Day 20 - It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie

Now, this one is a surprise. Up until a few weeks ago, I had never heard of this Muppet movie. If you've been reading these posts, you know we very lackadaisically reviewed A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa when we were out of town for the night. That one's really an "eh" movie. Yeah, yeah, do stuff for the kids, give them a great Christmas. Whatever, right?

It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie is more up my alley. Released just over a decade ago, it's a hodgepodge of different Christmas movies based around the plot of the Muppets on the verge of losing their theater. The man in charge of receiving their rent payments died and his daughter (or young wife, not sure about this since it was never mentioned) took over the bank. This means that the Muppets must pay their rent by Christmas Eve or she will take over ownership and attempt to turn it into a trendy nightclub. The problem for the Muppets, besides the fact that they're broke, is that they won't have the money until they complete the end of their Christmas show run.

Randomness is the style of this movie, and I couldn't be happier. It begins with the events of the movie having already taken place, Kermit acting all pushy and emo, angry with all the other Muppets as they're celebrating at the Christmas party. Kermit goes on a rant about how dreams are bullshit and goes out into the snow to mope. This is when we're introduced to the flashback crew, David Arquette as the angel and Whoopi Goldberg as God, who show us what could have possibly happened to lead to these events.

Turns out the Muppets, after learning that they need to pay all the money by midnight on Christmas Eve, put on a grandiose Christmas show, "Moulin Scrooge," in the style of the movie Moulin Rouge. What other Christmas movie can you watch a Muppet drink absinthe?


Along with deferring their pay for an entire year, the gang rakes in enough in ticket presales to pay the rent, but there is deception afoot. Earlier, Pepe the Prawn left the Muppets to work for Miss Bitterman, the bank owner, so he could scrape together some cash for airfare to Ricky Martin's Christmas party. He also conveniently has a copy of the loan contract. So, Bitterman woos him to obtain the contract and change the time from midnight to 6 pm. When Pepe finds out he was being scammed, he heads back to the theater to warn Kermit. Since the show is still in progress, Fozzie gives up his monologue timeslot to run the money to the bank. Although, for some reason, on the way to the bank he's turned green, bumps into a Salvation Army Santa, drops the cash, and then has to run for his life because the evil Who-like creatures from kind-of-Whoville think he's the Grinch. Fozzie grabs the wrong bag and hightails it out of there. Everything that could go wrong does.

It's now that we get into the It's a Wonderful Life portion of the movie. Kermit wishes he hasn't been born, David Arquette grants his wish, and we are introduced to an alternate reality. Gonzo is a busker, Fozzie is a pickpocket, and Beaker...

...he's a bouncer at Bitterman's nightclub.

Naturally, Kermit wants to go back to his reality. He believes in dreams again! He returns, runs back to the theater, and finds that Pepe has turned the theater into a historical landmark, meaning Bitterman can't tear it down. The Salvation army also has a ton of money from Fozzie's mix up. Everyone's happy, except Bitterman.

The movie and story references throughout are great. We've got "The Gift of the Magi," A Christmas Story, The Muppet Movie, etc. It really is a fantastic movie, full of throwbacks and even innuendos. We even see Sam the Eagle on his Propecia regimen.

What makes this a Christmas movie is its heart. Fozzie has a heart of gold, and it's his loss of it in the alternate reality that almost pushes Kermit over the edge. There's no real Santa story to speak of, and there aren't that many presents. It's friendship and sharing your dreams with them. That just warms the heart.

Also, the Muppet theater is now zoned for a topless nightclub, thanks to Pepe.

Watch this movie.

This entry was posted on Friday, December 21, 2012. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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