8 Dec 2017

CHRISTMAS MOVIES RULES - The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

 Film genres have formulas and rules, but how well do Christmas films follow their formula?

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) is, pretty obviously, a Muppet adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.

The following may contain spoilers for

"The Muppets Christmas Carol" (1992)


"Please. Can I have your attention for a moment?
Look. It's the Marley brothers... my old partners as they were as lads." ~ Ebenezer Scrooge.

  • 1a.  Someone Who Hates Christmas - An adaptation of A Christmas Carol, so Scrooge.
  • 1b.  Someone Who Inflicts Christmas Cheer on Others - Fred, Scrooge's nephew does so.  And Scrooge himself at the end.
  • 1c.  Precocious Kids - Belinda and Betina Cratchit, but only minor characters.
  • 1d.  A Bullied Kid - Not kids, but all of Scrooge's staff.
  • 1e.  Silver-haired jovial old person - Scrooge, but only at the end.
  • 1f.  Someone with a secret - The ghosts, I guess.
  • 1g.  Stressed Young Female - Emily Cratchit, although Miss Piggy is getting on in years.
  • 1h.  The Single - Scrooge.  Also Belle in the flashbacks.
  • 1i.  Someone Career Obsessed - Scrooge, especially young Scrooge.
  • 1j.  Grumpy Old (usually) Man - So as to not mention Scrooge, yet again, the Marleys (With Waldorf and Statler playing against type.
  • 1k.  Sassy Old (usually) Woman - Fred's wife, Clara, although not old.
  • 1l.  An Inappropriate Santa Impersonator - The Ghost of Christmas Present is a folkloric version of Santa Claus.  It's forgetful, but not inappropriate.

It's not what it looks like.


"I fell down the chimney and landed on a flaming hot goose!" ~ Rizzo the Rat.
"You have all the fun!" ~ Gonzo.

  • 2a. Nudity - None.  Except for some of the animal muppets who played non-anthropomorphised animals.  And they don't count.
  • 2b.  Sex - None. 


"Are these the shadows of things that will be... or are they the shadows of things that may be only?  These events can be changed.  A life can be made right." ~ Scrooge.

  • 3a.  Home for the holidays - Doesn't happen..
  • 3b.  Santa may be real - No,
  • 3c.  Classic Christmas stories may be homaged:
ii.  A Christmas Carol - An adaption of the story.

They're singing again.


"Boy, that's scary stuff! Should we be worried about the kids in the audience?" ~ Rizzo the Rat.
"Nah, it's all right. This is culture!" ~ Gonzo.

  • 4a.  Straight comedy - Doesn't happen, closer to a straight adaptation.
  • 4b.  Bitter-sweet family drama-comedy - Doesn't happen.
  • 4c.  Animated fantasy (or puppets/muppets) - Muppets.
  • 4d.  Bible retelling - Doesn't happen.
  • A musical.

Does pagan Santa count as Santa?


"I don't think I've ever met anybody like you before." ~ Scrooge.
"Really? Over 1800 of my brothers have come before me!" ~ Ghost of Christmas Present.

One or more of the following will occur:
  • 5a.  Ugly Christmas sweaters - Doesn't happen.
  • 5b.  Pulling Santa's beard - No Santa.
  • 5c.  Carolers are annoying - True, but not covered.  (It's a musical, though, and that can be annoying).
  • 5d.  Some kind of competition - Doesn't happen.
  • 5e.  Mistletoe - Doesn't happen.

Clearly an early example of CGI being used to de-age actors.


"Do you know whether the prize turkey has been sold in the window?" ~ Scrooge.
"Oh. The one twice as big as me? It's still there." ~ Lad.
"Oh, it's a pleasure talking with you, Lad. Go and buy it."  ~ Scrooge.
"Be serious." ~ Lad.

The following simple things are difficult, often comically so:
  • 6a.  Putting Up Christmas lights - Doesn't happen.
  • 6b.  Not walking out after a fight with family - Doesn't happen.
  • 6c.  Last minute gift purchasing - Scrooge, a little, though he seems to get away with it.
  • 6d.  Assembling Christmas gifts - Doesn't happen.
  • 6e.  Cooking - Piggy does, but it's not a strong plot.
  • 6f.  Attempts to get home for Christmas - Doesn't happen.
  • 6g.  Even a getting and putting up a Christmas tree can lead to disaster - Doesn't happen.
  • 6h.  Other - Nil.

There's nothing creepy about an ethereal young girl at all.


"I told you, storytellers are omniscient; I know everything!" ~ Gonzo.
"Hoity-toity, Mr. Godlike Smarty-Pants." ~ Rizzo the Rat.

  • 7a.  Nativity/Little religion - No religion.
  • 7b.  Accept non-Christians into the celebration - Doesn't happen.
  • 7c.  An annoying overly religious person - Nope.
  • 7d.  Angels - Ghosts instead.  The Ghost of Christmas Past is a vaguely angelic ghost.  The Ghost of Christmases Yet-to-Come is very angel of deathy.

It's not often you get to walk on your own grave.


"Yes, the time has come for us to say goodbye." (Sung).

At least one of the following will happen:
  • 8a.  Snow -  Snow throughout.  It's based on Dickens.
  • 8b.  Grump-No-More - Scrooge, as is his role.
  • 8c.  Santa is Real - No really covered.
  • 8d.  The Unexpected Extra Guest - Scrooge counts, although he invites himself and brings food.
  • 8e.  Wisdom From an Unexpected Source - If ghosts are unexpected, I guess.
  • 8f.  The Single Will Find Love - Doesn't happen.

Everyone seems so shocked about how shiny the turkey is.


"God bless us." ~ Tiny Tim
"God bless us. Every one!" ~ Scrooge.

Will have a sickly sweet ending with a "The True Meaning of Christmas" message - especially:
  • 9a.  Family is the most important thing - The message of the Cratchit family.
  • 9b.  Miracles are real - The ghosts probably count.  Some would call Scrooge's personality change a miracle.
  • 9c.  It's the thought that counts - No really covered.
  • 9d.  Santa is real - I've told you once already.
  • 9e.  Other - About being a better person and being nicer to people.

Other Muppet movies.


"Nice story. Mr Dickens." ~ Riso the Rat.
"Oh. Thanks. If you like this you should read the book." ~ Gonzo.

  • 10a.  No sequels - No sequel (part of the mostly unrelated Muppet films).
  • 10b.  May be a sequel - Not a sequel (part of the mostly unrelated Muppet films).
  • 10c.  Remake - An adaptation not a remake.
  • 10d.  Adaptation - Of Charles Dicken's novel.


"I've been going over the accounts. Do you know how much the firm is spending for this party?" ~ Scrooge.

  • Rules followed by this film:  1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10.
  • Rules partially followed by this film:  6, 7, 8.
  • Rules not followed by this film:  5.

You expected a welcome at the top of the post?

~ DUG.

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