"We all love Scrooged, but it doesn't count."
December 10, 2020 10:58 AM   Subscribe

 
Last December's previously. Not that I'm arguing against breaking out the cheeses for us meeces jokes every year, because that's basically what I'm here for.
posted by Horkus at 11:06 AM on December 10, 2020 [14 favorites]


"We all love Scrooged"[citation needed]
posted by Johnny Assay at 11:09 AM on December 10, 2020 [11 favorites]


I came in here all ready to throw down, but I see TFA has got me covered.
But what about—

Good call, let’s set some parameters. We are talking exclusively about adaptations taking place in 19th century London. We all love Scrooged, but it doesn’t count.
Well. All right, then. Carry on.
posted by ApathyGirl at 11:10 AM on December 10, 2020 [8 favorites]


"Thank you very much!
Thank you very much!
That's the nicest thing that anyone's ever done for me
I may sound Double-Dutch
But my delight is such
I feel as if a losing war's been won for me
And if I had a flag I'd hang my flag out
To add a sort of final victory touch
But since I left my flag at home
I'll simply have to say
Thank you very, very, very much!"

posted by clavdivs at 11:16 AM on December 10, 2020 [7 favorites]


I see his point, even though I grew up with the 1971 Richard Williams version, and I must admit I'd not really considered it that seriously before (I'd always put people who make this argument into the same box as the ones who over enthusiastically tell you "Die Hard is a Christmas movie! It is! No, you are wrong!").

He does go on a bit, though, doesn't he?
posted by Grangousier at 11:20 AM on December 10, 2020 [4 favorites]


To be clear, this is NOT a double, it is the Post of Christmas Present, a year on from the Post of Christmas Past, and a year ahead of the Post of Christmas Future.

God bless us, every Muppet.
posted by chavenet at 11:21 AM on December 10, 2020 [36 favorites]


Alastair Sims rules. As I pointed out the last time this topic reared its seasonal head.
posted by njohnson23 at 11:30 AM on December 10, 2020 [14 favorites]


It’s also got surprisingly historically accurate costumes.
posted by nonasuch at 11:31 AM on December 10, 2020 [30 favorites]


Only if it includes "The Love Is Gone."

[This duet between young Scrooge and Belle was cut from the theatrical release, restored to the VHS, removed from at least one DVD release and iTunes. I'd only every seen the VHS release, and sorely feel its lack. This hill is nice -- a good place for dying.]
posted by JawnBigboote at 11:32 AM on December 10, 2020 [8 favorites]


Hey JawnBigboote - you're in luck!

Lost Muppet Christmas Carol song found at last, will be restored for future releases
posted by tzikeh at 11:40 AM on December 10, 2020 [25 favorites]


The Mickey Mouse/Scrooge McDuck version has always been the truest fulfillment of Dickens' vision, but gets dismissed here because it's not a feature length film. Humbug.
posted by skewed at 11:40 AM on December 10, 2020 [8 favorites]


Ok, just have to get this unpopular opinion off my chest: as much fun as the Muppets are, the songs in Muppet Christmas Carol are strictly mediocre, which is why Mr Magoo's Christmas Carol (with score by Jule Styne, better known for his work on Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and other famous musicals) will always be the one true musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol.
posted by firechicago at 11:51 AM on December 10, 2020 [22 favorites]


Mr Magoo's Christmas Carol... will always be the one true musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol.

With razzleberry dressing!
posted by tzikeh at 12:02 PM on December 10, 2020 [9 favorites]


I tried and failed to make this point last in last year's thread, so let me give it another go. The Muppets can't take place in the Victorian Era because there were no Muppets in the Victorian Era. OK, great costumes may provide an authentically Victorian vibe, but maybe what makes this adaptation great is the irreverance with which it treats the source material. In which case, Scrooged has to be in the running too. Or maybe Lego Christmas Carol is best Christmas Carol.
posted by St. Oops at 12:14 PM on December 10, 2020 [1 favorite]


Normal brain: Muppet Christmas Carol is best Christmas Carol
Growing brain: Scrooged is best Christmas Carol
Galaxy brain: Edge of Tomorrow is best Christmas Carol
posted by phooky at 12:23 PM on December 10, 2020 [17 favorites]


what makes this adaptation great is the irreverance with which it treats the source material

I think that's the point TFO's author is trying to make - that Dickens himself is playing those games with the reader from the opening, rambling on, variously, about Marley, Scrooge and the idiomatic phrase "Dead as a doornail". Most film-makers dress it up solemnly in Victorian drag, but The Muppets know the score.
posted by Grangousier at 12:25 PM on December 10, 2020 [18 favorites]


I too feel that the Muppets are the best possible version of A Christmas Carol, but Mr. Magoo is a surprisingly close second. I found myself surprisingly touched by it, more so than by most versions I've seen.

