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Muppet Christmas Carol, The

Comparison:

  • Theatrical Version
  • US TV Version
Release: Apr 18, 2018 - Author: brainbug1602 - Translator: Tony Montana - external link: IMDB
Compared are the Theatrical Version and the Extended US TV Version.

Christmas is close but cold-hearted realtor Ebenezer Scrooge does not care at all. He rejects supplicants, debtors are being evicted, he even reluctantly gives his faithful the day off. But this changes when he sees the ghosts of deceased business partners at night who announce three more ghosts to pay him a visit that night. Starting with the ghost of Christmas past, he takes Scrooge back to his own past. The ghost of Christmas present shows him how other people spend Christmas until death appears in order to show him what people will say when he has past away. The three ghosts managed to melt his heart and the next morning, Scrooge is a completely different person.

For those who grew up in the 90s, The Muppet Christmas Carol was hard to miss. It has been estabslished as christmas classic for a reason: It simply works incredibly well. The movie has heart and humor, Michael Caine is the perfect actor for Scrooge and it is entertaining from start to finish.

Less common is the fact that the Theatrical Version of The Muppet Christmas Carol is not as director Brian Henson intended it to be. Jeffrey Katzenberg, former boss of the animation department at Disney, had a musical number sung by Belle removed because he feared the Muppets would not be the center of attention for too long and the kids would not like the fact they were. Not knowing the Uncut Version, it does not catch the eye though. Belle gets up and walks past young Scrooge, then past weeping Gonzo and finally past Rizzo. This is were the musical number "When Love is gone" - Belle sings about her love for Scrooge having vanished - starts. At the end of the song, adult Scrooge joins her but changes the lyrics to "When Love Is Found" - which implies he has changed after all. Quite an important scene, actually, but also missing in most releases. The US "20th Anniversary Edition" DVD contains both a fullscreen and a widescreen version of the movie. Only the former contains the musical number. Unfortunately, this version is missing on the US Blu-ray.

So far, so good. And yet, there is a further version: The US TV Version. On 12/25/2000, it aired on KNVA and it is even longer.
When Scrooge gets home and starts searching his appartment, the US TV Version contains additional footage of Scrooge checking behind the chair and the chimney. A little later, before Scrooge manages to get rid of Marley's & Marley's chains, their song contains an additional verse. Belle's song "When Love is gone" is also there. That is quite something because the additional scenes of the US TV Version are nowhere to be found on any release for home theaters.
[00:22:37][00:27:46]

The US TV Version contains additional shots of Scrooge searching his own apartment. He looks behind a chain and checks the fireplace.



US TV Version: 42 sec


[00:25:38][00:31:34]

In the Theatrical Version, Scrooge asks why Marley & Marley had come to him.



The US TV Version contains alternate footage of Scrooge asking.



Marley & Marley then explains to him that, after their death, they were damned to walk the Earth in order to witness what they had been missing in their lives. Last but not least, a shot of Scrooge.



Theatrical Version: 2 sec
US TV Version: 23 sec


[00:27:08][00:33:32]

At the end of the song and right before he manages to get rid of the chains, Scrooge asks if they could not just be happy again but Marley & Marley keep singing. Then they have to leave. They state the message they had spread had to have been pretty scary and they had to return to the place where the coldhearted were. But before they leave for good, they point out to Scrooge that what would happen in the future was entirely up to him.



US TV Version: 35 sec


[00:43:14][01:00:39]

The Theatrical Version contains a shot of Belle walking by Scrooge.



In the US TV Version, Belle sings some sad song about her love to Scrooge.

There was a time when I was sure
That you and I were truly one,
That our future was forever
And would never come undone,
And we came so close to be close
And thought you cared for me
There's distance in your eyes tonight
So we're not meant to be.
The love is gone,
The love is gone,
The sweetest dream
That we had ever known.
The love is gone,
The love is gone,
I wish you well
But I must leave you now alone.
There comes a moment in your life
Like a window, and you see
That your future is there before you
And how perfect life would be,
But adventures call with unknown voices
Pulling you away
Be careful or you may regret
The choices you made someday
When love is gone,
When love is gone,
The sweetest dream
That we had ever known.
When love is gone,
When love is gone,
I wish…




Theatrical Version: 5 sec
US TV Version: 3:11 min