[[caption-width-right:234:The best ChristmasCarol ever.]]

->''"If being mean's a way of life you practice and rehearse\\
Then all that work is paying off, 'cause Scrooge is getting worse.\\
Every day, in every way, Scrooge is getting worse!"''

Creator/CharlesDickens' ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'' [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin as performed by]] Franchise/TheMuppets. This is the first feature length Muppet production since the deaths of original Muppet performers Creator/JimHenson (Kermit) and Richard Hunt (Scooter). It is the first of several Muppet films that adapts a famous story with the Muppets acting both as themselves and as characters from them. It stars Creator/MichaelCaine as Scrooge. Oh, it's also a musical.

The film largely follows the story of the book with the typical Muppet humor thrown in. The film was praised for using specially created Muppets to portray the ghosts instead of established Muppets, in order to keep true to Dickens's descriptions. Remarkably, it's actually one of the most faithful Christmas Carol adaptations, with most of the dialogue intact and the omniscient narration quoted in large chunks by the character of Dickens himself -- it's just that it's spoken by Muppets.

The film is also the first time Gonzo the Great and Rizzo the Rat appeared as a double act. Gonzo played Charles Dickens and acts as the narrator, while Rizzo is, well...[[AsHimself Rizzo]].

The film was followed up with ''Film/MuppetTreasureIsland'' in 1996. It also had humans playing vital roles while [[HumanFocusedAdaptation the Muppets played supporting characters]].
!!This film contains examples of:
* AdaptedOut: Scrooge's younger sister Fan (Fred's mother) from the original novel does not appear or even get mentioned here.
** In the novella after Marley's visit Scrooge looks out the window, and sees many ghosts in the street, burdened by chains, lockboxes and even a safe, all labouring under the weight and in misery, and recognises some of them as former business partners. For an adaptation that sticks mostly to the original story, this scene is cut.
* AdaptationExpansion: In the original story, and in most other adaptations, Scrooge grumbles about giving Cratchit a paid day off for Christmas, but relents. In this version Cratchit actually raises a valid point in defense of taking the day off: All their potential clients would be closed for the day as well, so being open on Christmas would just mean sitting around wasting coal, and it makes a classic Scrooge line ("it's a poor excuse to pick a man's pocket every December the 25th...") work even better.
%%* AllMusicalsAreAdaptations
* AnachronismStew:
** The film depicts Scrooge and his employees using quill pens, even though by 1843, they were practically extinct; steel pens had been the standard since the 1820s. One can only presume Scrooge was too stingy to buy them.
** During the [[VillainSong "Marley and Marley"]] musical number, when Statler and Waldorf bring up when they evicted an entire orphanage, leaving the orphans to freeze outside, Waldorf adds, [[CrossesTheLineTwice "With their little frostbitten teddy bears!"]] Teddy bears didn't exist until the 1900s. [[note]] [[TeddyBear Teddy bears]] were created in honour of US President [[UsefulNotes/TheodoreRoosevelt Theodore Roosevelt]] (where they also got their name from), who, on a hunting trip in 1902, was offered to shoot a black bear cub tied to a willow tree, [[BadPeopleAbuseAnimals but refused as he deemed it unsportsmanlike]]. Morris Michtom, the owner of the Ideal Novelty and Toy Company, [[RippedFromTheHeadlines read about this in the newspaper]], and decided to create plush bears to honour Roosevelt, naming them [[MeaningfulName "Teddy bears"]] after him. Coincidentally, Theodore's son and grandson [[HilariousInHindsight were named Kermit]]. [[/note]]
** [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking A relatively minor example]], as it doesn't occur in-story: during the [[TheVillainSucksSong "Scrooge"]] musical number, a harpsichord can be heard playing in the background. This is inaccurate for the time period, as the harpsichord was more popular in the [[BaroqueMusic Baroque era (c. 1600-1750)]], but the film takes place during the Romantic era of music (c. 1780-1910), by which time the piano [[note]] invented around the 1700s [[/note]] had practically replaced the harpsichord as the standard keyboard instrument.
