A Muppets Family Christmas
Distributed by: The Jim Henson Company
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
As a kid, I remember tuning in to Sesame Street every day, where my favorite Muppets taught me about letters, numbers, manners, etc. Then, as I got older, I watched The Muppet Show, starring an eclectic bunch of puppets led by Kermit the Frog as they put on a variety show with special human guest stars. I loved watching The Muppet Show and even saw a couple of Muppet movies. So, it surprised me to learn that there was a Muppets Christmas special that I never saw. I would have to remedy that, and so I found myself seated in front of my computer to watch the 1987 Christmas special entitled A Muppet Family Christmas.
As the show begins, Fozzie the Bear is driving most of his Muppet friends to his mother’s house for Christmas. Despite Kermit’s warnings to let her know they were coming in advance, Fozzie insists that she will love the surprise. Meanwhile, Fozzie’s mother Emily is preparing to head to Malibu for the holidays, renting her home to Doc Crystal (Gerry Parkes) and his dog Sprocket. Of course, Fozzie and friends’ arrival disrupts things, but Emily takes it all in stride, despite Doc’s protests. Meanwhile, Miss Piggy is running late to the party, but promises she’ll be along soon.
A short time later, more Muppet friends arrive – Rowlf and the Swedish Chef, who has invited a Christmas turkey to attend…and feed the group. Carolers are heard approaching the house and all go outside to find the Muppets from Sesame Street, led by Big Bird, singing Christmas carols outside. Of course, the Christmas turkey decides to point out that Big Bird is the biggest bird the Swedish Chef has ever seen, thereby postponing his own demise.
Just then, bad news comes – the worst blizzard in fifty years is approaching the area. Though all are happy they have a place to stay to weather out the storm with friends and family, Kermit and Robin are worried – Miss Piggy is still out there. Doc, now warmed up to the idea of a full house for Christmas, decides to go out and look for Miss Piggy. Meanwhile, Kermit and Robin find a Fraggle Hole and learn about gift giving from the Fraggles of Fraggle Rock. Miss Piggy makes a grand entrance on a sled pulled by dogs and steered by Doc himself and all is right with the world, calling for a Christmas carol medley.
I have no idea how I could have missed this Christmas special, but I am quite a bit older than I would have been when A Muppet Family Christmas first hit the air and I can honestly say, I had a grin from ear to ear watching it. I loved that they were able to incorporate all of the incarnations of the Muppets in this holiday special, including the Muppet Babies (through an old home movie). There were tons of Christmas carols on this special, many popular ones and some I didn’t really know all that well, all sung by our favorite characters. There was a Christmas pageant by the Muppets of Sesame Street. Even Jim Henson made a special appearance.
This special would be terrific for fans of Sesame Street, although they will probably wonder where Elmo is (Elmo wasn’t “born” yet in 1987). Fans of the older Muppets of Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Fraggle Rock and The Muppet Babies are going to love A Muppet Family Christmas for nostalgia’s sake and want their kids to enjoy it just as much as they did. This is a great Christmas family special than any family will love!