Right up there in the pantheon is Patrick Stewart's one-man stage show of A Christmas Carol. I haven't actually seen the film version (which has - pfah! - other actors in it), and I'm not sure if it stands up to the stage show.
posted by rednikki at 12:39 PM on December 10, 2020 [10 favorites]


“a two-time Academy Award winner being quite rude to a frog.”


God I love Michael Caine.
posted by darkstar at 12:40 PM on December 10, 2020 [16 favorites]


Also:

Honestly, it sounds more like you’re setting very specific goalposts to make your point inarguable.


Well, that’s my prerogative, and you’re a rhetorical device, so I owe you nothing.



HAH! :D
posted by darkstar at 12:42 PM on December 10, 2020 [8 favorites]


George C. Scott and Edward Woodward is a party in and of itself.
posted by clavdivs at 12:46 PM on December 10, 2020 [3 favorites]


"...Thank you very, very much!"

For a moment there it turned in to A Christmas Bubba-Hotep Carol...
posted by y2karl at 1:02 PM on December 10, 2020 [6 favorites]


ok now I want this ^
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 1:04 PM on December 10, 2020 [3 favorites]


I rather like this one...
posted by jim in austin at 1:06 PM on December 10, 2020 [3 favorites]


The Muppet Whatever is the best Whatever of Whatever.
posted by signal at 1:35 PM on December 10, 2020 [20 favorites]


The best adaptation of A Christmas Carol is The Matrix.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:39 PM on December 10, 2020 [4 favorites]


I think this guy has clearly failed to consider the merits of the stage production produced by the 30 or so kids who lived in my home town in 1987, based largely on the Mickey Mouse version with a touch of a script that someone's mom bought somewhere. I was Scrooge, because I was the only one who could learn that many lines, and then they decided that no one else could learn their lines anyway, so the whole thing was pre-recorded to cassette tape by us taking turns speaking into a microphone plugged into a ghetto blaster and then we acted it out in time to what was happening on the tape.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:47 PM on December 10, 2020 [23 favorites]


Ok, just have to get this unpopular opinion off my chest: as much fun as the Muppets are, the songs in Muppet Christmas Carol are strictly mediocre

Oh my god, thank you. I thought I was the only one. I still watch it every year, but I just endure the songs rather than enjoy them. If there were a way to smoothly edit them out, I'd give it a try.

(Also, the best Christmas special ever is Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas. The press conference is over, and I will not be taking any questions.)
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:49 PM on December 10, 2020 [17 favorites]


I tried and failed to make this point last in last year's thread, so let me give it another go. The Muppets can't take place in the Victorian Era because there were no Muppets in the Victorian Era. OK, great costumes may provide an authentically Victorian vibe, but maybe what makes this adaptation great is the irreverance with which it treats the source material.

The Victorian Era also didn't have Michael Caine. Point being that you have to think of it as sort of a play within a play. The outer-most level has some people working the Muppet-puppets. But then there's the "Muppet reality" level where the Muppets are just people who might star in a movie or put on a play or run a theater or whatever. And those people are putting on a Victorian period adaptation of the Dickens classic.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 2:02 PM on December 10, 2020 [14 favorites]


the songs in Muppet Christmas Carol are strictly mediocre

With the exception of "Marley and Marley," I have to agree. I hate to say it, but Paul Williams lost his magic when he got sober.
posted by Faint of Butt at 2:07 PM on December 10, 2020 [3 favorites]


The Muppet Christmas Carrol is the best Christmas movie by far. Elf is a distant second. I’m astonished by how many people have never seen it.
posted by sjswitzer at 2:11 PM on December 10, 2020 [2 favorites]


Mr Magoo's Christmas Carol

Since I know we have a lot of Yo La Tengo fans here, I just want to alert you to the amazing fact that Georgia Hubley’s father is the creator of Mr. Magoo.
posted by sjswitzer at 2:17 PM on December 10, 2020 [18 favorites]


Marley and Marley captivated my 3 year old the first time she saw it. She kept asking to see the ghosties singing and wanted to wear chains for Christmas.
posted by benzenedream at 2:17 PM on December 10, 2020 [6 favorites]


Why are there so many songs about Santas
And what's in the pretty box?
McClane or Gennero, names are illusions
And now I have Uzi's and Glocks.

We're told they're terrorists, some choose to believe it
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it: the Gruber connection.
The beat cop, Miss Piggy, and me!

Yippee ki yay Muppet flocker!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:18 PM on December 10, 2020 [25 favorites]


I was Scrooge, because I was the only one who could learn that many lines, and then they decided that no one else could learn their lines anyway, so the whole thing was pre-recorded to cassette tape by us taking turns speaking into a microphone plugged into a ghetto blaster and then we acted it out in time to what was happening on the tape.

