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It's a Wonderful Muppet

Updated on December 8, 2011

Check out this and other Muppet Christmas movies

I remember catching this one on TV when it originally aired in 2002. It's fun and it's got some funny jokes, but it's not necessarily my favorite Muppet movie.

That, and it's just one of the many many movies, TV specials, or sitcom episodes that decides to play out its own version of the It's a Wonderful Life story line.

The movie starts just after Kermit the Frog (Steve Whitmire) has apparently gotten some bad news. We then learn that there's an angel named Daniel (David Arquette) who's been watching his activities and decides to try to convince "The Boss" (Whoopi Goldberg) to send someone to intervene and help Kermit out. We are then given a flashback to the events leading up to Kermit's bad news.

Kermit and the Muppet gang are preparing to put on a series of Christmas-themed performances, premiering, as these things always do in the movies, on Christmas Eve. As they prepare, however, they get bad news from the new head of the bank, Mrs. Rachel Bitterman (Joan Cusack), that they have to pay the balance of the loan on the Muppet theater by midnight on Christmas Eve or they lose it. The theater, not their sanity. This means that they have to put on one sold-out show and turn the money over before midnight that night. (Because pre-selling tickets would be way too convenient for everyone involved.)

They get news that Bitterman has secretly modified the contract. They have a brief bit of hope but after a madcap series of events, they get bad news. (I'm not spoiling anything here. We know from the beginning that something goes wrong, like how we know in advance much of how Revenge of the Sith has to end. Flashbacks and prequels are problematic that way.) Anyway, Kermit feels responsible for ruining everyone's lives and wishes he were never born.

You see where this is going?

The movie plays out well and if you're familiar with the story of It's a Wonderful Life, you can see where things are heading. They even have Fozzie (Eric Jacobson) in a very "Uncle Billy" type role at the crucial moment.

But that's okay. It's the Muppets. Are you expecting Shakespeare?

It's touching one moment then silly the next. That's the Muppet way. It's interesting how easily they mix themes without sacrificing the movie.

It's like Fozzie is running down the street carrying Comedy in his arms. But he doesn't see Miss Piggy running the other way carrying all her Drama. Then *BOOM*!

Fozzie: Hey! You got Drama in my Comedy! Waka waka!
Miss Piggy: You got Comedy in moi's Drama!
Kermit the Frog: Hey, that gives me an idea!
Gonzo: Canonball!
Lew Zealand: I throw the fish awaaaay ... and they come back to me!

Sorry, I think I got sidetracked.

Anyway, this isn't the best Muppet move—it isn't even the best Muppet Christmas movie—but it's still fun and great for everyone.

This one gets a 7 / 10.

It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie is rated PG for a couple mildly grown-up situations.

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