Merry Christmas, Folks!
Michael Caine Movie #1 (I realize this is a bit silly, considering MC has made about a zillion films since he started his career, and there’s no way I can possibly do a comprehensive filmography, but this is the best I’ve got)
Synopsis: It’s essentially a dumbed-down version of A Christmas Carol, with a bunch of bad songs, cutesy puppets, and too many distractions.
Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “Charles Dickens’ classic holiday story sparkles with humour and whimsy in the hands of always hilarious Muppets!”
What Did I Learn?: 1) Rats don’t understand lonely children. 2) Never eat singing food.
You Might Like This Movie If: you can't imagine the Muppets ever becoming like Scrooge: obsessed with making a fast buck.
Really?: I could ask why Kermit and Miss Piggy’s male children are all frogs, and their daughters are pigs, but that would be a fool’s errand. Instead, I have to wonder why major Muppet characters such as Fozzie Bear and Miss Piggy are relegated to walk-on appearances, and even Kermit doesn’t have all that much screen time.
Rating: While I’ve always loved the Muppets, they don’t really add much to this re-telling of a classic (See: “Synopis”). The story of Scrooge’s guilt and redemption works because most of it is actually pretty dark, so Scrooge's eventual moral reformation results in a big emotional payoff. Much like Scrooged, which undermined itself with too many smug one-liners, The Muppet Christmas Carol tries to lighten things up with pratfalls and musical comedy. While the film has a few funny moments, and I liked Caine's play-it-straight approach, The Muppet Christmas Carol struck me as a confused mess that doesn't do justice to the original material, and certainly isn't in the top tier of Muppet movies. 6/10 stars.