis" • "Secret Santa" • "Twas the Fight Before Christmas" • "The Girls of Christmas Past" • "Santas & Surprises" • "Joy-to-a-Rooney" • "Single All the Way"
Touchstone / ABC Studios "It's a Marginal Life" • "Yule Better Watch Out" • "I'm Scheming of a White Christmas" • "Santa's Little Helper" • "'Twas the Blight Before Christmas" • "Some Like It Hot Rod" • "'Twas the Night Before Chaos" • "'Twas the Flight Before Christmas" • "Easy Street" • "Bright Christmas" • "A Very Topanga Christmas" • "Home for the Holidays" • "An According to Jiminy Christmas" • "One Office Party Too Many" • "The Christmas Party" • "Secret Santa" • "Silent Night, Opening Night" • "Stalking Santa" • "Aru-Bah Humbug" • "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" • "The Gift of Maggie" • "Christmas Time" • "Light the Lights" • "The Miracle Song" • "Fake Plastic Snow" • "The Nutcracker" • "Two for the Money" • "Holidaze" • "Boom Crunch" • "Cold Turkey" • "How the 'A' Stole Christmas"
A Family ChristmasDisney's Merry Christmas CarolsA Pooh ChristmasDisney's Christmas CollectionDisney's Christmas Collection IIDisney's Family Christmas CollectionDisney's Snowy ChristmasDisney's Princess Christmas AlbumDisney's Merry Little ChristmasA Green and Red ChristmasDisney's Holiday Celebration 2007Disney Channel HolidayDisney Holiday Magic 2009Disney Winter Wonderland 2010Phineas and Ferb Holiday FavoritesMickey's Magical Holiday 2011Disney Channel Holiday Playlist
Disney Parks Christmas Day ParadeThe Magic of Christmas at DisneylandThe Magic of Christmas at Walt Disney WorldFa-La-La-Lidays

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