*** It's also worth noting that this particular example occurs only on the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRBUwS_Sp0k soundtrack version of the song]] - it's possible that the filmmakers realised this mistake in post, and [[ShownTheirWork removed the harpsichord part accordingly]] before the film was finished. Unfortunately, the soundtrack version was still [[RecycledTrailerMusic used in the trailer]], [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhpu2tq9GG4 however]].
** Rizzo's jelly beans aren't as anachronistic as you may think. Jelly beans were first invented in 1861, so they did exist in Victorian times even if not in the 1840s specifically. Granted, they were probably not available outside the United States until sometime in the 20th century.
* AnimalMotifs:
** The trio of businessmen discussing Scrooge's death are a trio of pigs, symbolizing greed.
** Old Joe is a spider.
** The undertaker is a carrion bird.
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: During the Cratchit family dinner:
-->'''Mrs. Cratchit''': I suppose that on the blessed day of Christmas, one must drink to the health of, uh, Mr. Scrooge, even though he is odious...\\
'''Daughters''': Mm-hmm.\\
'''Mrs. Cratchit''': ...stingy...\\
'''Daughters''': Mm-hmm.\\
'''Mrs. Cratchit''': ...wicked...\\
'''Daughters''': Mm-hmm.\\
'''Mrs. Cratchit''': ...and unfeeling...\\
'''Daughters''': Mm-hmm.\\
'''Mrs. Cratchit''' ...and badly dressed!\\
''[daughters gasp]''
* BigEater: Rizzo, constantly searching for or noticing food during the narration.
* BigShutUp: Animal does this to assist Fozziwig in getting everyone to quiet down for the Christmas party.
* ButtMonkey: Rizzo can barely go one scene without some type of misfortune happening to him.
* CallBack: As in the original story, The Ghost of Christmas Present throws "do it now and decrease the surplus population" back in Scrooge's face.
* TheCameo - various minor characters appear as extras in the crowd scenes:
** As well as the various extras who are recognisable ''[[Franchise/TheMuppets Muppets]]'' characters, several are from ''Series/FraggleRock''. Sprocket appears briefly at the start, and joins the crowd at the end. Murray, Mudwell and Begoony play a family, peering through a window in the street scenes. Brool (in a dress, with a female puppeteer) and Wander Mcmooch are guests at Fred and Clara's party. The small Inkspot creatures can be seen in several places.
** The Snowman from ''Film/AMuppetFamilyChristmas'' is seen briefly during the Ghost of Christmas Present's song.
* CanonForeigner: The character of Jacob Marley is given a brother named Robert, strictly for the purposes of being able to put JustForFun/StatlerAndWaldorf in the roles (as well as a StealthPun). It works.
* CelebrityParadox: An in-movie example. Gonzo insists he's Charles Dickens, and Rizzo insists otherwise. Eventually, Rizzo just rolls with it.
* CharacterAsHimself: "...and Rizzo the Rat as Himself."
* ChristmasCarolers:
** Bean Bunny comes to the counting house singing "Good King Wenceslas" and meekly asking for a penny, only to have Scrooge rudely slam the door in his face, then throw a wreath at him. Later, as evening falls, he's seen huddled in a pile of trash, pulling newspapers around him, [[TearJerker cold and miserable and alone]].
** As Christmas Present is showing him, they pass a small choir composed of babies. One of them accidentally hit the other on the face.
* CloudCuckooLander: Gonzo, of course, in this film [[InteractiveNarrator narrating]] as Charles Dickens.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint:
-->'''Gonzo''': I know the story of ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'' like the back of my hand!\\
'''Rizzo''': Prove it!\\
'''Gonzo''': All right. ''[averts his eyes and holds his hand out]'' Um, there's a little mole on my thumb, and a scar on my wrist, from when I fell off my bicycle--\\
'''Rizzo''': ''[shaking his head]'' No, no, no, don't tell us your hand, tell us the ''story''!
