The Muppet Christmas Carol (20th Anniversary) [Blu-Ray]
Directed by Brian Henson
Come Christmas time, most people have their favourite on-screen version of A Christmas Carol, whether it's the 1938 black-and-white classic, the 1999 version starring Patrick Stewart, 1998's Scrooged starring Bill Murray or any of the other dozen or so remakes. The one version that very few people can roll their eyes at is the 1992 Disney remake, The Muppet Christmas Carol, featuring Jim Henson's beloved furry puppet creations, with Michael Caine in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. With the exception of Caine taking the lead as the humbugging old man, the rest of the movie is full of familiar Muppet faces that have been recast as the characters from the 1843 Charles Dickens' classic about the "true meaning of Christmas." Assuming the role of Dickens as a narrator of sorts is Gonzo, who, paired with Rizzo the Rat, engages in the usual upstaging comic shenanigans the self-important blue Muppet is known for. The ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future visit Scrooge on Christmas Eve and teach him a life lesson — necessarily subdued with the usual Muppet sense of humour to ensure a light-hearted portrayal of the tale for the entire family — helping him understand that the spirit of Christmas is in giving. And as he learns his lesson and Tiny Tim sings his inevitable song of woe, viewers can appreciate it all with an impressively rendered, entirely crisp digital remastering job that looks incredible on the family big screen TV. As this was the first Muppet film made after Jim Henson's passing, his son, Brian Henson, had some rather big shoes to fill, and according to some of the interviews included in the special features on this 20th anniversary disc, Brian did a remarkable job, at least according to Brian and a potentially drunk Caine. Other features include some comical audio commentaries of some of the Muppet characters narrating the film, a blooper reel that's more about the puppeteers than the characters themselves, a documentary short film about Gonzo, and a vignette that teaches children how Christmas is celebrated in other parts of the world. Though limited to those within the Judeo-Christian ethos, given Walt Disney's anti-Semitic history, The Muppet Christmas Carol is an ideal stocking stuffer or gift to give during the holiday season.
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