Connected to this, but not the main topic, this reminds me of the time I was cast as Christ in our church's Easter play for my speaking voice. Then they ended up choosing a script where Christ has no lines, just appears out of the tomb.

(The best part of that play was that immediately afterwards, there was a potluck dinner where they took donations. I collected money and gave change, still in costume. Jesus *as* a money changer in the temple.
posted by Four Ds at 2:18 PM on December 10, 2020 [13 favorites]


God rest ye merry gentle folk
Let nothing you dismay
Remember Scrooge and Animal
Destroyed the Christmas play
To save us all from coal-fired smoke
And Satan's pointy fork
Børk-børk børk-børk
Børk-børk børk-børk børk
Børk-børk børk-børk
Børk-børk...
Børk-børk børk-børk
Børk-børk børk-børk børk!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:32 PM on December 10, 2020 [28 favorites]


Elf is a distant second. I’m astonished by how many people have never seen it.
Having never seen Elf, I'm reliably astonished by how many people have seen it. The clips in the promos are so off-putting, and I'm given to understand those are the highlights (you SIT on a THRONE of LIES).
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:41 PM on December 10, 2020 [9 favorites]


Come they told me
Mahna mahna na
A new born king to see
Mahna mahna na
Our finest gifts we bring
Mahna mahna na
To lay before the king
Mahna mahna na,
Mahna mahna na,
ba dee bedebe
So to honor him
ba dee bedebe
We shall be free
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:42 PM on December 10, 2020 [32 favorites]


The Muppet Whatever is the best Whatever of Whatever.
A Muppet Rope Burn ?
A Muppet Root Canal ?
A Muppet Proctological Exam ?
A Muppet Asteroid Impact ?
I rather think not.
posted by y2karl at 2:49 PM on December 10, 2020 [3 favorites]


Muppulp Fiction

Muppetator 2: Judgment Day

Cookie Nights

No Country for Waldorf and Astoria

posted by Halloween Jack at 2:58 PM on December 10, 2020 [9 favorites]


It's time to play the music
It's time to light the lights
It's time to drill your tooth out on a Muppet Christmas night
(Is it safe?)
It's time to put the lube on
It's time to twist your arm
It's time for an extinction level event
On a very special epiderm

Why do we always come here
I guess we'll never know
It's like a kind of torture
To have to watch the show
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:02 PM on December 10, 2020 [10 favorites]


I think this guy has clearly failed to consider the merits of the stage production produced by the 30 or so kids who lived in my home town in 1987

Well if that's where we're going, there's always the version from 1993 which my middle school English teacher organized; each of 4 classes of 25 did their own production, and there was some sort of prize for best production. In my class I was Scrooge (again because they thought I could remember the lines and I was loud). Well, somehow, in the middle of our production, someone (me? Tiny Tim? Rizzo?) flubbed a line and replaced it with one from the scene we had just done before. Believing "the show must go on", and not really knowing our lines out of context, we, well, just repeated the entire scene. So then we had to try again on the next scene, which fortunately this time did go correctly (and thus we are not still stuck in an infinite loop of middle school play).

The kicker is that even with this rather considerable flaw, our production was still the "best" production out of the 4 classes. I can't remember the name of said teacher, but I feel for him even now.
posted by nat at 3:05 PM on December 10, 2020 [15 favorites]


Ned... Ryerson?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:08 PM on December 10, 2020 [7 favorites]


the songs in Muppet Christmas Carol are strictly mediocre

I have known middlebrow tastes, so I am unsurprised to hear the disdain, but this soundtrack is on my regular playlist, not just Christmas. "Marley & Marley," "Scrooge," "It Feels like Christmas," and especially "One More Sleep til Christmas" are all classic Muppet songs, imho.

That said, I've never seen the Mr. Magoo version, and Gentleman Prefer Blondes is an underrated classic female buddy movie, so thanks for the tip!
posted by the primroses were over at 3:19 PM on December 10, 2020 [3 favorites]


I also was Scrooge in our grade school production, because I had the style of a bitter old man even back then, also because I was despised by my classmates. It was actually pretty good casting, everyone liked it! (I actually hate Christmas as well.)

The best adaptation of A Christmas Carol is The Matrix.

There's an essay about Eyes Wide Shut that makes the reference.
posted by ovvl at 3:20 PM on December 10, 2020 [5 favorites]


I was Scrooge, because I was the only one who could learn that many lines
I was Walt Whitman as a 10 year old in a very, very, very long elementary school stage play. I can still recite O Captain! My Captain!, the entirety of which was in the play for some reason, from memory. I still don't know what the point of any of it was. (My suspicions is that the point was a frustrated would-be theater director working at an elementary school day job. Or, perhaps it was a actually a joke that none of us got.)

