90s Movie Challenge Week 50: The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Welcome back [sob] 90s loving pals. (What’s wrong with you? It’s the season of joy and goodwill. Ed). Well, it’s just that [sob] after 50 weeks, this is our very last 90s Movie Challenge. (Oh, pull yourself together, man. Ed)

Quite right. Sorry….

This week, while yes, it’s sad that we’ve reached the end of our year-long 90s odyssey, we set sail for both the heady, nostalgic days of 1992, and sunnier climes as our lovely chum C.J. Dee tells us all about what makes Christmasses Down Under so special with our very last (Sob. Ed) 90s Movie Challenge and…

The Muppet Christmas Carol!

It’s December, I have fruit cake with custard, I’m settling in to watch my favourite Christmas movie and it’s a Christmassy 32°C. Straya.

The Muppet Christmas Carol has been my go-to Christmas Day movie for about 15 years. I make a nice lunch, assemble dessert and curl up under the air conditioner to watch Kermit and co bring a joy and lightness to Dickens that only they can.

The fly over shot of the cute London houses at the start actually remind me of the opening sequence to Beetlejuice. Vastly different movies but I love the look of the film from the very start.

Can we all take a moment to appreciate Gonzo, who is unequivocally the best Charles Dickens since Charles Dickens? He does in fact know the story like the back of his hand and manages to tell it despite his cohort’s wisecracks and sarcasm.

On that topic – Rizzo is my Muppet soulmate, particularly in The Muppet Christmas Carol. He’s hilarious, he follows his friend loyally through time despite hating every minute of it and he’s here for the food.

Michael Caine as Scrooge is like gum from Jill Goodacre – perfection. He has a wonderful balance that allows him to carry off both crotchety, mean Scrooge and (spoiler alert) happy, reformed Scrooge. The part where he attacks what he thinks is an intruder then refers to it as his “best” dressing gown always cracks me up. I picture an entire wardrobe full of “every day” dressing gowns.

As we join Scrooge on his journey through time, we meet the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. We discover that young Scrooge was neglected as a child and 20-something Scrooge was ye olde snacc before joining him on his trip into the spooky future.

The ghost of Christmas future is generally styled as being the most terrifying because who knows what the future holds yadda yadda yadda gravestones. But I always feel in this particular incarnation that the ghost of Christmas past is the freakiest. If the Muppet babies were human, they would’ve been cancelled after one episode, because human baby Muppet representation is just disturbing.

Though I do love when Gonzo and Rizzo tap out towards the end of Scrooge’s journey. The humour is just timeless. 

Speaking of timeless – the music. Oh my goodness. My absolute favourite song is the ghost of Christmas present’s “It Feels Like Christmas” but they are all absolutely magical. My only criticism is the removal of “When Love Is Gone” which explains why Belle leaves Scrooge better and is parallel to the final number “When Love Is Found”. Do yourself a favour and check out “When Love Is Gone” next time you watch, if you don’t have a version that includes it!

Happy viewing, folks, and this Christmas remember – light the lamp, not the rat! LIGHT THE LAMP, NOT THE RAT!

C.J Dee runs and writes for Gotham City Times and can be found mooching around Twitter at an ungodly hour (or as they call it in Australia, “Daytime”) under the guise of @Kinestra.

And that’s it. Another year, another Movie Challenge done and dusted. Now you might think that we’d take the obvious route next year with The Great Year Long 2000s Movie Challenge – but you’d be wrong! We’re just not quite yet ready to admit that anything beyond 1999 can be classed as nostalgia. Why, it feels like only yesterday that we were all queueing around the block for Coyote Ugly, Red Planet and Dude, Where’s My Car? Maybe we’ll save that for 2023 when there’s a bit more distance.

No. Next year, we’re going to bring back a semi-regular feature we started last year. We’re going to look at those films that feel like one of those places you find once but when you go back, can’t quite remember where it was – but you remember having a blast.

Cultish Club is an exclusive, members-only establishment. But how does one nominate new members? Easy. Throughout the year we’re going to pick those films that we loved, but nobody else seems to remember.

And we’re looking for guest posters. If you’d like to write about an obscure, forgotten or maybe poorly received movie, but one that you think deserves a second look, then please do get in touch via our Contact page, or send us a DM on Twitter via either @WorldGeeklyNews or @Paulychilds. We’d love to hear what you initiate into…

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