Since the dawn of time, man has wrestled with that one burning question: Which is best, The Muppets Christmas Carol or Mickey’s Christmas Carol?
Hotly debated for centuries, unanswered, until now. I am here to tell you that, without a doubt, it is The Muppets Christmas Carol.
Now, I am writing this from the position of never having seen the Mickey version, so while that might make me “uneducated” in my argument, if I were to look to our nation’s leaders for guidance, isn’t that kind of the example they are setting? Being educated on a topic is completely irrelevant. Impulse driven naivete and ignorance is the ticket! This here is all backed by pure unadulterated stubbornness and Muppet love, baby!
First, a little background…my family has a tradition of watching this film on Christmas Eve. Since the story takes place on Christmas Eve, it’s only right. We’ve done it every year, it’s something we all look forward to. It must be paired with pan dulce and Abuelita’s brand hot chocolate. None of that Swiss Miss garbage! We sing along and we quote it, for it has been memorized. There are very few who have been invited to join in on this joyous occasion. If you sit among us, you are part of the family, and we welcome you. It’s your VIP pass, the highest honor one could acquire. This film is only viewed but once a year. To keep it sacred.
So what makes The Muppet Christmas Carol so wonderful and superior?
- The music! So sing-a-long-able, so beautiful!
- Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat. Gonzo as Charles Dickens, Rizzo as his constantly-grubbing sidekick. Their comedic schtick pulls it all together, and also moves the story along nicely. “Light the lamp, not the rat!”
- Michael Caine. NEXT!
- The quote “No cheeses for us meeces”
- Kermit and Miss Piggy as Mr. and Mrs. Cratchit.
- The ghost of Christmas Present. Everything about his arrival is exciting and warm. His song encapsulates Christmas and all the good parts about the holiday.
- Bean Bunny who has a wreath thrown at him at the beginning of the movie. Poor little guy is left outside in the cold, shivering. Thus starting the emotional rollercoaster that is The Muppet Christmas Carol. His role at the end? Tears for days. “You there, boy!”
- Tiny Tim. That little frog holds a special place in my heart. You know his fate, he knows it, but he’s so hopeful.
- The song, “Bless Us All” sung by Tiny Tim. His little voice. The little cough at the end. Speaking of Tiny Tim, the quote, “Tiny Tim, who DID NOT die” is everything in the world and more.
- Every Muppet in it has a great role.
- Animal trying to keep his cool for a hot minute.
- The music. I am putting it again, but the music really is spectacular.
- I’m also putting Michael Caine down again. He’s one of the most amazing actors, we all know this, but as Scrooge he really brings something different to the table. His journey from cold and despicable, to tender, loving, and understanding is beautiful. As the only human in most scenes, his facial expressions and reactions really do have to carry a lot of weight.
- Statler and Waldorf as Marley and Marley. Heckling comes so easy to them, and as the Marley brothers, it really works.
- The warm, fuzzy, indescribable feeling one gets while watching The Muppets Christmas Carol.
Charles Dickens himself would be proud. I can only hope. Being able to introduce this tradition to my daughter has been so magical. She comes to expect it at Christmas, and knows the songs and some quotes. That’s the best part of all of this. Getting the new generation into something that started with my sister and I.
The only issue I’ve ever had with it, is the ghost of Christmas past. Yeah, I’m talking about that freaky little porcelain baby thing that shows up, the one that looks like egg flower soup. She’s creepy as hell, and that has to be the only reason The Muppet Christmas Carol has a 73% on Rotten Tomatoes. For realsies, I can’t even look at the screen when she shows up, so yeah, minus major points for the Soup Ghost. Sure, Mickey’s Christmas Carol is at 100%, but let’s be honest, you know they bought that rating. It’s frigging Disney for crying out loud! (If anyone from Disney is reading this, please don’t revoke my annual pass)
In conclusion, Casey can suck it. Muppets are life!