I didn't really notice the muppets until adulthood and had never heard of this before. I'm looking forward to seeing it. I got bored and stopped reading the book halfway through twenty five years ago and haven't regretted it. But, perhaps with muppets, it'll work. One can only be so much of an arrogant pedant with your torso buried in a furry animal.
posted by eotvos at 3:26 PM on December 10, 2020


O Kermie! my Kermie! our fearful night is done,
The past has passed, now is new, the future sure is won.
The goose is near, the bells I hear, the Muppets all exulting,
While googly eyes and throaty cries, the arms are fairly flailing;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the tears on cheeks of green,
Where on the deck is Tiny Tim,
Dancing like a dream.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:38 PM on December 10, 2020 [19 favorites]


okay, I'm done
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:44 PM on December 10, 2020 [4 favorites]


as much fun as the Muppets are, the songs in Muppet Christmas Carol are strictly mediocre,

I saw this movie for the first time a year ago and... yeah. I thought one or two were fun - I recall it starting strong with the introduction of Scrooge - but most of the rest of the songs, well, I honestly don’t remember a thing about.
posted by atoxyl at 3:48 PM on December 10, 2020


Ah... school productions. In the sixth grade our class pretty much did the year’s curriculum in about three months. Our teacher, an amateur artist, had loads of creative ideas to occupy our time and stretch our horizons. For Christmas we did a stage version of A Christmas Carol. Us kids, did the costumes, the sets (minimalistic), and the props. I supplied the chains for Marley’s ghost. The kid who played Scrooge was great. Sort of the class clown turned serious actor. The teacher directed but us kids did the vast majority of the production. We performed it three times for each of the fourth, fifth, and six grade classes. Then our teacher got us a nearby junior high school auditorium for an evening show open to the public. It was packed. My first and only theater experience. I played Scrooge’s nephew.
posted by njohnson23 at 4:07 PM on December 10, 2020 [7 favorites]


My rule of thumb for all Christmas Carol adaptations is "Does it have Ignorance and Want? Then it's a good adaptation." Ignorance and Want do not appear in The Muppet Christmas Carol. It's still a good adaptation.
posted by dannyboybell at 4:11 PM on December 10, 2020 [11 favorites]


Came for The Muppet Christmas Carol, stayed for the "school production of A Christmas Carol" stories.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:13 PM on December 10, 2020 [8 favorites]


I was cast as Tiny Tim in my elementary school version, entirely because I was the smallest kid in the class. School production casting directors just don't have much to go on, do they?
posted by gingerbeer at 4:49 PM on December 10, 2020 [6 favorites]


The difference between this post and last year's post is that last year after the post I watched "A Muppet Christmas Carol". It's not the best "Christmas Carol" but I'm glad I saw it. Thanks for the present!
posted by acrasis at 5:30 PM on December 10, 2020


The Mr. Magoo version was the first one for me and it will always be my favorite, sorry Muppets.
posted by tommasz at 6:23 PM on December 10, 2020 [5 favorites]


The Muppet Whatever is the best Whatever of Whatever

I mean, Gonzo is a Whatever and he’s the best Muppet, so yeah.
posted by nonasuch at 6:39 PM on December 10, 2020 [9 favorites]


Muppet Family Christmas or GTFO.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 7:51 PM on December 10, 2020 [8 favorites]


okay, I'm done

No, you get back in here right now, you’re on a hell of a roll.
posted by azpenguin at 7:57 PM on December 10, 2020 [5 favorites]


The Muppets can't take place in the Victorian Era because there were no Muppets in the Victorian Era.

What a strange argument. There have been no Muppets in any era; they aren’t real. But they are Muppet actors in a production set in Victorian England; it is most decidedly a period production, down to the details.

What time and place do you think it’s set in?
posted by argybarg at 10:25 PM on December 10, 2020 [3 favorites]


Slightly off-topic Magoo datapoint/urban legend that has jumped to mind: Aldous Huxley was hired to write a Mr Magoo version of Don Quixote, but as he had, himself, very poor eyesight, he didn't understand the basic Magoo joke, and the studio didn't have the heart to break it to him, so the film went unproduced.
posted by Grangousier at 10:40 PM on December 10, 2020 [6 favorites]


What a strange argument.

OK, I'll give it one more go. The author sets up some admittedly arbitrary and specific goalposts to exclude Scrooged, an equally beloved film which is repeatedly referred to in the article and which is even referenced in the title of this post. The requirement that a filmed adaptation take place in the "Victorian Era" necessarily pits the Muppets against a bunch of stuffy, self-serious interpretations, giving mad-cap Muppets an automatic out of the more melodramatic elements of the story.

