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It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie

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Released Nov. 29, 2002
Running time 88 minutes
Director Kirk Thatcher
Written by Jim Lewis and Tom Martin
Original music by Christopher Klatman, Davitt Sigerson and Mark Watters
Studio NBC Studios / Jim Henson Pictures / MGM Home Video
MPAA Rating PG for mild thematic elements[1] (for DVD release)
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It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie, the Muppets' first full-length TV movie, is loosely based on the classic film It's a Wonderful Life. The film first aired on NBC in November, 2002.

Synopsis

Rachel Bitterman dreams of tearing down the Muppet Theater and turning it into Club Dot, a nightclub where she can sell overpriced drinks to rave monkeys. So when Mr. Bitterman dies and she inherits Bitterman Bank, Ms. Bitterman changes the term of the Muppets' loan so that the final payment is due before their annual Christmas show, Moulin Scrooge. When Fozzie loses the loan money, the gang looks to Kermit for guidance. But when a desperate Kermit wishes he had never been born, an angel named Daniel is sent to show him what the world would look like without him. Kermit must learn how important he really is to his friends to be returned home in time to see if he can save the theater.

Promotion

The movie was promoted by a guest appearance of Kermit and Miss Piggy on The Late Late Show.

In addition, Kermit unveiled seven windows at Macy's on November 22, 2002, for promotional purposes. The windows depicted scenes from the movie, as well as other holiday scenes with the Muppets.

Further, Kermit also unveiled a new Kermit plush, which was based on the new Kermit balloon that premiered at that year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. An exclusive Kermit Christmas ornament was sold as well.

Notes

  1. Kermit passes by a statue erected in his honor, the caption of which reads "For the lovers, the dreamers, and you," a quote from "The Rainbow Connection"
  2. Kermit finds out that without him, Doc Hopper's French Fried Frog Legs would have become a very successful enterprise.
  3. In Miss Piggy's apartment is a framed photo of her as Miss Bogen County.
  • Characters making their comeback appearances include:
  1. Rowlf, performed by Bill Barretta, speaks his first full lines ("Hey, Kermit!" and "Yeah! Heh, heh. Oh!") since Jim Henson's death. Rowlf had a brief vocal muttering ("Oh Yeah.") in episode 102 of Muppets Tonight but did not speak at all in The Muppet Christmas Carol, Muppet Treasure Island or Muppets from Space (apart from "Eugh!" in the latter).
  2. Scooter, performed by Brian Henson, also makes his first major appearance since Richard Hunt's death. In 1999, Scooter had one line in Muppets From Space.
  3. Janice, performed by Brian Henson, also speaks for the first time since Hunt's death. She had made silent appearances in The Muppet Christmas Carol and Muppet Treasure Island.
  4. Beauregard appears in the background of many scenes in the film. Beauregard does not have any lines, but Kermit yells "Beauregard!" as he returns to the theater, happy to be alive.
  • Within the alternate universe in which Kermit had never been born, a poster for "Farm Fresh Bacon" can be seen on Miss Piggy's fridge.
  • An early working title was "He's a Wonderful Frog".[2]

Deleted Scenes

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Over 30 minutes of footage was cut from the original broadcast of this film. Many of the deleted scenes were included as special features on the DVD release, most appeared as part of the 20-minute documentary Inside Pepe's Studio. Deleted scenes included the following:

  • The Santa Claus hired for the Christmas show claims to be the real Santa and leaves, so Kermit has Bobo fill in.
  • A sequence in "Moulin Scrooge" in which Sam the Eagle portrayed Baron Von Scrooge.
  • An extended interview between Carson Daly and Kermit, where Kermit explains that the Muppets inherited the theater from Scooter's uncle.
  • Joe Snow melting in the dystopia which is life without Kermit.
  • A scene with Snoop Dogg (this scene was not included in the DVD release).
  • A suggestive scene with Pepe and Rachel Bitterman was trimmed (this scene was not in the DVD release).[3]
  • A short scene in which Rachel Bitterman was complaining about an expensive Christmas present
  • A dig at Irish rowdiness was also dropped (this scene wasn't included in the DVD release). [3]
  • A scene at a prison that is presented as a news report, which announces that the criminal Pepe the King Prawn has escaped, with Bill Barretta as a newsman and Kirk Thatcher as a guard (this scene was an Easter Egg on the MGM DVD release and a non-easter egg on the Universal release, and may have shown what had happened to Pepe in the world in which Kermit was never born).
  • An alternate finale scene which had Glenn starting an angel teaching class, while bragging he had been supportive of Daniel all the way through (this scene was an Easter Egg on the MGM DVD release and a non-easter egg on the Universal release).

Cast

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  • Muppet Performers
Steve Whitmire, Dave Goelz, Bill Barretta, Eric Jacobson, Brian Henson, Jerry Nelson, Kevin Clash, John Kennedy, Alice Dinnean, Allan Trautman, Geoff Redknap, Denise Cheshire, Drew Massey, Adam Behr, Gordon Robertson, John Henson
  • Human Cast
David Arquette as Daniel
Joan Cusack as Rachel Bitterman
Matthew Lillard as Luc Fromage
William H. Macy as Glenn
Whoopi Goldberg as The Boss
Carson Daly as Himself
Kelly Ripa as Herself
Joe Rogan as Himself
Molly Shannon as Herself
Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog as Himself
Zach Braff as Himself/Dr. John "J.D." Dorian
Sarah Chalke as Herself/Dr. Elliot Reid
Neil Flynn as Himself/Janitor
John C. McGinley as Himself/Dr. Perry Cox
Judy Reyes as Herself/Nurse Carla Espinosa
Bill Lawrence as Himself
Mel Brooks as the voice of Joe Snow
Dawn Lewis as Fear Factor Contestant
Colin Foo as Security Guard
Yee Jee Tso as Angel 1
Dan Joffre as Angel 2
Jonathan Bruce as Fat Angel
Cameron McDonald as Safari Animal Tracker
Chantal Strand as Nancy Nut-What
Robin Mossley as Nicki Nut-What
Dan Payne as Handsome Executive
Dave "Squatch" Ward as Sally Ann Santa
Julia Arkos as Sally Ann Representative

Muppet Cast

  • Muppet Characters
Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Rizzo the Rat, Pepe the King Prawn, Statler and Waldorf, Robin the Frog, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, Johnny Fiama, Sal Minella, Sweetums, Scooter, Sam the Eagle, The Swedish Chef, Dr. Teeth, Floyd Pepper, Zoot, Janice, Animal, Lew Zealand, Rowlf the Dog, Bobo the Bear, Howard Tubman, Joe Snow, Yoda Muppet, Larry, Eugene
  • Background Characters
Crazy Harry, Beauregard, Bossmen, Bean Bunny, Mr. Poodlepants, Elvises, Zippity Zap, Rats, Chickens, Penguins, Frogs, Doreen the Camel, Maxine, Foo Foo, Shirley, Gimley's Boss, Whatnots
Muppet Movies

See also

Sources

  1. http://www.nbcuniversalstore.com/its-a-very-merry-muppet-christmas-movie/detail.php?p=269495
  2. Lewis, Jim, The MuppetCast, episode 36
  3. 3.0 3.1 Entertainment Weekly, November 17, 2002

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