UltimateDisney.com's Top 30 Live Action Disney Movies Countdown
12. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
I have a long history with "A Christmas Carol", ever since I was forced to read and analyse it during English at school. At its heart, it really is one of the best stories ever written, but being a book written in the mid 1800's, it's not exactly accessible for today's children.

Or at least it wasn't until the Muppets decided to do their own version! For a film lasting roughly one and a half hours, the Muppet version is surprisingly close to the original text. Everything of importance is included in the Muppet screenplay. In fact, seemingly ignoring Einstein's theory of time, they've managed to do this while adding their own unique irrelevance and humour to the script. How did that manage to cram it all in? And how did they manage to tell the story, sing the songs, make their jokes and constantly break the fourth wall? But there's more. They did all this while remaining true not only to Dickens' but also true to the characters of every Muppet performer. Incredible! But to top the lot they only went and got Michael Caine to play Scooge! How often do all aspects of a production come together as perfectly as this?

-James Reader

It's a classic tale told with classic characters and it marked a return to greatness for The Muppets. "A Christmas Carol" is a tradition for so many families, and now The Muppets are a part of that. The Muppet Christmas Carol brought back to prominence all of the classic Muppet characters, only this time, they played something other than themselves! Kermit The Frog as Bob Cratchit, Miss Piggy as Mrs. Cratchit, Gonzo as Charles Dickins and even Fozzie Bear as Fozziewig! No matter what Muppet was your favorite, they all made an appearance somewhere in the movie.

The movie is cleverly anchored by a live actor rather than a muppet. Excellently casted in the part of Scrooge is Michael Caine. Humans pop in and out of the movie, interacting side by side with the Muppets.

Accentuating the movie are a handful of songs by Paul Williams. The songs flow seamlessly in the movie and add that magical holiday feel.

I find it interesting that both Kermit the Frog (the icon for the Muppets) and Mickey Mouse (the icon for Disney) have both now played Bob Cratchit. It just is another example of how good a fit the Muppets are for Disney.

-Jeffrey DeWitt

DVD Details
While Disney outdid Columbia/TriStar with clever new menus and more substantial bonus features on their two Muppet films, they lost major points by not including the widescreen versions. The Muppet Christmas Carol's initial DVD was a step down from the letterboxed laserdisc, and in spite of a plethora of nice supplements, was an overwhelmingly disappointing release. This home video travesty was corrected in November 2005 when Disney reissued this beloved holiday gem as a Kermit's 50th Anniversary Edition DVD. This remastered disc sports a top-notch anamorphic widescreen transfer, all of the previous disc's bonus features (except for the excellent making-of documentary), and a new "Pepe's Profiles Present - Kermit: A Frog's Life" featurette. While it's easy to grumble that the extended version of the film and audio commentary are relegated to the unsightly pan-and-scan version, the DVD still merits a hearty recommendation.
Buy The Muppet Christmas Carol: Kermit's 50th Anniversary Edition
Read our The Muppet Christmas Carol: Kermit's 50th Anniversary Edition DVD review
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