But The Muppets exist, in the parlance of our times, in the Muppet Cinematic Universe, a world which violates laws of physics and plush toys equally, granting this interpretation latitude not available to period pieces. I love the Muppets, and this movie is a great adaptation of the story, and the author can have any opionion he wants. But his argument has to be taken with a grain of salt (Muppet needs seasoning with salt anyway).
posted by St. Oops at 11:17 PM on December 10, 2020


With the exception of "Marley and Marley," I have to agree

It is good, but also seems to be basically the Robocop theme with lyrics...
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:31 PM on December 10, 2020


there were no Muppets in the Victorian Era

Listen, listen very closely, to the vitrines.
posted by clew at 12:15 AM on December 11, 2020


...but maybe what makes this adaptation great is the irreverance with which it treats the source material.
posted by St. Oops


For irreverent takes also try Kenny Everett, and a radio version from the I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue team, made in the Humph era with Humph playing Scrooge (I'm Sorry I Haven't A Christmas Carol, can't find an online version).

The radio version by The Goons is also amusing, if they are your cup of tea.

Narrator: Marley is dead, Marley is dead!
Marley: No, I'm not.
sfx: gunshot
Narrator: Yes, you are.
posted by Pouteria at 12:35 AM on December 11, 2020 [4 favorites]


Pouteria: "gunshot"

Nail gun?
posted by chavenet at 12:48 AM on December 11, 2020 [2 favorites]


...and a radio version from the I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue team, made in the Humph era with Humph playing Scrooge (I'm Sorry I Haven't A Christmas Carol, can't find an online version).

But their take on Alice In Wonderland, which is just as good, is on YT. :-)
posted by Pouteria at 4:21 AM on December 11, 2020


Hey, It's Raining Florence Henderson: if you're feeling up to it, I'd be keen to read a mashup of "One More Sleep til Christmas" and "No Sleep Til Brooklyn"....I mean, only if you take requests and all.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:16 AM on December 11, 2020 [2 favorites]


On a slightly more serious note, I think part of why I love the Magoo version so much is that, surprisingly for a cartoon adaptation, it gets the melancholy and sense of loss that infuses Scrooge as a character. It's only got 6 songs (not including reprises) and two of them are entirely about loss and loneliness. In a big way, Scrooge's arc is about coming to terms with loss, and accepting that the losses he's experienced don't excuse him from participating in humanity, and that refusing to participate in humanity will not insulate him from loss. I think a lot of the adaptations that fall flat do so because they don't have an account of that psychological journey beyond "And then he was Touched By The Magic Of The Christmas Spirit(tm)."
posted by firechicago at 5:59 AM on December 11, 2020 [11 favorites]


Ok, look. Everyone needs the blu-ray version of this movie because when you pause it, you get an intermission with singing rats and chickens and the Swedish Chef.
posted by Fleebnork at 7:29 AM on December 11, 2020 [8 favorites]


The gag may be different, but the effect is the same: this story will be told by a fancifully obtrusive narrator committed to making himself as much the star of the show as Scrooge. If the book’s effects depend as much on groaners as insights, there could be no greater Dickens than Gonzo.
When I read the story, I hear it in Gonzo's voice.
posted by eckeric at 8:24 AM on December 11, 2020 [3 favorites]


The Mr. Magoo version was the first one for me

It was the first animated holiday special ever (sorry, Charlie Brown).

I've never seen the Mr. Magoo version

Well, for heaven's sake, let's get on it! Here it is on Vimeo - the correct, complete version, with Magoo's introductory, mandatory 'Back Back Back on Broadway' song.
posted by Rash at 8:52 AM on December 11, 2020 [11 favorites]


My rule of thumb for all Christmas Carol adaptations is "Does it have Ignorance and Want? Then it's a good adaptation."

My brothers' rule as well, which is why the little-known 1971 Richard Williams version is one of the few acceptable, to them (but they also rate Mr Magoo highest).
posted by Rash at 9:13 AM on December 11, 2020 [2 favorites]


Elf is a distant second. I’m astonished by how many people have never seen it.

Having never seen Elf, I'm reliably astonished by how many people
have seen it.

