"Bah humbug", storms Michael Caine as he takes on the part of miserable old miser Ebenezer Scrooge in "The Muppet Christmas Carol". It's a role he tackles with admirable grimness, despite being surrounded by hordes of Muppets for the duration.
Based on the Dickens novel "A Christmas Carol", this is a liberal but fun adaptation of a classic. The beak-nosed Gonzo takes on the role of Dickens and narrates the tale, along with the help of Rizzo the Rat. They take us on a journey through a dank London, filled with all your favourite Muppets and a lot of talking vegetables too!
Important components of the Dickens story remain, with Scrooge presiding over the destinies of those who cannot meet their debts with him. Not only is he unmerciful in the light of Christmas, but he won't even allow his fuzzy employees an extra piece of coal for the fire.
Such meanness is not tolerated by his deceased business partners who visit him one night promising that he must face up to his misdeeds. And so he is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. The last is a grim specimen indeed and introduces a little darkness to counter the bright joviality of the film.
It all turns out to be quite touching as Muppet movies go. Less pleasing are the forgettable songs that offer both clumsy word construction and dire music that eats away at the aesthetic quality of the movie. But you'll be too busy looking out for the assorted Muppets to care much. They're all there if you look hard enough, although the hysterical Beaker is sadly underused.