* DarkerAndEdgier: The movie follows very closely the book, and can be seen as very dark for a Muppet movie. The emotion is often put before the laughter, Gonzo and Rizzo provide more than half of the comic relief, and the part with the ghost of Christmas Yet To Come is both scary and sad. The Marley scene is one of the biggest PlayedForDrama scenes in the franchise, even though they are portrayed by JustForFun/StatlerAndWaldorf.
* {{Dedication}}: This movie is dedicated to Jim Henson and Richard Hunt, both of whom died shortly before production.
* DeadpanSnarker: Rizzo, as is his wont. Much of the movie's verbal humor comes from his snarky comment, and Gonzo's reactions to said comments.
** Scrooge himself gets a few in, naturally with a large dose of BlackComedy.
-->'''Scrooge''': "Let us deal with the eviction notices for tomorrow."
-->'''Cratchit''': "But sir, tomorrow is Christmas!"
-->'''Scrooge''': "Very well. You may giftwrap them."
* DemotedToExtra: While most of the characters they once performed are given [[TheOtherDarrin new puppeteers and voices]] here, Rowlf, Dr. Teeth and Janice are reduced to non-speaking cameos and Scooter is completely absent.
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: In "Marley and Marley" the brothers refer to themselves as "avarice and greed" both of which are the same thing.
* {{Disneyfication}}: Subverted. While this starts out being lighthearted, when Scrooge appears, it's clear it's not really pulling that many punches. Many Dickens fans believe this to be one of the better adaptations, mostly due to the inclusion of Gonzo as Dickens himself, which amounts to Gonzo providing narration straight out of the book. Much of the dialogue in the movie (as well as some of the lyrics) is simply lifted directly from the book as well, albeit with the standard Muppet humor added here and there.
* EpicTrackingShot: The introductory shot of London.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: The first time we see Scrooge, he's back-lit so all we see is an ominous silhouette, the sinister music starts up and Rizzo shivers and asks "Say, is it getting cold around here?"
* EverythingsBetterWithPenguins: The penguins' Christmas skating party, during Bob Cratchit's first song.
* TheFilmOfTheBook: {{Lampshaded}} in the end, as noted in the trope's last word quote below.
* {{Flanderization}}: Somewhat on Scrooge, who is portrayed as having been a stodgy workaholic since childhood. This is possibly because his sister was cut out of the story, and he's still shown as being a lonely boy.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: As is typical with Muppets.
* GenderEqualsBreed: All of Kermit and Piggy's children are frog boys and pig girls. (This is one of the films [[TropeCodifier which led to the trope's creation]].)
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: Throughout the course of the movie Beaker flips off Scrooge[[note]]Granted, he only has four fingers, so it ''might'' be his index finger, but the outrage is definitely there[[/note]], Gonzo says "Damn it," and Miss Piggy gropes Kermit. There's also the complaint of Scrooge's clerks: "our [[IncrediblyLamePun assets]] are frozen!"
* GhostSong: "Marley and Marley"
* GreekChorus: Gonzo and Rizzo, who often provides commentary not only on the story events, but on the narration itself.
-->'''Gonzo''': The Marleys were dead, to begin with.\\
'''Rizzo''': Uh, wha-- Pardon me?!\\
'''Gonzo''': That's how the story begins, Rizzo: "The Marleys were dead, to begin with"!\\
'''Rizzo''': Oh.\\
'''Gonzo''': "[[{{Foreshadowing}} As dead as a doornail.]]"\\
'''Rizzo''': It's a good beginning. It's creepy and kinda -- hoo hoo! -- spooky.
* HappilyMarried: Scrooge's nephew Fred and his wife Clara, as well as the Cratchits.
* HarmlessFreezing: Rizzo briefly becomes a ratcicle after being thrown into a bucket of ice water to put out a fire on his clothes.
* HeelFaceTurn: Scrooge at the end, just like in the book.
* HitlerCam: Scrooge's introductory shot, appropriately.
* IfYouCanReadThis:
** A sign in London says "Statler and Waldorf".
** Another sign says "Micklewhite's" -- Creator/MichaelCaine's birth name.
* IncrediblyLamePun: The Marley's treat Scrooge's "more gravy than grave" line as one.