Yes - the promotional materials are extremely off-putting. Now, if it featured David Sedaris, and the protagonist was named Crumpet, that's the 'Elf' film I'd be interested in seeing.
posted by Rash at 9:18 AM on December 11, 2020 [3 favorites]


TMCC also has the most period-accurate costumes of any adaptation I’ve seen.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:07 AM on December 11, 2020 [2 favorites]


I played the Ghost of Christmas Present in our high school production, which my sister and I cowrote. The drama teacher kept cutting it down until it resembled a Mighty Carson Art Players sketch. Poor Randy C. was so excited about being in his first play, but he couldn’t remember any lines so he kept getting demoted to smaller and smaller parts, ending up as Dead Scrooge Under a Sheet. My ghost costume was a black choir robe and fez with Christmas lights stapled all over. I made my entrance yelling, “ENENEEEEEZER!” and then the narrator plugged me in. I had to be very careful not to go more than a couple of steps in any direction. Ah, the magic of the theater.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:16 AM on December 11, 2020 [7 favorites]


Now, if it featured David Sedaris, and the protagonist was named Crumpet, that's the 'Elf' film I'd be interested in seeing.
Despite recent complaints about Sedaris, that's an online event I'd happily pay $30 to see. This American Life already has the remote film thing figured out. Why haven't they done this yet? That's the Christmas event we've all been waiting for.

(I now remember that Elf exists. And I remember why I never saw it, despite an unreasonable fondness for Ed Asner. Cheers to those who enjoy it!)
posted by eotvos at 10:52 AM on December 11, 2020


Weirdly, Elf succeeds as a film in part for the same reason as Muppet Christmas Carol: the total, unflinching, unironic commitment of the lead actor to the role. If Will Ferrell or Michael Caine broke into irony or winking for even a second, the whole movie would fall apart, but neither of them ever do.
posted by nonasuch at 11:13 AM on December 11, 2020 [6 favorites]


Now, if it featured David Sedaris...

... what, is Amy Sedaris chopped liver?
posted by St. Oops at 11:17 AM on December 11, 2020 [5 favorites]


Despite being a huge Muppet fan, I didn't see Muppet Christmas Carol until just a couple years ago. I think its relative obscurity is due to the fact that the OG Muppet fans (i.e., Gen X) were slightly too old by the time it came out. (I graduated high school the year it was released, and don't remember hearing about it at the time.)

I liked it (Gonzo as Dickens is definitely an inspired choice) and probably would have liked it more if I'd seen it as a kid.

On a side note, don't judge Elf by its promotional materials. It's a surprisingly sweet and funny movie, and is one of the few holiday movies I can stand watching repeatedly.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 12:22 PM on December 11, 2020 [4 favorites]


Rash: “My brothers' rule as well, which is why the little-known 1971 Richard Williams version is one of the few acceptable, to them”
I feel the same way about the miner, lighthouse, and ship-at-sea scenes, so I agree. I'm sure I must have seen this, but I couldn't say how long it's been. Thanks for linking it.

I like the Muppet version, but never really cared for the songs. However, the article makes many good points and maybe I'll have to give it another try this year.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:58 PM on December 11, 2020


TMCC also has the most period-accurate costumes of any adaptation I’ve seen.

The 71 Scrooge musical is good on this also; they even put the flashbacks in Regency costumes while the costuming in the story itself is later 19th century.
posted by emjaybee at 2:50 PM on December 11, 2020


Why in the hell would Scrooged not count
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:52 PM on December 11, 2020


TMCC also has the most period-accurate costumes of any adaptation I’ve seen.

I don't know about that, but I can tell you that the real Victorian London was crawling with rats, and all non-Muppet adaptations are lacking enough of them for period accuracy.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 4:03 PM on December 11, 2020


The Muppets can't take place in the Victorian Era because there were no Muppets in the Victorian Era

Pssst, there were no ghosts either.
posted by museum of fire ants at 4:03 PM on December 11, 2020 [2 favorites]


So why exactly does Scrooged not count? - posted by St. Oops at 1:09 PM on December 23, 2019

So why exactly does Scrooged not count?

TONIGHT YOU WILL BE VISITED BY THREE SPIRITS WHO WILL SHOW YOU WHY ALL MEN MUST READ THE ARTICLE BEFORE MAKING FLIP CRITICISMS OF IT. REPEEEEEEEEEEENNNNNNNTTTTTT - posted by ominous_paws at 1:14 PM on December 23, 2019

--
The Onion, today: Literary Scholars Discover First Draft Of ‘A Christmas Carol’ Where All 4 Ghosts Show Up At Once And Just Beat The Shit Out Of Scrooge “This incredible manuscript shows how Dickens developed the story from his original concept of a gang of malevolent spirits absolutely wailing on Ebenezer Scrooge into the iconic holiday classic we know and love today,” said professor Leah Mulroney, describing how the first draft features the spectral form of Jacob Marley appearing before Scrooge to warn him about the chains he had forged in life before using said chains to choke the miser. [...]

It was, in fact, Dickens’ publisher who suggested that he instead focus on the miser’s transformative arc and adjust the original ending where the ghosts paraded Scrooge’s bruised corpse through the streets of London.” Mulroney added that this was the most significant Dickens-related discovery since archivists uncovering a draft of Oliver Twist in which the ravenous orphan bites out Mr. Limbkins’ trachea after being refused more gruel.
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:03 PM on December 11, 2020 [7 favorites]


For wenestvedt:

No sleep 'til
Christmas!

