This adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic is not as enchanting or amusing as the previous entries in the Muppet series. But nothing can really diminish the late Jim Henson’s irresistibly appealing characters.
Closely following the Dickens story, The Muppet Christmas Carol is structured around Scrooge’s encounters with the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.
Michael Caine is perfectly cast as the nasty Scrooge, though his role is too dominant. Muppets take the other roles: Kermit the Frog (Steve Whitmire) becomes abused bookkeeper Bob Cratchit, Miss Piggy (Frank Oz) is his wife Emily, and the Great Gonzo (Dave Goelz) is transformed into Dickens himself. The latter’s narration is often obtrusive, creating unnecessary distance between the viewer and the tale.
Production values are high as ever. Brian Henson does a fluid, if not spectacular, job of direction. Paul Williams’ pedestrian songs are repetitious.