When it comes time to sit back, relax, and put on a Christmas movie that the whole family can enjoy, I think most of us can agree that the movie in question is A Muppet Christmas Carol. You may watch this movie every year, but that doesn't mean you know all there is to know about this masterpiece. Here are five things you probably didn't know about A Muppet Christmas Carol.
1. This was the first major Muppet project after the death of creator Jim Henson
Henson had performed as Kermit the Frog, and the role was then handed down to Steve Whitmire. According to Whitmire, he was incredibly nervous about taking over such an iconic character. The night before he had to go record Kermit's songs for the movie, he had a dream where he met Henson in a hotel lobby and told him how unsure he was. In the dream, Henson reassured Whitmire that the feeling would pass.
2. Gonzo was originally supposed to play the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
But according to Brian Henson, the decision to use Gonzo and Rizzo to narrate the story was made because he wanted to incorporate the narration and prose of the Charles Dickens novel into the film.
3. In the book, there is only one Marley: Jacob Marley
Robert Marley was added so that they could be played by Statler and Waldorf.
4. Michael Caine has said he considers his role as Ebenezer Scrooge to be one of his most memorable
...and called it “stretching and difficult.”
5. The song "When Love Is Gone," as sung by Belle, was recorded and filmed, but then dropped from the theatrical release
This was done (over the objections of director Brian Henson) at the request of Disney chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg on the grounds that it would be too sad for young children. This last-minute decision resulted in a jarring and obvious edit in the scene where it was removed, and leaves some confusion to Scrooge, Gonzo & Rizzo's reactions. The scene was restored in the VHS, Laserdisc and first DVD releases, but it isn't used in TV airings of the movie, the Blu-Ray releases, or the Netflix version.
In my humble opinion, this is one of the best Muppet movies made. This movie doesn't feel like it's playing down to kids at all. The themes are dark and at times frightening. That being said, it's still an amazing ride for the whole family and I would recommend it find a spot in your holiday viewing.