Run time: 85 mins
In Theaters: Friday 11th December 1992
Box Office Worldwide: $27.3M
Distributed by: Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Production compaines: Walt Disney Pictures, Jim Henson Company, The
Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 69%
Fresh: 25 Rotten: 11
IMDB: 7.7 / 10
Director: Brian Henson
Producer: Martin G. Baker, Brian Henson
Screenwriter: Jerry Juhl
Starring: Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge, Don Austen as Ghost of Christmas Present (performer), Meredith Braun as Belle, Don Austen as Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, Ed Sanders as Young Scrooge (first), Theo Sanders as Young Scrooge (second), Dave Goelz as The Great Gonzo as Charles Dickens / Robert Marley / Dr. Bunsen Honeydew / Betina Cratchit / Rat / Zoot, Simon Buckley as Additional Muppet Performer, Craig Crane as Additional Muppet Performer, John Eccleston as Additional Muppet Performer
Case in point: Charles Dickens, who narrates this film himself, is played by -- get this -- Gonzo. He's not a writer, he's a lamplighter who takes a break from his work to tell the story of Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine), the famous miser who (in this version) wants to give Bob Crachit (played by Kermit the Frog) a mere half-hour off for Christmas and is the subject of jokes at local gatherings. People and puppets mix at random here. Unlike in films like The Muppet Movie, where the puppets are on a crusade to reach Hollywood and the humans encompass only characters they encounter on the way, The Muppet Christmas Carol blends both together. It's a little freaky to see them all sitting together -- in British period dress, too -- around the Christmas dinner table.
With so many good versions of this story on film, it's a little difficult to recommend this telling. I even prefer the edition with Scrooge McDuck, because it's both kid-friendly and adult-worthy. The Muppet Christmas Carol barely keeps kids entertained and the goofy songs and panoply of third-tier muppets that comprise most of the cast (e.g. Miss Piggy doesn't appear until about 55 minutes into the movie) will have adults running to other editions of the story.