The Muppets vs Charles Dickens
Have you ever tried to take a serious topic and explain it to a child? Jim Henson tried, and failed. Teaching kids about things that they are going to have to know for the rest of their lives isn’t an easy task.
Sometimes when telling something to a kid you leave out some important things in order to get your main point across and thats what happened in The Muppet Christmas Carol. Though The Muppet Christmas Carol was a fun way to depict Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol it missed the overall mood, some characters, and some major plot points, because of this the movie was not a good representation of the book. The Muppet movie was catered towards children and because of it , was funny, lighthearted and unlike the book in it’s creation of mood. In the movie Charles Dickens was played by Gonzo and he had a fun little sidekick named Rizzo the rat. Whenever the attention of the cameras was on the two there was sure to be a laugh.
Once in the movie Rizzo and Dickens were following Scrooge and Gonzo whispered something in the teacher of the past’s ear the teacher looked over to see who was talking to him and there was chaos when he saw Gonzo. In the beginning there was freshly fallen snow on the rooftops which created a light hearted mood. Though the book started with the grim statement: ” Marley was dead: to begin with”. The mood of the movie stayed, while vegetables sang and people walked around the courtyard merrily, until Scrooge entered the scene, that mood quickly changed to a darker scarier mood. That mood didn’t last long, when Scrooge entered his office and was scolding his bookkeepers about complaining about how cold it was in the office and all of a sudden all of the bookkeepers were in tropical outfits which changed the mood back to the funny, lighthearted mood that it was. Another example would be when Mrs.
Cratchit couldn’t tell the difference between her own daughters. Though all of these scenes were funny and a good way to get a point across to younger kids, the movie didn’t have the same mood as the book. The books mood was dark and kind of scary so it is understandable why the mood of the movie was so different from that of the book. A lot of the major plot points in the book were shown in the movie, but the major ones that were missed were important and that made a negative impact. One major plot point that was missed was in the book the ghost of Christmas present showed Scrooge Ignorance and Want.
Those two were what the whole book revolved around, it what was supposed to teach the lesson. In the book Scrooge was told to stay away from both because they lead to destruction which was the foundation on which the book stood on. Another example of a plot point gone wrong was when the donation collectors came to collect Scrooge’s donation. In the movie Fred gave a donation after Scrooge said he wasn’t going to, making it look like Fred was trying to be better than Scrooge. Also when Scrooge left his office he saw a party of men gathered around a fire warming their hands, in the movie that party was changed from a group of people to a fun social gathering where everyone was ice skating and having fun. Those plot changes made a major impact on the over all movie.
There were major differences in the ghosts. Those differences were another reason that the Muppet movie wasn’t a good representation of the book. Like the book, the order of the ghosts was past, present, then Christmases to come though there were many differences with the ghosts themselves. The first ghost that was supposed to meet Scrooge was Jacob Marley, Jacob Marley did visit Scrooge but there was another Marley. They were “Marley and Marley”. The next ghost was the ghost of Christmas past.
In the book the ghost was childlike in size but had features of an old man, rather in the movie both the size and features looked like that of a child. The next ghost to visit Scrooge was the ghost of Christmas present, Jim Henson depicted him well, the only thing that was different about him was the major plot point that was missed regarding the children. The last of the spirits that came was the ghost of Christmases to come. The ghost was depicted almost perfectly, his garments were on par, he made no sounds, and he was scary, though maybe a little too scary for children. The Muppets Christmas Carol missed the overall mood of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, it missed major plot points, and major points about the characters, because of this the movie wasn’t a good representation of Dickens’ novel. Though the mood suited the intention of the movie, it was too playful and couldn’t depict what Dickens was trying to portray to his audience.
The characters were mostly on par but the few mistakes that were made made a negative difference. The plot was a major flaw in the movie, there were too many deleted and rearranged scenes. The overall movie did suit a purpose though obviously that purpose was not to create a movie that was exactly like the book. The movie was a good movie in it’s self but nothing compared to the book.