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The Muppet Christmas Carol is the best Christmas movie of all time. Now, you might be thinking “well, I don’t know about that, Downer, I mean it’s good and all, but there are so many other classic, canonical films,” and true, Charlie Brown Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life are close seconds, but I speak the truth. Trust me.

Here are a few of the many reasons why (Spoilers, maybe?):

1)      Hans Zimmer’s absolutely perfect score.

Zimmer’s songs are universally fantastic (if you skip through the Tiny Tim one), fitting the Muppets’ brand of satire comedy while also being wonderful tunes by themselves. The opening number “Scrooge” exemplifies this; it’s a minor key march whose major key chorus betrays that its lead character (Michael Caine, in a career defining performance) isn’t really threatening, just a grouchy guy we’re going to love unconditionally. Later, “Marley and Marley” turns a haunting into a thrilling duet between Statler and Waldorf in one of the film’s most memorable and meta-awesome scenes. And “When Love If Gone” is actually kind of a tearjerker when you ignore the completely flaccid actress singing it. As far as Christmas musicals go, Muppet Christmas Carol gets it right by having all their songs be instantly recallable and undeniably lovable.

2)      It’s the best version of “A Christmas Carol”

In the context of “Christmas Carol” adaptations, it’s no contest: Muppet Christmas Carol gets the story pitch perfect for the holiday season. This version blends whimsy and heart while staying true enough to the novel as to not bastardize Dickens (although having Gonzo play Dickens might undermine that… whatever). “A Christmas Carol” is a ghost story, inherently, but where the George C. Scott and Alastair Sim versions play up the novel’s ghastly undertones, they also make the story scarier than it really needs to be. This might make them great films, but not fodder for family traditions on Christmas Eve. Muppet Christmas Carol subverts most of the novel’s scarier bits with its cast, such as Jacob Marley being turned into Statler and Waldorf, but it doesn’t completely abandon the uncanny. The Ghost of Christmas Future is still a pretty scary figure to youngsters, but for me, the creepiest part of the movie is The Ghost of Christmas Present’s cheery laughter as he evaporates into nothingness as the graveyard clock strikes 12. There are enough unsettling bits to make us care, but not enough to make us really creeped out. And that’s how I want to feel while hearing this story.

3)      Michael Caine

Playing the classic protagonist, Michael Caine actually makes Scrooge likable from the beginning of the film, a key difference from Jim Carrey, Scott, Sim, and others. He’s also not mailing in the performance a la Patrick Stewart or Kelsey Grammar. Rather, he plays him perfectly, again with just the right amount of menace and comedy. His report with his staff humorous while still fiery, his “UNEMPLOYED!” line a classic. He has more chemistry with every single Muppet than the real people in the movie have with each other. And his accent is enough to make me love him even as he mutters “If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas!’ on his lips would be boiled in his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart!”

Don't cry, Sir Michael, I still love you! <3

4)      The Muppets

Still, what sets Muppet Christmas Carol apart from every Christmas film is the Muppets. As with every great Muppet adaptation, the magic comes in the brilliant casting of the Muppet team in the famous supporting roles. My personal favorite Muppet casting choice is Sam the Eagle as Scrooge’s headmaster, but virtually every choice is obvious and perfect. Of course meek Kermit would play Bob Crachit, and of course Miss Piggy would play his strong willed wife. Fozzie Bear makes a perfect Fezziwig, and not only because his name lends itself so easily to the pun. And Gonzo and Rizzo as narrators are, as always, a hilarious comedy duo, Gonzo the straight man to Rizzo’s top banana. I admit it’s my soft spot for all things Muppet related that makes this, to me, the best Christmas movie ever. And even as I’ve gotten older and have gotten better versed in Christmas classics, this will always be #1. To be honest, no other Christmas movie really stands a chance.

Look at how happy they are! FEEL JOLLY GODAMMIT IT'S CHRISTMAS!





klap
12.23.10
yes

thebhoy
12.23.10
score +1 for Mr. Downer

couldwinarabbit
12.23.10
It's my fourth favourite but this is amazing. 3.) makes the movie for me.

Waior
12.23.10
come on in and know me better, man!

pizzamachine
12.23.10
Great movie.

