A Muppets Christmas: Letters to Santa is an hour-long Christmas special starring the Muppets, which first aired on December 17, 2008 on NBC. The plot involves the Muppets mistakenly intercepting three letters sent by children to Santa Claus and their attempts to fix the problems created by their mishap.
Celebrity appearances include Whoopi Goldberg, Tony Sirico, Steve Schirripa, Richard Griffiths, Jane Krakowski, Uma Thurman, Jesse L. Martin, Madison Pettis, Petra Nemcova, Nathan Lane, Paul Williams and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The program opens with the Muppets waiting in line at the post office to mail their Christmas cards. While there, the Muppets mistakenly intercept three letters sent by children to Santa Claus. Later, Claire, a young girl who lives in the same building as the Muppets, is disappointed when Gonzo reveals that the Muppets will not be around for Christmas as they are all going on vacation. However, the Muppets soon realize that the spirit of the holidays is more important than their vacation, and they attempt to fix the problems created by their mishap and get the averted letters to Santa Claus before Christmas. They rush to the airport via taxi, where they encounter Joy, a friendly ticket agent, and Officer Meany, a bitter airport security guard. They try to catch a flight to the North Pole before it's too late.
The special features four original songs written by frequent Muppet collaborator Paul Williams, who also appears in the special as Santa's chief elf.
- "Santa Claus is Coming to Town"
- "Delivering Christmas"
- "It's All About Heart"
- "I Wish I Could Be Santa Claus"
- "My Best Christmas Yet"
- One of Fozzie's joke cards says "What do you call a reindeer wearing ear muffs? Anything you want because it can't hear you!" This is a reference to the song "North Pole Comedy Club" from the album A Green and Red Christmas.
- During the opening credits, the Jim Henson and Muppets stamps are used on the letters.
- Martin P. Robinson performed Dr. Teeth in the scene where the band leaves for vacation and one of his lines ("I'm all about far out, but the Pole is way too cold!") was left undubbed, retaining Robinson's vocals. Likewise, Tyler Bunch performed Rizzo in some of the airport scenes; one line re-inserted into the extended version ("Who wants to fly to the North Pole?") is also undubbed, leaving the original vocals by Bunch in.
- As an inside joke, references to Frank Oz and Jerry Nelson are made over the loudspeaker at the airport.
- This special contributes a hint towards Bunsen and Beaker's relationship.
- Muppet Performers:
- Steve Whitmire, Dave Goelz, Bill Barretta, Eric Jacobson, Pam Arciero, Heather Asch, Tyler Bunch, Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, James Godwin, Jim Kroupa, Matt Vogel, Tim Lagasse, Peter Linz, Edward Noel MacNeal, Jim Martin, Paul McGinnis, Marty Robinson, David Rudman
- Human Cast
- Michael Bloomberg as himself
- Whoopi Goldberg as a cab driver
- Richard Griffiths as Santa Claus
- Jane Krakowski as Claire's Mom
- Nathan Lane as Officer Meany
- Jesse L. Martin as postal worker
- Petra Nemcova as Beaker's girlfriend
- Madison Pettis as Claire
- Steve Schirripa as Mafia guy
- Tony Sirico as Mafia guy
- Uma Thurman as Joy
- Paul Williams as Santa's chief elf
- Muppet Characters
- Kermit the Frog, Robin the Frog, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo, Miss Piggy, Rizzo the Rat, Camilla, Pepe the Prawn, Sweetums, Sam the Eagle, the Swedish Chef, Lew Zealand, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Scooter, Rowlf the Dog, Statler and Waldorf, Beaker, Crazy Harry, Dr. Teeth, Animal, Floyd Pepper, Janice, Zoot, Bobo the Bear, Pigeons
- Background Muppets
- Rats, Pops, Beauregard, Chickens, Penguins, Turkey, Quongo, Pokey, Luncheon Counter Monster, Big Mean Carl, Snails
- Directed by Kirk R. Thatcher
- Story by Paul Williams and Hugh Fink & Scott Ganz & Andrew Samson
- Teleplay by Hugh Fink & Scott Ganz & Andrew Samson & Paul Williams
- Original Songs by Paul Williams
- Score by Chris Caswell
- Produced by Martin G. Baker
- Edited by Jamie Kirkpatrick
- Puppet Captain: Bill Barretta
- Muppet Workshop: Jane Gootnick, supervisor; Melissa Creighton, Peter MacKennan, Tom Newby, Stephen Rotondaro
- Visual Effects by Look FX N.Y.
- Puppets Provided by Puppet Heap
- Filmed in Part at Steiner Studios and on location in New York City
- Special Thanks To: New York State Office for Motion Picture & Television Development; The City of New York Mayor's Office of Film, Theater and Broadcasting
- ©2008 The Muppets Studio, LLC
- "Glad All Over" music video was released on the Muppets' YouTube, MySpace, and Vimeo channels and on Muppets.com.
- Kermit the Frog was featured in Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 27, 2008
- Kermit and Miss Piggy appeared on Christmas in Rockefeller Center on December 3, 2008
- Kermit the Frog appeared on Dr. Phil on December 16, 2008
- Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy appeared on The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet on December 17, 2008
- Miss Piggy appeared on The Today Show on December 17, 2008
- Pepe the King Prawn appeared on The Bonnie Hunt Show on December 17, 2008
- The full special was released for online viewing via NBC.com and Hulu.com from December 18-31, 2008.
- Free Muppet Christmas e-cards released for limited time on NBC.com.
- Behind the Scenes
- ToughPigs.com set visit, Day 1
- ToughPigs.com set visit, Day 2
- Muppet Central's Interview with the writers - Andrew Samson, Hugh Fink and Scott Ganz
- NBC.com Exclusive Muppet interviews
- Behind the Scenes of "A Muppets Christmas"
- "A Muppets Christmas": Miss Piggy Interview
- Entertainment Weekly (positive; gives grade of A-)
- Washington Post (positive)
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (positive)
- Newsday (positive)
- New York Times (negative)
- Orlando Sentinel (negative)
- Buffalo News (positive)
- Hartford Courant (negative)
- Ultimate Disney (positive)