* IncurableCoughOfDeath: Tiny Tim.
* InteractiveNarrator: Gonzo, although Rizzo doesn't quite buy it... until Gonzo starts getting ''everything'' right.
-->'''Rizzo''': ''(buried upside down in snow after Fred comes knocking)'' You're very good at that, "Mr. Dickens"!
* InterspeciesRomance: Implied by the ''very'' blended Cratchit family, headed by Bob (Kermit) and Emily (Miss Piggy).
* IronicEcho: When inquiring on the fate of Tim to the Ghost of Christmas Present, who believes he is destined to die; to which he adds, "But if he's going to die, he'd better do it! And decrease the surplus population!"
** Scrooge had coldly uttered this to Bunson and Beeker when they suggested a donation to the poor. This time he is saddened and horrified at his own words.
** This exact same exchange took place in the original novel as well.
* ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne: Variation, with the offended parties being someone other than the person being insulted. See ArsonMurderAndJaywalking.
* ItsQuietTooQuiet: This is Scrooge's first hint of the Crachits' BadFuture.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Lampshaded and denied in "Scrooge".
-->[[SourOutsideSadInside He must be so lonely, he must be so sad]],\\
[[JerkassFacade he goes to extremes to convince us he's bad!]]\\
[[SlaveToPR He's really a victim of fear and of pride,]]\\
[[HiddenHeartOfGold look close and there must be a sweet man inside...]]\\
* KnightOfCerebus: The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come. Not only does he look more than a little like the Grim Reaper, Gonzo and Rizzo promptly [[ShooOutTheClowns hightail it out of the movie]] until Scrooge wakes back up.
* LampshadeHanging: Par for the course for a Muppets movie.
* LargeAndInCharge: Scrooge, being human, towers over his less-than-three-foot-tall underlings, and the entire Muppet cast. Used to good effect in the opening number, where he wades through a sea of knee-high Muppets singing about how oppressive he is.
* LargeHam: The Ghost of Christmas Present.
** Scrooge gets some moments of this himself, especially when screaming at the rat bookkeepers about firing them all.
* LastDisrespects: While not actually showing the funeral, three pigs say they'll only go to Scrooge's funeral "if lunch is provided". (Incidentally, this is [[OlderThanTheyThink straight out of the book]].)
* MadeMyselfSad: Scrooge is visited by the Marley brothers, a.k.a. Statler and Waldorf. They openly admit that, in life, they were selfish and heartless bankers, and they even reminisce about evicting an entire orphanage in the middle of winter. This makes them break out into their trademark laugh, which almost immediately degenerates into a shudder, and they move on to warn Scrooge to repent from the mistakes they made.
* MassiveNumberedSiblings:
** When Gonzo asks Rizzo if he was ever a lonely child, Rizzo replies, "I had 1,274 brothers and sisters!"
** The Ghost of Christmas Present had more than 1,800 brothers, each of them representing a year of Christmas.
* MatchCut: The movie uses several of these very well to put Scrooge back in his room following a ghost visit; probably the most famous one is his sitting on the bridge following the "When Love Is Gone" sequence, in which he sits on the railing of the small bridge, and the entire scene dissolves back to his bedchamber, with Scrooge sitting on his bed, having seemingly not moved an inch, reinforcing the book's question of [[OrWasItADream just how real it all is]].
* MediumAwareness: Gonzo and Rizzo, of course, but at one point, Gonzo has to step out of his narrator's role to remind Sam the Eagle that he's not American, but ''British'' in this production.
* MidwordRhyme: "Marley and Marley" rhymes "greed" with "needy", "black" with "shackles", and in a verse cut from the film, "part" with "heartless". Since it happens at the same point in every verse, it was probably done to be stylish.
* MonochromeApparition: Marley and Marley are pale blue.
* {{Muppet}}: Logically.
* NeverTrustATrailer: Some trailers and promos that feature Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past flying would be followed by a clip of Bob (Kermit) seeing a shooting star, implying he saw his boss flying in the sky.
