Monday, December 15, 2008

The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Marley's were dead to begin with.

Alright, so after we thought about Doubt for a bit, how about a friendlier post? I have some time to kill between work and dinner, so lets talk about the Muppets. A Muppet Christmas Carol to be exact.

This is the best Muppet movie, hands down. I love it. We all know I have a soft spot for Dickens but you may not have known my soft spot for Beecker and Professor Honeydew. Mmmm I smile just thinking about that little guy.

I watched this movie twice yesterday (with Elf in between) with a room full of girls, cookies, icing, glitter, paste, twinkle lights, C9 lights (the best kind), and a two-and-a-half year old child. In a word, merriment.

The best part of Muppet movies is that there isn't any recognized difference between human and Muppet. No one is like, 'why is Fozziwig a Muppet and his daughter a gorgeous human girl?' No one asks how Miss Piggy and Kermet (Bob and Mrs. Cratchit!) produced a frog child (Tiny Tim!) and not a hybrid. We don't question that some horses are horses and some horses are Muppet. This teaches us all a great big lesson on acceptance and diversity. Its ant-racist and pro animal-rights. Muppet and human unite! (Actually, the one example that I can think of when this becomes awkward is in The Muppets Take Manhattan when Kermet has a bit of a love story with a human. That almost crosses the line.)

Wicked does a fantastic job of this as well, but it, on the other hand, actually addresses the fact that a goat is teaching history and a girl has green skin. But that's why Wicked is great, and a different post entirely.

The Muppet Christmas Carol has the best score of any Muppet film as well, and is right up there in the running for the best Christmas movie score all together. We ADORE the Ghost of Christmas Present and are absolutely convinced of Scrooge's (Michael Cain! How fantastic that he did this movie!) happy transformation amongst this jolly bearded Bacchus.

The Ghost of Christmas Past was a definite leap in Muppet world and I love, love, loved it. I remember being absolutely transfixed by this semi-animated-floating creature as a child in the way that only children can be scared and drawn at the same time. She is incredibly creepy and also hauntingly beautiful. She is the Past and plays it well.

There is no better Tiny Tim than little Kermie, and I've seen many, many versions. When I read the book, I do picture Kermie with his little crutch and tiny frog legs. He melts our hearts and recognises charity. He is charity embodied, as Dickens creates so effortlessly.

Rizzo and Gonzo narrate the tale as the most endearing of comic sideshows. Gonzo leans into his words and animates the epic tale of suspense and greed and love and hope. Its a big job, playing Charles, and he nails it. Rizzo as sidekick is perfect because he respects Gonzo and acts as his friend. He corrects him but never embarrasses. He questions but doesn't argue. When Gonzo dumps him in ice to put out his tail that is on fire (funny) he thanks him. He's the town fool and we embrace him as any English village would.

Okay, I could go on and on about why this movie is good and important, but time to walk to 12th street for dinner. I hope I run into some wreath-toting mice and talking grapes on my way. Here's to hope. :)


Jen Pasko said...

Loved this blog...why? Because it embraces the spirit of christmas....and lets be honest Kermie was my first real love ...scoot over miss piggy.

La said...

I second Jen's post. And I was always really really jealous of Jenny (I think that was her name), the girl Kermit fell in love with in the Muppets take Manhattan. I might have to go buy this dvd now....I forgot how much I loved it.

David Henly said...

sarah - enjoying your blog. here's one you might like as well if you do Film Noir that is. Dude (katie's dad)