AVAHS – A Muppet Family Christmas

Plot: The muppets spend Christmas at Fozzie’s mother’s house.

Breakdown: It’s December! Which mea–

Elephant: “Muppets still aren’t technically animatio–”

Still don’t care! It’s time for A Very Animated Holiday Special, where we watch and review as many animated holiday specials as we can get our hands on over the month of December! And I have a bit of a request for you all. If there’s an animated holiday special or movie you’d like me to review, feel free to ask and I will do my best to gift wrap it for you. I am particularly interested in any winter holiday specials that aren’t Christmas, because I’m kinda hard up for some variety. Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Years, etc. Throw ‘em at me.

And now to today’s presentation – A Muppet Family Christmas! Made in 1987, this is a very simple special where the Muppets all spend Christmas at Fozzie’s mother’s house. She was going to go on a tropical vacation for Christmas, and she was about to rent out her place for the holidays to some guy named Doc who wanted to spend Christmas alone with his dog, Sprocket.

Contrary to what you may think, it’s really not a plot point that these three have their holidays barged in on by the Muppets. Doc is a bit perturbed at first, as is Fozzie’s mother, but they quickly just accept it and enjoy a happy holiday together.

Besides that, Miss Piggy is stuck in the city, trying to get to the house through a blizzard, which is something I’m completely uninterested in because I don’t like Miss Piggy much.

And we have the ongoing trials and tribulations of the Swedish Chef doing everything in his power to murder a bird for dinner (he even targeted Big Bird. D:)

The other 35 minutes of this 47 minute long movie are mostly made up of the Muppets singing practically every Christmas song known to man throughout the movie.

The movie is a bit bogged down by a load of Christmas carols, but it’s still pretty entertaining in its own right. There are several heartwarming and funny moments that put you in the Christmas mood. Even if I am confused as to why Doc seems so weirded out by the Muppets at first when Sprocket is a Muppet….Also, I’d like a tad more Gonzo and Rizzo, but that’s just my bias.

The entirety of the Muppet gang is here for the holidays, not just Kermit and the gang. We also get joined by the Sesame Street crew and even the Fraggles. Including them all truly makes this feel like a big family Christmas gathering. I especially liked a joke where Doc was talking with Bert and Ernie and they kept saying the words he was saying started with specific letters. When he asked them what they were doing, they said that counted as small talk where they were from. I just thought that was a hilarious bit of pseudo-meta humor.

Jim Hensen makes a cameo at the very end, which was a bittersweet reminder that he is no longer with us. Thanks for giving us a little Christmas magic, Jim.

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AVAHS – The Muppet Christmas Carol


Plot: The story of A Christmas Carol, performed by Michael Caine and the Muppets.


Elephant in the room: “A Very Animated Holiday Special.”

Twix: “………………..”

Elephant: “This isn’t animated.”

Twix: “…………………………………………”

Elephant: “Plus don’t you primary only review animated stuff anyway?”

Twix: “………………Uhhhhhhhh…..Pbbbbbbbbbbbbbbttttttttttttttttt………The Muppets are animated by the puppeteers, thus it counts.”

Elephant: “…..Wha…..that’s just cheat–”

Twix: “It’s The Muppet Christmas Carol!”

I mentioned in my review of the Flintstones Christmas Carol special that my favorite version of the story was the one performed by the Muppets. Perhaps I should preface this with a disclaimer of bias and say it was partially because it was the first version of the story I ever watched. I still have the VHS of it somewhere. Still, it stayed near and dear to my heart, and upon viewing it this year, I have found that it holds up pretty well.

I will admit, having now seen many more serious versions of the story, seeing the mostly whimsical and comedic version brought to us by the Muppets is a bit of a jarring change, even after following up A Flintstones Christmas Carol, but it’s not unwelcome.

Plus, while they do remove Fanny from the story, they don’t skip out on Tiny Tim or the implications of Yet to Come.

Gonzo and Rizzo are hilarious as ‘Charles Dickens’ and….well, Gonzo and Rizzo, being our narrators for the story. Their parts are still, by far, my favorite parts of the movie. They’re hilarious.

I loved the sets, the costumes, the roles each Muppet was given, and even a bulk of the songs. The writing is spot-on from the novel writings of Dickens to the comedic Muppet elements. Michael Caine also played Scrooge very well, even if sometimes he seemed to be hamming it a bit.

If I had to throw criticisms at it, I’d say I don’t much care for the designs of the spirits. Present’s design was the best. Past freaked me out as a kid and still freaks me out. I like its voice and manner of speech, but the Muppet design is just freaky. Yet to Come had the traditional ‘grim reaper’ look but the costume design just looked off. He looked like a gray geoduck with a big hole in the top…..Dirty Jobs taught me what a geoduck is.

Also, the effects have not aged well….at all. It’s borderline laughable sometimes.

I feel like some of the moments were kinda ruined by the Muppets; most notably I didn’t much care for Statler and Waldorf playing Jacob (and Robert) Marley. Splitting the character into two brothers who inexplicably died at the same time, I guess, is bad enough, but the characters just kinda ruin this ominous moment by…well, being Statler and Waldorf. They show up later as employees of Fezz—Fozziwig’s company, and I think they were just fine being that one role. I just feel like that role was ‘cast’ a bit poorly.

Other than that, I still love this version to bits, and I recommend everyone watch it at least once. It’s great for the Christmas season or just to get a good dose of muppetness. Every time I watch it, I want to track down more Muppets movies. I still have Muppet Treasure Island around here too. Hmm.

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