I hope everybody is having a wonderful break and a happy holiday season! This past Sunday, December 18th, the Michigan Theater was overflowing with Christmas joy. Although the showing of The Muppet Christmas Carol began at 1:30 pm, at 12:30 there was already a line at the door! The theater had planned a variety of surprise events, such as free hot chocolate from Sweetwaters, a free piggy bank, Santa Claus, and carolers that performed both outside and inside on stage. It was so much fun to see how excited everybody was, and the workers even dressed up with Christmas headbands and sweatshirts. It’s lovely to see how hard the community has worked together to put on this event!
For those curious about the movie, The Muppet Christmas Carol reminded me a bit of The Grinch, since both involve a protagonist that’s initially unwilling to celebrate Christmas before coming around. I didn’t know that the movie was based on A Christmas Carol, written by Charles Dickens until Gonzo poses as the author himself; alongside Gonzo (in the film ‘Charles’) is Rizzo, and these two muppets act as the narrator for the film. Although I didn’t read the book, they made a powerful comedic duo that added a voice unique to the film.
Since most of the audience was children, parents, and the elderly, I was shocked by how different the viewing experience was; the laughter was a lot more boisterous and there were a lot more questions and comments; in addition to the muffled voices of the muppets, it was hard for me to hear the lines in the movie, so without subtitles, I struggled to understand the plot at times.
Something that impressed me was how well the directors incorporated both muppets and humans into the film. I knew the film was old, but the interactions between the muppets and humans were natural. It didn’t occur to me how old the film was until I saw the visual effects, though; it’s been thirty years since it was released!
To be completely honest, I didn’t enjoy the film as much as I hoped. Although it’s a children’s movie, I wish there was more background information given, and the character and plot development seemed rushed: the loud audience definitely made the event less enjoyable as well. Still, I can see how this film would be adored by muppet fans and those who watched it when it released or while growing up.
Merry Christmas everybody and have a happy new year!