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THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL 🤩

Day 1 of our 12 Days of Christmas

“If you believe in this spirit thing, the miracle will happen, and then you’ll want it to happen again tomorrow… It can happen every day, you’ve just got to want that feeling.”

– Bill Murray in SCROOGED

That’s right – it’s time to feel the moment and that holiday spirit thing. It’s time for Spoiler Free Review’s 12 days of Christmas 2022 edition! We will be posting our favorite holiday experiences with 12 reviews and illustrations of movies, TV, and music. So sit back, enjoy some spiked eggnog, and enjoy to SFR’s 12-days of Christmas 2022! 🎅🏽

In the spring of 1990, shortly after the death of Jim Henson, my school came together and sang Rainbow Connection in his honor. We were the first generation raised on SESAME STREET and THE MUPPETS and the related films that followed. THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL, released 30 years ago this week, and directed by Jim’s son Brian, was the first muppet film after Jim’s death. It was a bittersweet moment, as the muppet family had also lost longtime performer Richard Hunt to HIV/AIDS earlier in 1992. This very special retelling of the Charles Dickens classic is dedicated to both of them. 

I am a Dickens fan. When the other kids in school rolled their eyes at having to write reports on A TALE OF TWO CITIES or OLIVER TWIST, I relished it. I was also absolutely IN LOVE with all things Muppets! THE MUPPET SHOW, the Muppet movies, the Muppet soundtracks, and THE MUPPET BABIES, the 80’s Saturday morning cartoon that helped raise many of us Gen-Xers and older Millennials. So putting Dickens and the Muppets together was a dream come true for me! This classic tale has been told and retold countless times – I’m sure you realize IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE is based on it as well, correct? Even this 12 Days of Christmas collaboration features other films based on this tale. But there’s nothing more unique than Kermit and Piggy as the Cratchit family and a very serious Michael Caine as Ebeneezer Scrooge. Caine famously was quoted as saying he was going to play this role like he was doing it with The Royal Shakespeare Company, and together with his Muppet and human costars, magic was made. 

Dickens’ holiday story, like many of his others, pays tribute to the poor working class and portrays mean bosses and landlords as villains. 179 years after its publication, the words within it ring truer than ever. One could say A CHRISTMAS CAROL speaks to the right of every human to have a home and healthcare. Dickens, himself, was more complicated than that, and people on both sides of the political spectrum claim him as their own to this day. 

Brian Henson and screenwriter Jerry Juhl kept very close to the source material and inserted the Muppets as most of the characters. Did you know that Miss Piggy was originally the ghost of Christmas present? And before Gonzo was cast as Dickens himself, he was almost the ghost of Christmas future! But Piggy has her rightful place as the wife of Kermit’s Bob Cratchit. We won’t go into the science of a pig and a frog being married and having four children together. (The girls are pigs, and the boys are frogs, of course.) 

If you’re an adult who hasn’t revisited this in some time or a parent who wants to introduce perhaps the most famous Christmas story outside of the bible to your kids, THE MUPPETS CHRISTMAS CAROL is streaming on Disney+. Thirty years after its original release, it’s still a perfect film. 

Jami Losurdo

When not writing film and tv reviews, Jami is expanding her collection of colorful sunglasses, lifting weights, and working her day job as a Digital Advertising Director. An alumnus of NYU Tisch for Film/TV, Jami made Los Angeles her home in the early 2000s and continues her quest to find the very BEST tacos of all time.

Tarush Mohanti

Tarush Mohant is a playlist curator and music explorer, the creator of illussongs (illustrations of songs), and has a fitness plan motivated by action movies (running, climbing, swimming, hiking). Tarush is also a Product Manager at HBO Max.

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