The world has seen Seymour Hicks, Reginald Owen, Alastair Sim, Albert Finney, George C. Scott, Patrick Stewart, Jim Carrey, and Mister Magoo. But then there’s Michael Caine as Ebenezer Scrooge in The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992). Even though Caine is surrounded by Muppets, silly jokes, and funny songs, he still plays the role straight and true, and he could be the best of them all. The rest of the movie is also pretty inspired; it was a great idea to cast Kermit as Bob Cratchit, and his sweet little nephew Robin as Tiny Tim. And Fozzie the Bear becomes “Fozziwig,” Scrooge’s former employer.
Hecklers Statler and Waldorf become the ghostly “Marley Brothers,” and, in quite a bit of a stretch, Gonzo plays Charles Dickens with his faithful rat companion Rizzo, narrating the story. It’s very funny, but also maintains a warm heart and stays true to the tone, if not the letter, of the story. Paul Williams wrote the not particularly memorable, but not entirely awful, songs. This was the first Muppet film made after the untimely death of Jim Henson in 1990; Steve Whitmire took over as the voice of Kermit, and Henson’s son Brian directed.