How well do you remember The Muppet Christmas Carol?

Abi Luftig

Image: tmdb

About This Quiz

Whether there's only One More Sleep Til Christmas or you merely think It Feels Like Christmas, The Muppet Christmas Carol has become a holiday classic for children and adults alike. But the movie was released way back in 1992; how well do you remember it?

What character does Gonzo play?

Gonzo the Great assumes the role of Charles Dickens, the narrator. Gonzo is of unknown species and has long pursued a romantic relationship with Camilla the Chicken.

In what city is the story set?

The story is set in London, as is most of Dickens' work. The famed author was born in Portsmouth. He moved around a lot as a child, eventually settling in London, where he lived for most of his life. He died of a stroke in 1870, at the age of 58.

Who directed this movie?

All of these options have been or are involved in The Jim Henson Company. Richard Hunt had been the creator and voice of Scooter and Stadler until his death in 1991. Duncan Kenworthy was the co-creator of Fraggle Rock and is now the VP of BAFTA. Lisa Henson is the CEO of Henson and executive producer of most of their shows. Brian Henson took on the mantle of director after his father's death.

What are Gonzo and Rizzo selling at the beginning of the movie?

When the film begins, Dickens/Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat are selling apples. Apples have long been used as a Christmas decoration to help recall the story of Original Sin and the Garden of Eden. In fact, most Christmas tree decorations are round because people used to hang apples on their trees.

Which is not said during Here Comes Mr. Humbug?

While the whole song is dedicated to Scrooge's sour demeanor, the word "grumpy" never appears. He is called (in order) Humbug, Grim, Skinflint, Greed, Outrage, Sneer, Heartless, and Cruel.

Who played the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge?

While the other options were in consideration for the part, the iconic role eventually went to veteran actor Michael Caine. Despite playing over 100 roles, Caine considers this movie his most memorable. That says a lot, considering it beat out Austen Powers, The Dark Knight trilogy, Miss Congeniality, and Inception.

What right have you to be merry? You're poor enough.

This banter happens between Fred and Scrooge. Scrooge, as previously stated, was played by Michael Caine. Caine was born Maurice Mickelwhite.

What is the name of Fred's wife?

Fred mentions that his wife's name is Clara. In some adaptations, Fred is Ebenezer's nephew, and in other adaptations, Clara is Ebenezer's niece and Fred has married into the family.

Who is the voice of Kermit/Bob Cratchit?

This was Kermit's first foray back to the screen after the death of his creator and long-time portrayer, Jim Henson. Henson had died two years prior. In interviews, Whitmire has said that he had been very nervous about taking over the role and doing Henson's legacy proud. The night before he began shooting, Henson appeared to Whitmire in a dream and gave his blessing.

What do the bookkeepers encounter during One More Sleep Til Christmas?

One More Sleep Til Christmas was written by composer Paul Williams, who often collaborated with Henson. His other hits include Rainy Days and Mondays and the Academy-award nominated Rainbow Connection.

What does Kermit see at the end of One More Sleep Til Christmas?

As with most (not all) Muppet movies, a shooting star appears when Kermit is finished singing. This is a series trademark, and the shooting star only appears when Kermit is on screen. This was also included as a subtle memorial to Jim Henson, who had voiced Kermit since his creation.

What reason does Gonzo/Dickens give when Rizzo asks why he's whispering?

Gonzo/Dickens says he is whispering for dramatic emphasis. Whispering takes less effort than speaking, but wears out the vocal cords more quickly.

What are the names of the Marley brothers?

Originally, Scrooge was visited by his one partner, Jacob Marley. The Muppet bunch decided to make it a pair of brothers so that the famous hecklers Stadler and Waldorf could haunt Scrooge together. When naming the second Marley brother, they decided to honor the famous musician Bob (Robert) Marley. The song Marley and Marley features wailing chains as a subtle nod to Bob Marley and The Wailers.

What snack does Rizzo lose in the snow before entering Scrooge's house?

Rizzo snacks on a bag of jelly beans. National Jelly Bean Day is April 22nd.

Rizzo says the story is scary and is worried about the kids watching. Gonzo/Dickens says they'll be fine because:

Gonzo/Dickens says that it's ok that the story is scary, because it's culture. The Muppet Christmas Carol is rated G, so it was clearly deemed not too scary.

Who announces the arrival of the first ghost?

While foretold by the Marleys, the actual arrival of the Ghost was shouted out by Gonzo/Dickens. There was no announcement for the second Ghost, who just showed up. Gonzo as the narrator was suggested by the creative team because they wanted to keep some of Dickens' original prose in the movie and felt a narrator/Greek chorus was the best way to do so.

How does the Ghost of Christmas Past travel?

The Ghost of Christmas Past travels by flying, with robes waving. This effect was created by making a special water-proof puppet that could be operated in a water tank to make it look like the Ghost was floating. The tank was later removed via green screen.

How many brothers and sisters does Rizzo have?

Rizzo the Rat's name was inspired by Dustin Hoffman's Ratso Rizzo from Midnight Cowboy. Rizzo is portrayed by Steve Whitmire, who also voiced Kermit for this film.

Which Muppet was Ebenezer's headmaster at school?

The headmaster is played by Sam the Eagle. Sam remarks that business is the American way, until Gonzo corrects him and he rephrases that it is the British way. Famously, The Henson Company had studios in both New York and London.