* NoFourthWall: Characters will routinely drop character and speak directly to the viewer during the film. Of course, this is only standard procedure for Franchise/TheMuppets (and it's usually just [[InteractiveNarrator Gonzo]] and [[CharacterAsHimself Rizzo]] doing this).
* OhCrap:
** Bean Bunny is standing on Scrooge's doorstep singing a carol, but when he looks up and sees who's standing in the doorway he trails off.
** Scrooge when Jacob Marley transforms into a doorknob and yells his name.
* OtherworldlyAndSexuallyAmbiguous: This movie's version of the Ghost of Christmas Past, much like the original story. It's... possibly a girl. We think. Maybe. At the very least, it's ''voiced'' by a woman. As the spiritual manifestation of a concept, it may not really have one at all.
* ParentalBonus: Loads (it ''is'' a Muppet movie, after all), such as the StealthPun below, or the following exchange:
-->'''Rizzo''': This is scary stuff! Shouldn't we be worried about the kids in the audience? \\
'''Gonzo''': It's OK; this is culture!
* PluckyComicRelief: Rizzo the Rat, as a FourthWallObserver.
* RunningGag: Gonzo and Rizzo always seem to be in front of a window that needs opening...
* SayMyName: Jacob yells, "SCROOGE!" when his face appears on the door knocker, shocking Scrooge. Gonzo and Rizzo's horse gets spooked also and they're thrown off the carriage.
* SceneryPorn: Everything you'd expect from a screen adaptation of "A Christmas Carol".
* ShooOutTheClowns: Gonzo and Rizzo vanish from the scene after the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come shows up, not returning until after Scrooge wakes up in his own bed and the story is almost over. It's both [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] and {{justified|Trope}}, in that they point out that they're leaving because they're ''scared'' of the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come. As this is the point where the original and ''all'' adaptations of the story gets DarkerAndEdgier, Gonzo's address to the audience is probably included so the kiddies won't be too scared.
-->'''Gonzo''': You're on your own folks. We'll meet you at the finale.
* ShownTheirWork: As the YetAnotherChristmasCarol page points out, this film uses dialogue from the original novel, which is more than most ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'' adaptations can say. The ghosts are also closer to Dickens' descriptions; the choice ''not'' to use established Muppets for the ghosts vastly improves the film.
** Of note is the fact that while the Ghosts of Christmas Present and Christmas Yet To Come are Muppets, strictly speaking, they were custom-built Muppets ''just'' for this film (although Christmas Present would go on to be used in other projects under different names) and are some of the largest Muppets ''ever built''. Christmas Present is about as tall as Scrooge (usually), and Christmas Yet To Come is a towering ''eight feet tall''. Christmas Past, meanwhile, is more of a CGI-esque effect to cleave closer to the book's strange, ethereal description of the being, and looks more like the UncannyValley protagonists from ''Film/TheDarkCrystal''.
** The songs have lyrics lifted out of Dickens, too. The phrase "captive, bound, and double-ironed" shows up in [[VillainSong "Marley and Marley,"]], which is something Jacob Marley says in the book.
* SparedByTheAdaptation: It's all but implied that Fezziwig has since passed on since Scrooge worked for him, and several adaptations have even directly stated it. In this version an elder Fezziwig, or Fozziwig as he's referred to here, is shown to be still alive in the present when Scrooge visits him during the ending.
* StealthPun: They split the role of Jacob Marley in two so both JustForFun/StatlerAndWaldorf could play it. So now we have Robert Marley (think about it, mon).
** In the book, but not the movie, they have Old Joe tell Mrs. Dilber, the laundress and the mortician to "Come into his parlor". In the film, they have Old Joe as a spider and Mrs. Dilber as a fly.
* SuddenlyShouting: Scrooge does this twice to his bookkeepers at the beginning.
** When his bookkeepers ask if they can put some more coal into the stove:
---> "How would the bookkeepers like to be suddenly...'''UNEMPLOYED?!'''"[[note]]"Heatwave!""This is my island in the sun!"[[/note]]
** And again when his bookkeepers applaud Fred for his speech about Christmas:
---> "And how does one celebrate Christmas '''ON THE UNEMPLOYMENT LINE?!'''"
