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YMMV / The Muppet Christmas Carol

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  • Awesome Music: "Scrooge". "One More Sleep 'til Christmas". "Marley and Marley". "It Feels like Christmas". "Bless Us All". "With a Thankful Heart".
    • Honestly, the entire score in general
  • Broken Base: "When Love Is Gone". You will find fans who feel the movie plays fine without the sequence and some who feel the addition added to the film's quality.
  • Can't Un-Hear It: Michael Caine gives one of the best portrayals of Scrooge.
  • Creepy Awesome: The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. Viewers can be forgiven for wondering what The Witch-King of Angmar is doing in a Muppet movie.
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  • Critic-Proof: It wasn't panned on release, but it got mixed reviews from critics. Talk to most Muppets and/or Dickens fans today, though, and they'll almost certainly tell you that the movie was very good and stands among the best adaptations of the story. This article details how much the film's reputation has grown in the years since its release - and even that is from 2009!
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Jacob and Robert Marley reminiscing about the time they shut down an orphanage, joyfully recalling the poor children and their frostbitten teddy bears.
    • When Bob Cratchit protests about having to evict tenants on Christmas Day, Scrooge responds by telling him to giftwrap the eviction notices.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Lampshaded and subverted during the opening number, as sung by a choir of old lady muppets:
    He must be so lonely,
    He must be so sad!
    He goes to extremes
    To convince us he's bad!
    He's really a victim
    Of fear and of pride!
    Look close and there must be
    A sweet man inside!
    [Scrooge walks by them without putting any change in their bucket]
    ...Nah! Uh-uh!
  • Ear Worm: Every song in the whole movie.
    • 'Thankful Heart' has a very catchy tune.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • The choir of elderly lady Muppets saying that Scrooge must be lonely and sad, then changing their minds when he ignores them, is Played for Laughs. Then we discover his backstory, showing they were right.
    • Statler and Waldorf play the ghosts of Jacob and Robert Marley... just after their original performers (Richard Hunt and Jim Henson respectively) passed away in a film that's dedicated to their original performers.
  • Genius Bonus: Look very closely in one of the crowd sequences. One of the background Muppets is a lobster hanging out of a basement window. This is a reference to the line, "like bad lobster in a dark cellar," one of Charles Dickens' weirder turns of phrase.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: This is the Christmas movie in the United Kingdom. During its original release it topped the box office for two weeks in a row, Sky One airs the film every Christmas Day, and ever since 2012, the uncut version of the film is released into theaters every Christmas in a select number of theaters alongside Frozen beginning in 2014.
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  • Harsher in Hindsight: Tiny Tim's death is even more heartbreaking now that his puppeteer, Jerry Nelson, has passed away due to complications from multiple illnesses. Even better, they both had an Incurable Cough of Death. Likewise, the eerily sad fading of the Ghost of Christmas Present, also performed by Nelson.
  • He Really Can Act:
    • Many doubted how anyone could replace Jim Henson as Kermit, but after the film, most would say that he's in good hands with Steve Whitmire, though not quite as good as Henson.
    • Dave Goelz shows far more range than Gonzo had before, as half his role is essentially an audiobook of A Christmas Carol.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In Quills, Michael Caine wears an almost identical outfit to his Scrooge clothing here, which if you've seen this film first, distracts you a bit from fully accepting his monster portrayal of Dr. Royer-Collard.
  • Ho Yay: Rizzo kisses Gonzo's nose after it's crushed for the sake of Rizzo's jelly beans.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: Outside of the Muppet fanbase, Charles Dickens fans are some of the biggest supporters of the film because, Muppets antics aside, the film is very faithful to the story and uses much of Dickens' original prose, both in dialogue and narration.
  • Nightmare Retardant: When the doorknob turns into Jacob Marley and yells Scrooge's name, Rizzo and Gonzo fall off their carriage screaming when their horse gets spooked by it. The transformation itself is also rather silly.
  • Older Than They Think: Several years prior, a Muppet-based adaptation of A Christmas Carol appeared in comic form in an issue of Muppet Magazine. Although it was an all-Muppet-character cast (including Sam the Eagle as Scrooge and Animal as Jacob Marley), it did cast Kermit as Bob Cratchit and Miss Piggy as his wife; and Gonzo as the Ghost of Christmas future (he didn't say anything because he forgot his lines).
  • Special Effect Failure: While the green-screen compositing is otherwise done excellently throughout, there's a shot in "Marley and Marley" note  where it's a little too obvious that Statler and Waldorf have been superimposed over the footage of Michael Caine, rather than actually existing in the same space as him. Unfortunate and noticeable, because the "ghost" effect is otherwise flawless throughout.
    • The Ghost of Christmas Past is otherwise well-portrayed with eerie effects that still hold up years later, but the close-up shot of Scrooge grasping her hand make it very obvious that he's grabbing onto a piece of plastic.
  • Uncanny Valley: The Ghost of Christmas Past. The effect of a human-like puppet operated in a water tank and added in via green-screen is eerie.
  • Vindicated by History: Achieving only modest box office when it was first released, likely due to Home Alone 2: Lost in New York taking away a majority of its family audience and after Disney's platform release system at the time got crushed by Aladdin rather quickly, the film now has a cult following among Muppet fans and people who find it a great Christmas movie, and it's become a holiday institution among Muppet and Charles Dickens fans in particular, especially in the UK.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The first film to ever use a green screen (instead of a blue screen), which allowed a tremendously beautiful blue nighttime flight scene.
  • The Woobie: Poor Bean Bunny. He has the door slammed in his face, a wreath is hurled at him, and to top it all off, we see him shiver in a pile of newspapers on the street - a reminder of the well-meaning gentlemen's points regarding the poor and homeless - and how, even though "There's Only One More Sleep 'til Christmas", there are still those on the street without food, shelter or family.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?:
    • "Oh sweet, they're going to do a version of Christmas Carol with Muppets. Fun! Wait, with Sir Michael Caine?!" Caine went on record as saying he had a ball with the production, adding that the best way to interact with the Muppets is to treat them all as though they're members of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
    • Averted with most of the Muppet characters, who fit their roles like a glove. Highlights include Kermit as the put-upon Bob Cratchit, Robin the Frog as Tiny Tim, and Gonzo narrating the movie as Charles Dickens himself.
  • Win Back the Crowd: People were very skeptical about how well Muppet projects could work without Jim Henson to guide them. This film proved there was still plenty of life in the franchise.


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