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The Muppet Christmas Carol

 

Year: 1992 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC U Cert – Universal 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Brian Henson 
Starring: Michael Caine, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire  
An image from The Muppet Christmas Carol
Review:

Held over from last term to deliberately tie in with the yuletide spirit at the Film Society, The Muppet Christmas Carol should fit in nicely with all that extra turkey and Christmas wine. To briefly recap the plot: mean old Scrooge, so wonderfully portrayed by Michael Caine, that you almost forgive the fact that he cannot sing, is of course so mean and tight-fisted that he has completely forgotten the true meaning of Christmas. Following a visit from his deceased friend Jacob Marley and the Ghost of Christmas' past, present, and future he soon wakes up and young Bob Cratchitt is given Christmas day off.

A good story can be retold time and time again and still remain fresh - and this is the case here. Once again, the Muppets are wonderfully comic, filling the screen with at least one genuine laugh every minute or so. Bob Cratchitt is of course played by Kermit; Miss Piggy his psychopathic wife; Mr. Fozziwig owns a chicken factory and the Great Gonzo keeps the story ticking over by being the helpful narrator.

My advice is to go to the Union, have a drink (or two), then pop over to watch this quite wonderful movie; and then you can return even more full of Christmas spirit than you had originally intended. God Bless ya Mr. Scrooge!

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This well-known Christmas tale is narrated by Charles Dickens (Gonzo) and Rizzo the Rat (as himself). It tells of how Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Cane), a wealthy but generally disliked miserly businessman, is visited by the ghosts of his former partners, the Marleys. They tell him of three more ghosts who will visit him, the ghosts of Christmas ‘past’, ‘present’ and ‘yet to come’. The ghosts arrive in turn, and take him on journeys to show him his childhood life, how people talk about him now, and his own demise.

Caine, the principal human actor, plays Scrooge brilliantly, avoiding the temptation to go for cheap laughs, and treats the Muppets as if they are real. Most of the other roles are played by the Muppets themselves, such as Kermit as Bob Cratchit and Miss Piggy as Mrs Cratchit, leading to a family where all the girls are pigs and all the boys are frogs.

It may not be the most accurate re-telling of Dicken’s novel, but it is certainly one of the most enjoyable. The film is full of the expected chaos and Muppetian jollity, look out for the seen in which Scrooges bookkeeping rats complain about the cold, but when threatened with being fired all immediately reappear in beachwear singing ‘Island in the Sun’.

Brian Henson, son of the late Jim Henson, has done a brilliant job of keeping to the original Muppet ‘faith’. The brilliant Christmas-Yet-To-Come sequence features Kermits moving farewell to ‘Tiny Tim’, perhaps the perfect farewell to Jim Henson as well.

Whether you’re a Muppet fan or not, go see this film and enjoy it !

Mark Sambrook


Back by popular demand (honest), The Muppet Christmas Carol is the definitive end of term favourite, and the perfect precursor to a night of hard drinking in the Union.

Join Gonzo and Rizzo The Rat as they unfold their own retelling of the classic Dickens tale of Ebenezer Scrooge (Caine), miser extraordinaire, held accountable for his dastardly ways during night-time visitations by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and future.

Michael Caine is surprisingly good as Scrooge, the man who makes his employees work on Christmas Eve without providing extra heating (off-campus students should relate to this). He also sings but don't let this put you off!

Kermit and Miss Piggy take on the roles of Bob Cratchett and his wife respectively, coping very well with what are, essentially, extremely demanding characters. Kermit once again proves himself to be an extremely versatile actor (check out his much acclaimed performance of Captain Smollett in Muppet Treasure Island).

The ghosts are scary, the songs are colourfully choreographed and brilliantly executed. Rizzo gets beaten up a lot, providing endless amusement, and there are plenty of opportunities to heckle Tiny Tim (who is a bit of a wuss but he could have been be worse - he could have been played by Tom Hanks).

Caroline Smith


A definite end of term favourite, The Muppet Christmas Carol is the perfect precursor to that hard night of drinking in the Union. Join Gonzo and Rizzo as they tell their own version of the story that some bod called Dickens cooked up. Michael Caine is surprisingly good as Ebenezer Scrooge, a man who heartlessly makes his employees work on Christmas Eve without providing extra heating. He also sings, but please don't let this deter you! Kermit and Miss Piggy take on the roles of Bob Cratchet and his good missus, and they cope well with what are, essentially, extremely demanding characters. The ghosties are scary, the songs are colourfully choreographed and brilliantly executed, Rizzo gets beaten up a lot and there are plenty of opportunities to heckle Tiny Tim (Who is a bit of a wuss, but at least he isn't being played by Tom Hanks).

Start your festivities early this year and take part in Muppet Mayhem...Miss Piggy ogling optional.

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More Information | Back to Previous Schedule | This Season  |  BBFC Classification Guidelines

Screenings of this film:

1993/1994 Autumn Term (35mm)
1994/1995 Autumn Term (35mm)
1996/1997 Autumn Term (35mm)
1998/1999 Autumn Term (35mm)
1999/2000 Autumn Term (35mm)
2018/2019 Autumn Term (digital)