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Thursday, 25 December 2014

The Muppet Christmas Carol.


Just a short review today, it being Christmas and all, and I with my busy schedule of lounging and playing Pokemon and lounging.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it, and happy not-quite-one year of this blog being around! When we actually hit one year proper, I'll do something appropriately special for it.

The Muppet Christmas Carol.



So here's one of my favourite films of all time. I'm not going to say 'favourite Christmas film', because to be honest I have watched so few Christmas films that it would be a meaningless statement along the lines of 'my absolute favourite member of 5 Seconds of Summer' or 'my favourite series of American Horror Story', but it is a film that I love unreservedly, and which I could quite happily watch again and again.

It was also my first real exposure to the Muppets. I had heard of them before, and certainly they were famous enough for me to recognise Kermit, Miss Piggy and Sam the Eagle, but since I never watched Sesame Street or The Muppet Show or any of the previous Muppet films, this film that I think my parents put on as an attempt to keep my sister and I rooted in place for an hour was the very first time I'd actually seen them properly. 

An adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens' novel (I find the lad to be a hack, but I will grudgingly admit that his work does suit the addition of muppets), the Muppet version follows Gonzo and Rizzo (here Dickens and his assistant) as they, in turn, follow miser Scrooge, played by Michael Caine, as he is visited by three ghosts over the course of a night to teach him the true meaning of Christmas. Also, it's a musical.

One of these people isn't like the others.

To be honest, if you hadn't already seen this film, and I'd warrant most people have, the words 'Gonzo and Rizzo' 'Michael Caine' and 'Also, it's a musical' should have already convinced you to immediately buy a copy and watch it. 

It is, in many regards, a very clever film, deftly balancing both a respectful and thoughtful treatment of its subject matter (although I'll happily grant that the novel is far from a deep, complex narrative) with satire, slapstick, comedy, and a range of musical numbers. While there was certainly potential for it to be blandly soporific, the story is told with enough sincerity to make it genuinely heartwarming. 

Possibly the film's biggest flaw comes in a rather odd edit in some versions by Disney. Believing the song 'When Love Is Gone' wouldn't appeal to children, they cut it out, in awkward, jarring fashion that leaves it very obvious that some editorial shenanigans have been going on. Later releases of the film include the song, and while I can't deny that it's not the most interesting thing, it is rather important to the overall narrative.

Apples.

The second biggest flaw is that Michael Caine can't sing. He really can't. He should never try.

All in all, a very good film, and one I unreservedly love and recommend. So go watch it.

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