Magic in the air never ever false care
Beeker’s chillin’ distilling nog I swear
His nog's ain't just nog, it's liquid excitement
If the whole city’s smilin’ ain’t no indictment

On a world tour, singing ‘cause our heart’s pure
Electric Mayhem always a whirlwind
Meetin’ Sweetums, STOP!... to say “hello” to him
Ain’t no strangers on the way to Elohim

Ain't no B.S., the season to be joyous
Bringing gifts to Cratchit’s kids
And every girl and boy, yes
While you're in your night caps, Mayhem’s kickin' gift raps

No sleep 'til -
Another town - another roof
Another Christmas Carol spoof
Another star – it shines so bright
Another sleigh ride night

Our manager's Fozzie, he always jokes & busts
Animal pulls his own sleigh, Rowlf, he drives the bus
There's something in the wind tonight, from France to Fraggle Rock
Santa’s got a helper, Gonzo’s on the clock

We're rescuing Christmas like it's going out of style
Spreading joy along the way because it's worth your while
Four on the floor - Statler's out the door
Janice's in the back with Camilla packin’ Santa’s sack
We got Grover in the trunk with money in a stack
Scooter’s in the front and Big Bird's on the roof rack
‘Cause faith is in our hearts tonight

No sleep 'til
No sleep 'til
Christmas!
No sleep 'til
Christmas!

No sleep 'til
No sleep 'til
Christmas!
No sleep 'til
Christmas!
No sleep 'til
Christmas!
No sleep 'til
Christmas!
Yeahh!!

No sleep 'til
Christmas!
No sleep 'til
Christmas!
No sleep 'til
Christmas!
No sleep 'til
Christmas!
No sleep 'til
Christmas!
No sleep 'til
Christmas!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:25 PM on December 11, 2020 [11 favorites]


IIRC, A Muppet Family Christmas (1987) is on YouTube.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:41 PM on December 11, 2020 [1 favorite]




The 71 Scrooge musical is good on this also; they even put the flashbacks in Regency costumes while the costuming in the story itself is later 19th century.

So does The Muppet Christmas Carol (very long, very detailed dive into the costumes' accuracy in TMCC in this awesome Tumblr post, complete with photos)
posted by tzikeh at 6:11 PM on December 11, 2020 [3 favorites]


In the version our local theater does, Marley doesn't just carry his chains; he enters from the aisle, shackled to a long chain that reaches to the back of the house. When it's time for him to go, he's dragged, screaming, at the end of that chain. It's very effective.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:11 PM on December 11, 2020 [13 favorites]


The Underpants Monster - yes, but I wish I still had the copy we taped off the tv on the Beta with spectacular 80’s commercials.

I did watch this for the first time the other night - it’s enjoyable. Somehow I saw the early movies and then the more recent ones (because I am a Muppet fan) starting with Muppets From Space - be careful it might be made of chocolate ok - but I missed this one and Treasure Island. I have access to Disney+ so I’ll have the opportunity to catch up. I had the Mickey Christmas Carol on tape when I was in elementary school and I always felt it was decent.

It is nice to be among my people.
posted by sara is disenchanted at 6:30 PM on December 11, 2020 [3 favorites]


A Klingon Christmas Carol is certainly the best version I've seen. You have not experienced Dickens until you have read him in the original Klingon.
posted by Syllepsis at 6:37 PM on December 11, 2020 [5 favorites]


Pouteria: You may also enjoy I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again's 1973 take on Jack The Ripper. It starts at the 13:00 minute mark here, and includes many jokes I'm sure none of those involved would use today.

The class ahead of mine at school stole this entire script for their Christmas stage show a year or two after it was broadcast, and it absolutely killed. I was the smug comedy nerd in the fifth row trying to tell my completely uninterested neighbour where they'd nicked the material.

[Despite the Pythons photo used on that YouTube page, the ISIRTA team actually comprised John Cleese, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden, David Hatch, Jo Kendall and Bill Oddie. I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue, which launched in 1972, was designed to duplicate ISIHAC's approach without all the tedious business of having to write scripts first.]
posted by Paul Slade at 1:48 AM on December 12, 2020 [1 favorite]




Alastair Sims rules.

Don't think I've ever seen the whole 1951 film. But just now, reading up on the psychedelic 1971 Richard Williams version which I linked to upthread, I learn that, in that production, Alistair Sim voiced the role he "had previously performed in the 1951 live-action film 'Scrooge.' Michael Hordern likewise reprised his 1951 performance as Marley's Ghost in the same film." Seems like they even used Alistair's appearance as a model for Ebeneezer. So go watch it now, if you've never. 'Tis the season!
posted by Rash at 10:35 AM on December 12, 2020


Well, for heaven's sake, let's get on it!

