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With: Michael Caine, (voices), Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Jerry Nelson, Frank Oz, David Rudman, Don Austen, Jessica Fox, Robert Tygner
Written by: Jerry Juhl, based on a novel by Charles Dickens
Directed by: Brian Henson
MPAA Rating: G
Running Time: 85
Date: 12/11/1992

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

3 Stars (out of 4)

A Present of Christmas Ghosts

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The Muppet Christmas Carol came a little over a year after the death of Jim Henson, and it wasn't easy for fans to jump right back in. Kermit the Frog's voice, taken over by Steve Whitmire, was not quite the same, and Jim's son, Brian -- then in his late 20s -- was now director.

Nonetheless, time has been kind to this funny, superior Muppet effort, and it's worth another look as the holiday season approaches. Disney has released a new Blu-ray (dubbed the "It's Not Easy Being Scrooge Special Edition") for the film's 20th anniversary.

Sticking fairly close to the source material -- albeit with jokes and Paul Williams songs -- the filmmakers had the brilliant idea of securing human Michael Caine for the central role of Scrooge, and it's a funny, yet forceful performance. Kermit has the sympathetic role of Bob Cratchit, and little Robin is Tiny Tim. Gonzo plays Dickens himself, who narrates.

The new Blu-ray comes with a new jokey commentary track with Kermit the Frog, Gonzo the Great and Rizzo the Rat, as well as an older track with director Brian Henson. There's a special new gimmick that, whenever you pause the movie, plays one of five Christmas songs. And there are several little featurettes, both behind-the-scenes, and silly. It also comes with a digital copy.

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