I’m on an island with iffy internet coverage, so forgive my absence – it’s the holidays.
As you may know if you’ve been following this blog for at least one year and one day, on many Christmases and Christmas Eves in my life I have read Dicken’s Christmas Carol. This year I varied the charm by watching the delightful A Muppet Christmas Carol.
The Muppet/Disney version, which I remember watching in theatres when it came out (I would have been 11 or 12 at the time) tones down the social justice aspect of the plot in favour of the personal redemption of Scrooge, but it is a delightful version of the story with a surprising amount of original text intact. A lot of the jokes rely on Muppet character tropes – Gonzo (who narrates as Charles Dickens) enjoys experiences others find painful, Rizzo the Rat (Gonzo’s sidekick) is gluttonous and cowardly, Miss Piggy (Mrs. Cratchit) is pretentious, self-absorbed, yet loveable, and Kermit (Bob Cratchit) is the harried Everyman who is bewildered by the chaos around him. There are also lots of meta-jokes (“How do you know that?” “Didn’t I tell you that narrators are omniscient?”) that I usually find irritating in children’s movies, but didn’t mind here; though I do think the Muppet humour has gone from the delightfully Dada-esque in the original series (I present Lew Zealand as Exhibit A) to the more conventional “obvious gag for the kids/in-joke for the adults” model. Anyway. If you are in the mood for some holiday cheer tonight/tomorrow, I highly recommend it. Seriously, Michael Caine as Scrooge. Really. If you have an Ipod with video capacity you can even buy it on of Itunes for 15 bucks.
I also highly recommend the 70-minute review of The Phantom Menace that has recently “gone viral”. I watched the whole thing last night, and not only was it much more entertaining that The Phantom Menace ever was, it made some good points about film-making and art.
Tomorrow I will, perhaps, take some pictures of happy dogs in reindeer antlers and post them. Merry Christmas whether I do or not.