Thanks for the link, Rash! Y'all had already inspired me to go look for it - it's on the free tier of the Peacock streaming service too, but I suspect the Vimeo link provided up thread has fewer commercials.

It's good! But, not as good as the Muppets - I was 10 when the Muppet version came out though, so fighting the childhood nostalgia is probably too steep a hill to expect Magoo to climb. I love that animation style and the Broadway framing device works well - the opening sequence was superb! The hour long tv special length is good too - as fierce a Muppet partisan as I am, I still admit the pacing could stand some tightening up in the Muppet version.

I don't think the songs are better (sorry!) but I do think the way they're used is much more thoughtful - the reprises all added layers to the initial versions that made them better, and the duets with Scrooge/Crachit, Old Scrooge/Young Scrooge, and Crachit/the Crachit-lings (yeah, yeah, not a duet) had a nice emotional economy. You can tell the composers know what they're about, and it feels like the Broadway show it's meant to be.

But as an adaptation? They do the ghosts out of order - why? - it wrecks up Scrooge's emotional arc to have him see the Cratchits before he's softened up by visions of his youth! And leaving out his nephew glosses over the fact that Scrooge didn't just mess up his past relationships, he's still actively scorning the ones he has in the present. He's choosing loneliness still, and he doesn't need to.

But the world has room for all our favorite adaptations, and I am glad to have seen this one, finally. God bless us, every one!
posted by the primroses were over at 12:59 PM on December 12, 2020 [3 favorites]


Pouteria: You may also enjoy I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again's 1973 take on Jack The Ripper.
posted by Paul Slade


Thanks for that.
posted by Pouteria at 3:55 PM on December 12, 2020


I literally just finished watching this for the first time. Michael Caine is great, but I think George C. Scott is still my favorite Scrooge.

The Ghost of Christmas Past is some good old-fashioned nightmare fuel, isn’t it? I think it’s just tormenting Scrooge to pass the time while it waits for Belloq to open the Ark.
posted by MrBadExample at 8:25 PM on December 12, 2020 [2 favorites]


In the same production with Marley and his chain that I mentioned above, The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is a life-sized skeletal rod puppet operated by a performer all in black, with a black hood covering their face. You can usually see the puppeteer, as the stage isn’t totally dark, but your eyes totally tune them out like in a Japanese bunraku play. It’s really chilling.

(And at the very end, the two old gentlemen from the first act appear in a balcony, joking and laughing like Statler and Waldorf.)
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:40 PM on December 12, 2020 [4 favorites]


Back in college, I was part of a comedy show on campus TV, and one year I proposed that we do the requisite adaptation of A Christmas Carol as a holiday special. And we did: scriptless, unrehearsed, and live, based mostly on our collective hazy memories of other adaptations. Highlights included Scrooge rambling on about defunct Pennsylvania amusement parks, and Scrooge's gray wig falling off at the end, leading Bob Cratchit to exclaim "You're not even old! You're full of shit!"
posted by Faint of Butt at 11:03 AM on December 14, 2020 [9 favorites]


The Muppets can't take place in the Victorian Era because there were no Muppets in the Victorian Era.

Listen, at the very least, the Muppets go as far back as the Dark Ages.
posted by y2karl at 8:22 PM on December 23, 2020 [1 favorite]


Listen, at the very least, the Muppets go as far back as the Dark Ages.

Oh, the Muppets go back much further than that.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:41 AM on December 25, 2020 [1 favorite]


Saw Elf this weekend. Checking Ao3, there are fewer than ten Elf (2003)-related fanworks, and it appears that not one entry concerns:

-"Papa" Elf, the unsung Leonardo da North Pole;
- Susan Welles, not dead dead, just dead to Santa;
- failed Greenwich Village folkie Walter Hobbs;
- corporate saboteur Deb (Buddy's dance performance was in its third hour when she interrupted the conference call);
- Miles Finch, recovering motivational speaker, begrudging angel investor to his local coffee house, secretly lovesick for his custom shoemaker;
- Wanda, the Gimbels manager/aspiring actor, suspicious of upper management's sinister hand in the Santaland transformation because he used to date Deb;
- Emily (as anyone who greets news of their spouse's surprise son with such absolute glee has an unusual interior life and ulterior motives); or
- the secret history of the Central Park Rangers, a.k.a. the original regiment of Roosevelt's Rough Riders.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:23 PM on December 27, 2020 [3 favorites]


Checking Ao3, there are fewer than ten Elf (2003)-related fanworks,

Well, now I know what to request for next year's Yuletide exchange.
posted by nonasuch at 6:24 AM on December 29, 2020 [1 favorite]


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