The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Film and Plot Synopsis

In this retelling of the classic Charles Dickens tale, the Muppets play multiple characters in orbit around the story’s central character Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge is a cold-hearted businessman who hates Christmas and looks down upon anyone who celebrates it. However, when the ghosts of his former partners appear to him on Christmas Eve and warn him that he may share their fate of damnation unless he changes his ways, Scrooge begins a magical journey through the past, present, and future that will give the miser a new perspective on life and Christmas.

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The Muppet Christmas Carol

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‘The Muppet Christmas Carol’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)In this retelling of the classic Charlies Dickens tale, the Muppets play multiple characters in orbit around the story’s central character of Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine). The story is narrated by Charles Dickens, played by Gonzo the Great (David Goelz), and his companion Rizzo the Rat (Steve Whitmire) and takes place on Christmas Eve in 19th Century London. Scrooge is a cold-hearted businessman with an incredibly bad temper and tendendcy to be a skinflint. Scrooge hates Christmas and everything that it stands for and looks down on anyone who celebrates the holiday, including his own nephew Fred (Steven Mackintosh). As the film opens, Scrooge lamblasts two gentlemen who are collecting money for charity, played by Dr. Bunson Honeydew (Dave Goelz) and Beaker (Steve Whitmire). Scrooge would rather see the poor placed into the poor houses or graves before he would contribute to help anyone.

Scrooge has a loyal employee by the name of Bob Cratchit, played by Kermit the Frog (Steve Whitmire), who requests to have the day of Christmas off from work. Scrooge reluctantly agrees to the furlough since there would be no other businesses to conduct transactions with on the holiday, but insists that Bob be in early the day after Christmas. At the close of business, Scrooge returns to his home, where he lives alone with minimal amenities. Scrooge encounters the shackled ghosts of his late business partners Jacob and Robert Marley, played by Statler and Waldorf (Jerry Nelson and David Goelz). The Marleys warn Scrooge that he needs to repent and except Christmas into his heart or he will doomed to share their fate in the afterlife. The two ghosts inform Scrooge that he will visited by three ghosts during the night. However, once the ghosts leave, Scrooge convinces himself that he imagined their visit due to food poisoning.

Shortly after midnight, Scrooge is visited by the childlike Ghost of Christmas Past (Jessica Fox) who whisks Scrooge back to his childhood and early adult life. Scrooge sees his early formative years in school where he was often left alone during the holidays. He also sees his first job with Mr. Fozziwig, played by Fozzie Bear (Frank Oz), where he meets the love of his life, Belle (Meredith Braun), at a Christmas Party. Unfortunately, Scrooge is forced to relive his mistake of focusing on his quest for more money which caused Belle to leave him, something that Scrooge has never overcome. At the conclusion of their journey, the Ghost leaves a tearful Scrooge in his bedchambers in the present day.

Soon after, Scrooge is visited by the gigantic, but extremely merry Ghost of Christmas Present (Jerry Nelson). This Ghost shows Scrooge the joys and wonders of Christmas Day. They visit Fred’s house where Scrooge’s nephew is entertaining several guests. Scrooge is made fun of by people at the party for his stinginess and general poor demeanor. The Ghost next takes Scrooge to Bob Cratchit’s house, where Scrooge is surprised to find that his clerk has such a large family, including his wife Emily, played by Miss Piggy (Frank Oz). Scrooge takes pity on Bob’s ill son Tiny Tim, played by Robin the Frog (Jerry Nelson). Tim, although small in stature, has a big heart and says a blessing for the absent Scrooge, something that his mother disapproves of. The Ghost begins to age as the journey continues, but he does tell Scrooge that Tim is likely to die before the next Christmas.

Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Present end their journey at the cemetery, where the Ghost fades away. Scrooge is confronted with his final apparition, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, who appears as a large, silent cloaked figure. Dickens and Rizzo, who have accompanied Scrooge throughout his journey to this point, abandon the businessman for his last visit.

The final Ghost shows Scrooge a group of businessmen discussing the death of an unnamed colleague. The men show no sadness or remorse towards the death and state that they would only attend the funeral if lunch is provided. The Ghost also shows Scrooge his charwoman, his laundress, and an undertaker trading several items to a fence named Old Joe (David Shaw Parker) that Scrooge recognizes as belonging to him. The Ghost also shows the Cratchit family in mourning, as Tim has died. Finally, the Ghost returns Scrooge to the cemetery and shows him his own grave, revealing to Scrooge that he was the man who died that no one mourned. Overcome with guilt and emotion, Scrooge vows to change his ways and embrace every day as if it was Christmas.

Suddenly, Scrooge awakens in his own bedroom on Christmas Day. Thrilled to be alive and having a chance to repent, Scrooge begins to make up for the years of being miserally. He ventures out onto the streets of London and begins to spread happiness and joy to its citizens. Scrooge ends his journey at the Cratchit household, where he has sent a large turkey dinner to. Scrooge announces his intentions to raise Bob’s salary and to pay off his clerk’s mortgage. He also promises to help Tim overcome his illness. Dickens announces that Scrooge was as good as his word and eventually became like a second father to the boy, who did not die. The film ends with Scrooge, the Cratchits, and the other neighbors sitting down to celebrate Christmas Day.

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Buena Vista Pictures Distribution released The Muppet Christmas Carol on December 11, 1992. Brian Henson directed the film starring Michael Caine and Dave Goelz.

User Rating: 3.85 ( 1 votes)
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