The second movie I can remember seeing in theaters is The Muppets Christmas Carol. I can even remember which theater I saw it in. I am a lifelong fan of the Muppets and I give almost full credit to this movie. Year after year, I find myself returning to this classic around the holidays.
The Muppets are fantastic, and so is the fine acting of Michael Caine. But the thing that separates Muppet movies apart from others is the brilliant music. This movie in particular has some beautifully written and performed songs that are as catchy now as they were when the film was released in 1992. Also, its use of the French horn is really outstanding. More movie soundtracks need French horn solos.
I felt like this soundtrack needed the same much deserved appreciation that I gave to the Tarzan soundtrack. In particular, there are five songs I wanted to single out as highlights on this truly fantastic holiday album.
As any opening song of a musical should do, “Scrooge” does a great job of setting the scene and introducing you to the diabolical Ebenezer Scrooge (brilliantly played by Michael Caine.) The chorus is a fun ear worm that gets stuck in your head and you can’t help but hum along. Bonus points for the use of the proper* plural of mouse … meeses!
(*This is not the actual proper plural form of “mouse.”)
2. “One More Sleep Till Christmas / Christmas Scat”
This is Kermit’s premiere song for the movie, which is a true keystone for Muppet movies. Once again, the French horn’s soaring lines over the top of this whole arrangement give the song a timeless, seasonal feeling. A bit later in the movie, Kermit and Robin (who plays Tiny Tim) perform a small section of this song as an a cappella scat, and if that moment doesn’t melt your heart, then I don’t even know who you are.
3. “Marley and Marley”
First and foremost, this song is very important to move the story along and sets up the Ghosts of Christmas coming to visit Scrooge. But there a few other things that set this song and scene apart. Statler and Waldorf are two of the most beloved Muppets (in my mind) of all time. Their infectious laughter and jokes pepper the song with personality. Coupled with singing lock boxes, a catchy bridge, and a chorus you love to sing along with (“OOOOOHHHHHHHH!”), there’s really no way to go wrong.
4. “It Feels Like Christmas”
I think this may be my favorite song in the movie. Sung by the jolly giant that is the Ghost of Christmas Present, this is really a fantastic Christmas song that should be placed on playlists and compilation albums for years to come. It’s just a triumphant and happy song, welcoming the season to all and explaining what this time of year means to each of us … also, French horns.
5. “Thankful Heart”
Ah. The triumphant redemption song from Scrooge! Featuring the fantastic vocal styling of Academy Award winner Michael Caine, this song puts Scrooge in a positive light after all he has been through. Not to sound like a broken record, but this song once again gives a prime example of the Muppets creating a catchy tune that is easy to remember and makes you tap your foot and bob your head while you listen.
What is your favorite song from The Muppet Christmas Carol? Let us know in the comments! Happy Holidays!