Friday, January 8, 2016

Cheeses for us meeces

Is there anything, at all, wrong with the Muppets? I'm sure there's something but at the moment it's just not coming to mind.

My sister makes her own special Advent calendar every year; she uses a big poster-board, decorates it with a Christmas tree covered in ornaments, and underneath each ornament is the poster for a Christmas move (Die Hard is always the first of the 25 movies). This year A Muppet Christmas Carol ended up on her board and we sat down to watch it as a family during the night when I normally go to my parents' house to watch TV shows about violent criminals.

A Muppet Christmas Carol is a charming interpretation of Dickens' novella. The Great Gonzo is very funny as Dickens and the story as a whole stays very true to the spirit of the original. It's a story of redemption and hope and kindness in a cold dark world so it's kind of hard to completely fuck up.

I could dig into all the horrifying implications of the Muppet universe here (if even fruit and vegetables can sing can you really eat anything in this universe without becoming a murderer of sentient creatures) but it's a lot more comforting just to revel in the hilarity of the Muppets messing with Victorian England and appreciate the wonderful songwriters who work with the Jim Henson Company. I tend to not be a fan of musicals but I'll always make an exception for a Muppet feature because they're always so mind-bogglingly good. The songs manage to switch between humor and pathos from verse to verse without breaking a sweat, there are always fantastic little setpieces going on in the background of the main musical number (the backstory of the mouses without houses and meeces without cheeses referenced in my title here is a great example) and everyone involved can always FUCKING SING in a way that's really impressive when you remember that the vocalists involved are pretending to be foam pigs, rats, and Gonzos.

Anyway, A Muppet Christmas Carol is a lovely holiday film that's actually relatively agnostic for having "Christ" right there in the title and a bevy of spirits moving through the story. It's a frank discussion of the importance of caring for the people around you and working to better the world and that's as good a message as is ever offered up in Christmas movies, so I'll take it.

     - Alli

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