* TemptingFate:
-->'''Rizzo:''' Are you sure it's okay to be up here? [on a window ledge]\\
'''Gonzo:''' Scrooge is saved! What could happen?\\
''Scrooge flings open the window, throwing them to the ground.''
* ThemeTwinNaming: Belinda and Bettina.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Gonzo and Rizzo, which carried over to ''Muppet Treasure Island'' and ''Film/MuppetsFromSpace.''
* TooKinkyToTorture: Gonzo's weird tendencies are given a nod when Rizzo takes a tumble into the Cratchit household.
--> '''Rizzo:''' ''(blowing on his feet)'' I fell down a chimney and landed on a flaming hot goose!\\
'''Gonzo:''' ''(dejected)'' You have all the fun!
* TranquilFury: Scrooge in the first part of the film, especially in his EstablishingCharacterMoment with Mr. Applegate. Scrooge doesn't say a word as Mr. Applegate pleads for mercy: he just picks him up and tosses him out the door.
* TriumphantReprise: "When Love Is Gone" midway through becomes "The Love We Found" at the end.
* VillainSong: "Marley & Marley" comes the closest to this, since it's sung by "bad" characters, but it's done as a warning to Scrooge.
* TheVillainSucksSong: "Scrooge," where all of the townsfolk of London sing about how heartless Scrooge is. "Marley & Marley" as well, [[SelfDeprecation even though it is the villainous Marley brothers who are singing it.]]
* WalkingWasteland: In the first part of the film, Scrooge seems to make the environment colder wherever he goes.
* WasntThatFun: After hitching a ride on the Spirit of Christmas Past and getting dragged through an entire forest, Gonzo almost immediately says that he'd love to go through that again.
* WeAllLiveInAmerica: Lampshaded below:
-->'''Sam the Eagle''': Mm, you will love business. It is the ''AMERICAN'' WAY!\\
''(Young Ebenezer looks extremely confused)''\\
'''Gonzo''': Ack! Uh, Sam... ''(whispers in Sam's ear)''\\
'''Sam the Eagle''': Oh... It is the ''BRITISH'' WAY!\\
'''Gonzo''': Good. ''(thumbs up)''\\
'''Young Ebenezer''': Yes, Headmaster.\\
'''Sam the Eagle''': Hmm. ''(looks around, confused)''
* [[IAmSong We Are Song]]: "Marley and Marley" is one of these. If you want to get technical, call it a "We Were Song."
* WeAreAsMayflies: True to the original work, the Ghost of Christmas Present is born, lives, ages and (it's implied) passes away in twenty-four hours.
* WhatAnIdiot: {{Invoked|Trope}} directly by Gonzo as an InUniverse example: Rizzo was panicking about climbing up a gate and then having to jump down from the top of the gate. After a crash landing on the ground, Rizzo... squeezes through the bars to get back to the other side to retrieve jellybeans, meaning he'd never really needed to climb the gate in the first place!
-->'''Gonzo:''' You are ''such'' an idiot.
* WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong: When Scrooge is redeemed, Rizzo and Dickens think they're off the hook as slapstick victims. It happens one last time, as they are knocked off of Scrooge's windowsill.
* WhyAreWeWhispering: Rizzo the Rat does this. Gonzo explains it's for dramatic emphasis.
* YetAnotherChristmasCarol: Behind the scenes, Director Brian Henson was originally opposed about doing ''another'' Christmas Carol... but after they worked out that Scrooge and the Ghosts would not be played by regular Muppets was when they decided to move forward.
* YouJustToldMe: How Scrooge knows the Ghost of Christmas Present took him to the Cratchits'.
-->'''Scrooge:''' You're a little absent-minded, spirit.\\
'''Ghost of Christmas Present:''' [[ActuallyPrettyFunny No, I'm a LARGE absent-minded spirit!]]

-->''Rizzo:'' Wow, what a great story, Mr. Dickens!
-->''Gonzo:'' Oh, thanks. You think that's good, [[Literature/AChristmasCarol you should read the book]].