What was the name of Ebenezer’s first employer?

The lovable and merry boss Fezziwig is played by Fozzi in this adaptation, and so the Dickens character is renamed Fozziwig. Fezziwig was created to show that it is possible to be a good businessman AND still be kind (basically, an anti-Scrooge). The Muppet version is the only adaptation to show Scrooge's old boss alive and well at the end of the movie.

What business did Fozziwig operate?

Scrooge explains to the Ghost that they are outside Fozziwig's rubber chicken factory. Fozzie continues to be a popular Muppet to this day. He (and Muppeteer Dave Goelz, presumably) appeared on the Comedy Central show @midnight on May 24, 2016 where he won the episode.

Who catered Fozziwig's party?

The Swedish Chef and his talking food are shown to be catering Fozziwig's Christmas party. The Swedish Chef is voiced by David Rudman, who also originated the character of Baby Bear on Sesame Street.

Who quiets down the crowd before Fozziwig's speech?

When Fozziwig's quiet attempts to silence the crowd go unnoticed, Animal pops in and yells "quiet!" in his characteristic roar. Animal is voiced by Frank Oz, who is also the voice of Fozzie and Miss Piggy.

What is the name of Ebenezer’s former fiance?

Young Ebenezer had been engaged to a woman named Belle, who left him when she realized he loved money more than he loved her. Ironically, The Muppet Christmas Carol was released by Disney in 1992, the same year Disney released the story of a different Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

What game is played at Fred’s?

Fred initiates a round of Yes or No, a game similar to 20 Questions. Fred Scrooge was played by Steven Mackintosh, who went on to play Tanis in the Underworld movie series and DCI Ian Reed in Season 1 of Luthor.

What do the Ghosts of Past and Present have in common?

The Ghosts of Past and Present both have red hair, the latter also having a red beard. No one has ever said why the ghosts have a similar hair color and some believe it to be coincidental.

What song do Kermit and Tiny Tim sing together?

Christmas Scat, as it is listed on the soundtrack, is referred to by most fans as Tis The Season. Tiny Tim/Robin the Frog was voiced by Jerry Nelson, who also voiced Statler/Jacob Marley.

What is Mrs Crachit’s first name?

Mrs. Cratchit (aka Miss Piggy) is named Emily. The original book by Dickens does not specify her name, and in some adaptations, she is merely Mrs. Cratchit, but in the adaptations where her first name is given, Bob's wife is always Emily.

How many kids does Bob Cratchit have?

The story shows the Crachits having four kids: twin daughters Betina and Belinda, eldest son Peter, and the famous Tiny Tim. The novel mentions another two children, an unnamed daughter who in some adaptions is called either Lucy or Gillian, and one other child who is sometimes a son named Matthew and other times a daughter named Miranda.

How was Tiny Tim at church?

Bob tells Emily that Tim was "as good as gold and better." The expression "as good as gold" began in America after the US banned the trading of gold in 1933, leading to a rise in paper money that was to be treated as if it were as valuable as gold. Bob wouldn't have known this phrase.

What objects do people steal from Scrooge's house in the future after he dies?

The characters who present these items to Old Joe the fence were the laundress, the funeral director, and the housekeeper (charwoman). In the book, Scrooge identifies them as having worked for him.

How many ghosts visit Ebenezer?

In this adaptation, Scrooge is visited by five ghosts. There are the three ghosts of Christmas that visit, plus the Marley brothers. In other adaptations where there is only one Marley, Scrooge is visited by four ghosts, but the invention of Robert Marley brings this version's haunting to five.

What does Scrooge give his bookkeepers at the end of the movie?

Earlier in the film, the bookkeepers had asked Scrooge for more coal for the fire, a request he denied. He later gifts a bucket of coal to each bookkeeper. This was confusing to many children, especially in the test audiences, who didn't understand why the bookkeepers were being punished (the grown-ups who made the movie forgot that Santa gives coal to children who are naughty!)

What three gifts does Ebenezer give Bob Cratchit?

Scrooge tells Cratchit that he plans to give him a raise and pay off his mortgage, then presents him with a turkey for the Christmas feast. In the book and most adaptations, Scrooge presents Cratchit with a goose.

What creatures are seen singing in the windows at the finale?

Strange as it may seem, there is a pair of lobsters hanging out a window and singing in the finale. While some might dismiss this as Henson-style antics, it's actually a nod to Dickens, who once penned the line "like bad lobster in a dark cellar."

Which Muppet does NOT appear in the movie?

Scooter, Kermit's faithful assistant, does not appear in the film. The original plan was to have him appear as The Ghost of Christmas Past. When Muppeteer Richard Hunt died, the script was rewritten and Scooter did not appear.

How many times does Scrooge say humbug?

Despite being one of the best-known catchphrases in history, Ebenezer only says "humbug" eight times in this movie. It's said a further two times, once by the chorus in Here Comes Mr. Humbug and once by Ebenezer's nephew, Fred, who is mocking his uncle.

What is Gonzo/Dickens' response when Rizzo tells him he enjoyed the story?

This is one of the few adaptations that actually references the source material of Dickens' A Christmas Carol (Bill Murray's Scrooged being another). Dickens published his story in 1843.

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