Jim
12.23.10
UNEMPLOYED

+1

transatlanticfoe
12.23.10
god i hate that actress, we watch this every year and skip that song every single time

but totally agreed otherwise

Oceanus
12.23.10
+ rep

JWT155
12.23.10
Movie ruled my childhood.

Romulus
12.23.10
this is so true

marksellsuswallets
12.23.10
Fuck yes.

Yazz_Flute
12.23.10
haven't seen this in years. must bust out the vcr and look for it...

Curse.
12.23.10
why the Muppet Christmas Carol is the best Christmas movie ever:

Michael Fucking Caine

/blog

DiceMan
12.23.10
yeah

MCGF
12.23.10
great blog, completely true

TomServo
12.23.10
I don't know if I've ever agreed with anything on this website more. I Just watched this again for the first time in about 10 years and it was even better than I remembered. Good work sir.

Kris.
12.23.10
i haven't seen this years MUST DOWNLOAD

Hep Kat
12.23.10
reasons why adam downer is now my favorite staff writer: lots




DaveyBoy
12.23.10
Downer, I told you that your reputation would sky-rocket after you wrote this.

All it needed was a litte more SWEDISH CHEF!

Hawks
12.23.10
I literally just said this last night.

Tyler
12.23.10
ctrl+f "die hard"

"Phrase not found".

derp.

Hep Kat
12.23.10
i actually got a vcr from my uncle just to watch this. go analog baby

AmericnZero02
12.23.10
Man, I haven't seen this in ages. Now I gotta track down a copy. A Muppet Family Christmas is my favorite.

aScannerdarkly
12.23.10
Yes yes yes!!!! I agree 100%. Glad to see that there are more sharing my opinion on this!

witchxrapist
12.23.10
Disney Christmas Carol

Muppet one is classic though too

deadinholywood
12.23.10
I have this and will watch it when i get home to get in the spirit, the muppets are just awesome

AliW1993
12.23.10
Classic, although Muppet Treasure Island is my favourite muppets film.

Also Dave Grohl's appearing in a new muppets movie next year apparently.

Nagrarok
12.23.10
Going to watch because of this post.

omnipanzer
12.23.10
Because you haven't seen or because it's made you nostalgic?

Nagrarok
12.23.10
Because I actually haven't seen it.

*hides*

omnipanzer
12.23.10
/weep

Nagrarok
12.23.10
Well, better late than never, as they say.

omnipanzer
12.23.10
Yah I just weep for you as a child that never got to view it with the wonderment only a child can have.

Nagrarok
12.23.10
The Muppets are much more popular in America than here, it's been out of my hands.

omnipanzer
12.23.10
ahh, was unaware that you were not local. Where are you?

omnipanzer
12.23.10
^disregard wrong place for this ;^)

Nagrarok
12.23.10
The Netherlands.

natey
12.23.10
♫ this is my island in the sunn....♫♫

AggravatedYeti
12.23.10
adam downer I take back any bad things I've ever said about you.

DoctorNurse
12.23.10
Sky +'d this the other night. Loved this when i was younger

iswimfast
12.23.10
omg i was going to make a list entitled this.

slep
12.23.10
"There are enough unsettling bits to make us care, but not enough to make us really creeped out"

Kind of the reason I loved this movie

SmurkinGherkin
12.24.10
I never watched this either :(

Electric City
12.24.10
more like herpinderpin

marksellsuswallets
12.24.10
Apparently my mom packed up my VHS of this and lost it, guess I'll have to go buy the damn DVD...

WhiteNoise
12.28.10
I actually got Muppet Treasure Island for Christmas. Muppets + Pirates = Fucking WIN!

tvol
12.30.10
besides that fucking song by that fucking chick that fucking sucks, yes. this movie is beyond a doubt the best christmas movie. animaniacs christmas close behind.

ZippaThaRippa
12.30.10
I'm pretty sure that Die Hard is the best christmas movie ever.

Electric City
12.31.10
terrorists are not in real christmas movies

theacademy
12.31.10
wow how did i miss this.


i worship this movie.

kesha
12.03.11
i am finding the Christmas Quotes

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