Released in 1992, The Muppet Christmas Carol was a modest box-office success, but has since become a Christmas classic, and is consistently listed as one of the best film adaptations of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Part of the reason the movie is so beloved is due to the classic songs written by Oscar and Grammy-winning songwriter, Paul Williams and score by composer Miles Goodman.
Paul Williams had recently found sobriety right before production began, so messages of redemption and life appreciation echo through the movie’s songs. The movie takes Michael Caine’s Scrooge and the music seriously, with each song containing powerful life lessons for children and adults alike. The Muppet Christmas Carol boasts some of the best Christmas movie music ever written and has stayed in audiences’ hearts for nearly 30 years, and will continue to stay for many Christmases to come.
9 “Chairman Of The Board”
“Chairman of the Board” is a deleted song recorded for a never-filmed sequence in the movie, however, it’s included on the movie’s soundtrack. It would have been in the scene where the Ghost of Christmas Past shows Scrooge himself as a boy in his old schoolhouse.
Scrooge’s headmaster, played by Sam The Eagle, performs the tune with great gusto wherein he predicts a bright future for the boy. The headmaster implores him to keep working hard, perhaps inspiring Scrooge’s “all work, no play” mentality. While pleasant, “Chairman Of The Board” was unnecessary for this nostalgic section of the film and was best left on the cutting room floor.
8 “Room In Your Heart”
“Room In Your Heart” is another song recorded for the movie but never filmed, although the film’s trailer briefly features an instrumental version. This song would have taken place in the scene where the charity collectors attempt to squeeze a donation out of penny-hoarding Scrooge.
Performed by Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker, this song is an upbeat and catchy track with a great message of compassion and makes for a good addition to the soundtrack. However, the song proves redundant, as the Ghost of Christmas Present would exhort the same values to Scrooge more meaningfully later in the film.
7 “Marley & Marley”
Statler & Waldorf portray the ghosts of Scrooge’s deceased business partners, The Marleys, and attempt to scare Scrooge straight by singing this haunting song. It’s a memorable tune with some pretty scary lyrics for a children’s film. The song is an example of the soundtrack’s reluctance to tone down the story’s darker elements just because it’s a kid’s movie.
The movie’s soundtrack features a longer version of “Marley & Marley” that was presented in its entirety on television in the 1990s. This television edit included more dialogue in the song’s middle that, in a meta-way, references how dark it is.
6 “One More Sleep ‘Til Christmas”
In contrast to the frightening “Marley & Marley,” “One More Sleep ’til Christmas” is an upbeat and positive song performed by optimist Bob Cratchit, played by Kermit The Frog.
The song takes place as Bob and the bookkeepers close up shop on Christmas Eve and happily head home for the holiday celebrations that await. The song illustrates the fundamental truth of the season in that the anticipation of Christmas Day is just as magical and important as the day itself.
The Muppet Christmas Carol introduces Michael Caine’s Scrooge in a grandiose way with “Scrooge,” performed by the townsfolk who educate the audience on the nasty character’s bad reputation.
The song begins with Scrooge obscured, filmed from afar, and with only his feet in close-up. The townsfolk shiver as he passes by and it’s not until the song’s coda that the odious character reveals himself to the audience in full view. “Scrooge” is a powerful opening song with a lyric and melody fans will find themselves humming all year-long.
4 “When Love Is Found”
“When Love Is Found” was initially removed from the theatrical release due to Walt Disney Pictures believing it was “too boring” for children. However, it was eventually restored for the VHS release of the film. Scrooge’s former love, Belle, performs the song when the Ghost of Christmas Past shows Scrooge the moment she broke up with him due to his love of money outweighing his love of her. The song becomes even more emotional when regretful Scrooge sings along with Belle’s ghost.
Frustratingly, Disney removed the song again for the Blu-Ray release. Now, the breakup scene awkwardly cuts to Rizzo’s emotional response to a song that audiences didn’t hear. Director Brian Henson objected to the song’s removal since its happier reprisal, “When Love is Found,” played during the film’s finale, now has no context. While a cover version by Martina McBride plays during the end credits, the soundtrack includes the deleted song, and the full-screen DVD release and Disney+ include the lost scene.
3 “Bless Us All”
Beautifully performed by Tiny Tim, played by Robin The Frog, “Bless Us All” sums up the message of Christmas perfectly, and that is that the holiday is about the gift of being with family and sharing that feeling of togetherness with those who aren’t your family.
The song perfectly captures what makes Tiny Tim and the Cratchit’s role in A Christmas Carol so important. Despite whatever difficulties or troubles one has in life, remember to always stay positive, optimistic, and thankful for all you have. Also, Tiny Tim’s cough at the song’s conclusion is enough to leave audiences misty-eyed.
2 “Thankful Heart”
Following Scrooge’s reformation, Michael Caine sings this song while buying gifts for the townsfolk and cheerfully expresses what he’s learned from his experience. “Thankful Heart” has a delightfully bouncy melody with lyrics listeners can take to heart and adhere to each day of their lives.
Audiences can’t help but feel good witnessing Scrooge’s metamorphosis bring life into the village, making them wish they could celebrate with him. During the sequence, viewers might catch a storefront named “Micklewhite’s,” which is a reference to Michael Caine’s real name, Maurice Micklewhite.
1 “It Feels Like Christmas”
“It Feels Like Christmas” features the jolly Ghost of Christmas Present describing the sights and sounds of the season that make it so joyous. The song proves effective, as Scrooge begins to lighten up and even dance along with the song.
What makes “It Feels Like Christmas” so magical is its ability to capture the feelings one has at Christmas and proves how interchangeable they are with the feelings that love brings. Happiness, togetherness, kindness, tenderness, and childlike wonder are all associated with the spirit of Christmas, but these same feelings are also felt while in love. The song demonstrates that the entire Christmas season is a physical manifestation of love’s wonderment, and, in turn, whenever you find love, it will feel like Christmas.
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