Cineworld Cinemas bring the Christmas Classic back to the big screen
The Muppet Christmas Carol, has cemented its place amongst movie lovers around the world for its fun take on the iconic Charles Dickens novel depicting the trials and tribulations of Ebenezer Scrooge. The lovable icons of the Muppet empire assumed the roles of the traditional Dickens characters and added their own unique touch which propelled it beyond the original source material.
A Christmas Carol, is without doubt a dark and foreboding tale of Christmas spirit, but with the vocal brilliance of Star Wars icon Frank Oz, the puppet mastery of Brian Henson, the musical brilliance of Paul Williams and a sublime score from composer Miles Goodman, the Muppets produced an authentic but fun rendition of the classic tale.
It is the perfect adaptation to introduce to young children and ease them into the dark toned narrative of the Dickens tale. Since its release in 1992, watching the movie has become a Christmas tradition, becoming the go to film to usher in the festive period, and this year Cineworld Cinemas have gone one better and returned the movie to the big screen.
For one night only, Cineworld played the movie on multiple screens across its entire chain of cinemas in the UK, and allowed its fans the chance to usher in their Christmas festivities like never before.
Personally, I have been a devoted fan of the movie since its original release, but have never had the chance to watch it on the big screen. So, with my wife, children and even my hardened brother, Carl in tow we descended upon our local branch with hot cappuccino in hand. And, as the lights went down in the auditorium, Christmas began.
The Great Gonzo assumed the role of Charles Dickens and narrated the tale in his own unique and hilarious fashion whilst his companion, Rizzo the Rat, broke the tension of the dark tale with his witty, streetwise comedy. As a family, we had watched the movie on countless occasions, but seeing it on the big screen was well worth the wait and as I looked around the darkened room, I could see many punters happily singing along to Paul Williams’ fantastic songs.
On the screen, Kermit the Frog arrived to assume the role as Bob Cratchit, whilst screen legend Michael Caine, took on the role of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, who found himself whisked away on an adventure of self-discovery to amend his wicked ways.
In truth, the movie had never looked better. The presentation of the Blu-Ray disc edition is breath-taking, but it paled in comparison to the big screen rendition presented so vividly. The grittiness of the picture only helped to accentuate the ambience of industrial revolution London, which remained true to the original novel, and as we neared the finale every member of the audience was captivated.
Despite being a devoted connoisseur of cinema, my brother Carl, for one reason or another had never seen the movie in its entirety and had enjoyed the screening for the most part. He had been a fan of Michael Caine for much of his adult life and had embraced the grittiest of his movies like Get Carter and Harry Brown. So, imagine his surprise when Michael Caine, icon of hardened British cinema turned to the screen and burst into song…
His jaw dropped!
Now, I wont pretend Michael Caine has a fantastic singing voice, in fact, his rendition of “A Thankful Heart” can best be described as painfully embarrassing in The Muppet Christmas Carol, but as a fan of the movie, you accept it…flaws and all.
My brother on the other hand…not so much!
His reaction was priceless. In fact, the pure shock on his face was a moment for us all to savour and as the credits began to roll, we could all tell his eyes had been opened, for better or worse. His reaction made the movie all the more special, and served to remind us of the power of cinema and its ability to continuously surprise us.
It was the perfect night of festive cinema. Scrooge’s eternal soul had been saved, my family had celebrated the onset of Christmas with an all time classic and my brother, would never look at Michael Caine the same way again. But one thing is undeniable, The Muppet Christmas Carol is the quintessential festive film for kids of all ages and serves as the perfect movie to celebrate that special time of year when we all come together with friends and family.
If you’ve never seen it on the big screen, I urge you to find a theatre near you and treat yourself to a classic. Grab a mince pie and a cappuccino, and set off on a hilarious adventure with The Great Gonzo and the gang in the finest tradition of Christmas.
Failing that, the movie is readily available on Disney Blu-Ray from all good retailers.
Don’t be a Grinch, don’t yell Bah Humbug…cheer ho, ho, ho and embrace the Muppet Christmas Carol.