Take a Drink: during each musical sequence
Take a Drink: for each utterance of “Humbug”
Drink a Shot: for each of the Christmas Ghosts
Write Down: your favorite bit part Muppets and Drink a Shot when they make an appearance. (Note: This game works with any Muppet film)
By: Oberst Von Berauscht (Two Beers) –
The Muppets re-tell the classic Charles Dickens story about greed and redemption on Christmas eve. An elderly miser running a money-lending concern in a crowded London neighborhood is visited in the night by three spirits of Christmas, who attempt to make the old man see the error of his ways and learn to be better to his fellow men. This man is Ebenezer Scrooge, played by the greatest actor who ever starred in Jaws: The Revenge:
Some eight years after their last theatrical release (The Muppets Take Manhattan), and following the death of Jim Henson and longtime Henson Company puppeteer Richard Hunt, Henson’s son Brian picked up the mantle for this Holiday feature. The Jim Henson company had been sold to Disney shortly beforehand, and with deeper pockets to plunder, the film received a sizable budget increase from prior Muppet features. This results in easily the best production values of the franchise, with a gorgeously re-created Victorian London setting, and wonderful costumes/props to make everything as authentic as a story involving fuzzy puppets can get.
The music of The Muppet films has traditionally been their strength, and this time no expense is spared. Songwriter extraordinaire Paul Williams is back after writing arguably the best songs of the franchise in The Muppet Movie (1979), such as “Rainbow Connection” and “Moving Right Along”. For his part, Williams contributes a series of songs which are easily the equal of the best from the original trilogy, and as a whole makes for one of the best Christmas albums of the 1990s.
This song is tattooed permanently on the brains of all children of the early 90s.
Brian Henson seems to be very comfortable in the director’s chair, giving the film a great deal of emotion and the moodiness necessary to re-create the gloom of 1800s England, while also balancing it with the Muppets’ trademark self-referential humor. The film actually stays surprisingly true to Dickens’ original story, even using much of the narrative dialogue from the story which is absent in most big-screen adaptations. This Muppet movie is far more polished and produced that prior outings, and therefore is likely an easier introduction of the Muppets to modern audiences than earlier films.
To an extent, the Muppet humor is played down this time around, and while it does allow for the story to be stronger than prior Muppet outings, the fact is that most audiences already know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, so it is hard to not miss having more opportunities for jokes. The use of Gonzo as Narrator works well for the most part, though it does occasionally trip-up the emotional impact of the darker scenes.
The earnestness of the proceedings are mostly enough to overcome this fault however.
A rousing return to form, and a surprisingly heartfelt tribute to both Dickens’ classic story, and the life and legacy of Jim Henson (as well as journeyman puppeteer Richard Hunt).