Pros: Cute, entertaining Christmas movie with the Muppets.
Cons: Short. No extras on the DVD.
I have loved the Muppets since I was a child and I have enjoyed all of the movies featuring them that I have seen. I will basically watch anything the Muppets are in. I started tracking down Muppet movies on DVD several years ago. I picked up Muppet Family Christmas about four years ago and just watched it again.
Fozzy decided to surprise his mother Emily by going home for Christmas and bringing all the Muppets with him. Fozzy didn't know that she had plans to spend the holiday in Malibu on the beach and she had rented her house to Doc and his dog Sprocket. Emily changed her plans after everyone showed up and started trying to find room for everyone. Doc wasn’t happy that his quiet Christmas was ruined but he eventually got into the spirit. The Sesame Street characters showed up singing carols and stayed because of a blizzard. That same blizzard was delaying Miss Piggy from arriving since she had stayed behind for a photo shoot. The Fraggles also turned up after Kermit and his nephew Robin discovered a Fraggle hole.
Muppet Family Christmas was originally made for television. I think I saw it when it first aired, but I can’t remember for sure now. When I first got the DVD and watched the movie a few years ago I didn’t remember much of the movie. As I watched it, I did remember a few things. This is the only movie to feature all of the different Muppet characters including the ones from Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock. I loved that all the characters were together. Some of the Sesame Street characters had briefly turned up in The Muppets Take Manhattan a few years before this movie was made. There was also a short segment that included the Muppet Babies in what was supposed to be an old family Christmas movie.
The entire movie revolved around Christmas with everything taking place on Christmas eve. Fozzy decided to go home because it was Christmas and he thought his mother would be lonely over the holiday alone. A short amount of their drive was shown and everyone was singing a Christmas carol in that part. Once they arrived at the farm, more carols were sung throughout the rest of the movie. Decorating was done around the house and some of Sesame Street characters put on a little Christmas program. The importance of being with family for Christmas was emphasized without the movie getting too preachy like has happened in some movies. The movie was short, so there wasn’t time for there to be a more complicated plot developed. I think a few scenes were made shorter for the DVD version.
Muppet Family Christmas included the same type of typical Muppet humor that has been used in the different movies and television show. I enjoy it even though it can be silly. A lot of slapstick type of humor was used, mostly with a running joke about an icy patch right outside the front door where several characters kept slipping and falling. The Swedish Chef had invited a turkey specifically to be the main course and it was really funny to see how the turkey kept trying to avoid the chef. The funniest part was when the turkey managed to convince the Swedish Chef that Big Bird was a giant turkey and would make a much better main course.
I loved that all my favorite Muppet characters plus characters from Sesame Street and Fraggle Rock all turned up in Muppet Family Christmas. Some of the characters, like Kermit and Fozzie, did have more to do throughout the movie. Fozzie’s mother Emily also ended up in several scenes since the majority of the movie was set in her home. Unfortunately, since there were so many characters in such a short movie, many of them didn’t have that much to do. Because of that, some characters, like Cookie Monster and Sam the Eagle ended up basically just being in the background. Even Elmo wasn’t featured very much since this movie was made before he really became popular. Miss Piggy wasn’t in as much of the movie either, which did disappoint me a little bit since she is my favorite Muppet.
Doc was the only human character in Muppet Family Christmas. Doc had wanted to spend a quiet Christmas at Emily’s house with his dog Sprocket, so he wasn’t happy when all the Muppets showed up. He did start to get into the holiday spirit as the movie progressed. Doc and Sprocket were from Fraggle Rock and they turned up more often than the actual Fraggle characters did. It would have been nice if the Fraggles had been shown more. Gerry Sparks was fine as Doc. Jim Henson made a short appearance at the very end of the movie as himself.
Main Cast/Muppet Performers
Fran Brill - Prarie Dawn
Kevin Clash - Elmo
Dave Goelz - The Great Gonzo/Gubber/Dr. Bunsen Honeydew/Boober Fraggle/Uncle Traveling Matt Fraggle/Zoot/Beauregard/
Jim Henson - Kermit the Frog/Rowlf/Dr. Teeth/Swedish Chef/Waldorf/Ernie/Guy Smiley/Link Hogthrob/The Newsman/Himself
Richard Hunt - Scooter/Forgetful Jones/Janice/Statler/Beaker/Sully/Gladys the Cow/Stein - the Two-Headed Monster/Snowman
Kathryn Mullen - Mokey Fraggle
Jerry Nelson - Emily Bear(Ma)/Robin the Frog/Sgt. Floyd Pepper/Count von Count/Herry Monster/Frank - Two-Headed Monster/Gobo Fraggle/Camilla the Chicken/Crazy Harry/Lew Zealand/Pops
Frank Oz - Fozzie Bear/Miss Piggy/Animal/Bert/Grover/Cookie Monster/Sam the Eagle/Marvin Suggs
Gerry Parkes - Doc
Karen Prell - Red Fraggle/Maureen the Mink
Carroll Spinney - Big Bird/Oscar the Grouch
Steve Whitmire - Turkey/Rizzo the Rat/Foo-Foo/Wembley Fraggle/Sprocket the Dog/Lips
Directed by Peter Harris and Eric Till
I can’t remember where I found my copy of Muppet Family Christmas at now when I got it a few years ago. It has the full screen version of the movie. I don’t know if there is a widescreen version available. There are some bonus trailers and that is really it for special features. I know that there have been some newer DVD releases of other Muppet movies that added some new extras. I have no idea if that was done for this movie or not.
Muppet Family Christmas was a cute, entertaining Christmas movie that fans of the Muppets will probably like. The Muppet Christmas Carol is a better Christmas movie, but this one is worth watching too.
The Muppet Show - Season One ~ The Muppet Show - Season 2 ~ The Muppet Show - Season 3 ~ It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie ~ Fraggle Rock - Season 1 ~ The Muppet Movie ~ The Great Muppet Caper ~ The Muppets Take Manhattan ~ The Muppet Christmas Carol ~ Muppet Treasure Island ~ Muppets From Space ~
Christmas Movie Reviews
Alvin and the Chipmunks ~ Bad Santa ~ Best Christmas Movies ~ Christmas with the Kranks ~ Deck the Halls ~ Die Hard ~ Die Hard 2: Die Harder ~ Elf ~ The Family Stone ~ Fred Claus ~ Home Alone ~ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966) ~ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) ~ The Ice Harvest ~ Just Friends ~ Lethal Weapon ~ National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation ~ The Nightmare Before Christmas ~ The Polar Express ~ The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause ~ Scrooged ~