Saturday, November 28, 2009

30 Days of Christmas: A Muppet Family Christmas...

There have been many, many Muppet holiday movies over the years. Most commonly referenced is A Muppet Christmas Carol, which has Kermit and his little nephew in the (respective) Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim roles. However, other fan favorites include It's A Very Merry Muppet Christmas, which spoofs popular films like Moulin Rouge (becoming Moulin Scrooge), and Letters To Santa, which pairs the Muppets up with some favorite live action stars like Uma Thurman and Jesse L. Martin. However, the one Muppet Christmas movie that I have always loved to watch year after year since it first debuted on PBS in the eighties is A Muppet Family Christmas.

A Muppet Family Christmas tells the tale of Fozzie and friends going to surprise his mother for the holidays. They arrive on her doorstep just as she is about to leave for Florida, renting the place out to a man and his dog. Instead of going forward with her trip, though, she decides to make room for everyone at her inn, so to speak, and everyone includes not just Kermit, Gonzo, and Rizzo the Rat, but also the entire cast of Sesame Street! This movie is Jim Henson at his finest (and the late, great creator even has a cameo at the end).

Throughout A Muppet Family Christmas, plenty of classic Christmas songs are sung, but so are some new ones (like "Pass It On," when Kermit and his nephew meet the Fraggles and share in their Christmas tradition). The Swedish chef decides he wants to try to cook Big Bird, but just as quickly is won over by the big yellow guy's sweet holiday sentiments. And Miss Piggy has to race to the house in a snowstorm when her photoshoot runs long and she can't make the road trip with the rest of the gang.

Admittedly, though, watching A Muppet Family Christmas today is not the same as back in the eighties because for some reason, the version available on DVD is an edited version that does not include all original songs (it deletes a duet between Fozzie and the Snowman, for example), and it is also lacking the Muppet Babies old home video footage. :( Still, it is twenty times better than having this modern classic lost in the PBS archives forever! If you're a diehard Muppets fan or just a diehard Christmas fan, this is a must see movie of the season!

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