Bold Statement: A Muppet Family Christmas is a true holiday classic and much better than The Muppets Christmas Carol.
Basic premise: The gang all heads to Fozzie Bear’s mother’s house for the holidays…. but mom is off to Californa! So she rents it out to Doc and his dog, Sprocket, for a nice, quiet Christmas.
BUT THEN… Fozzie and all his friends slip over the icy patch and arrive to ‘surprise’ his mom. Doc is furious – but really, Fozzie’s mom has been taking surfing lessons for months so I think she’s the one who deserves to be furious!
All of the muppets are here. Kermit the Frog; Gonzo; Rowlf the Dog; Scooter; Rizzo the Rat; Pepe the King Prawn; Dr. Bunsen Honeydew; Beaker; Statler and Waldorf; the Swedish Chef; Sam Eagle; and of course – the Electric Mayhem, consisting of Dr. Teeth on keyboard, Animal on drums, Floyd Pepper on bass, Janice on lead guitar and Zoot on saxophone.
Miss Piggy is still in the city because she forgot about a teensy-weensy photoshoot she just scheduled – but don’t worry after a little bit Christmas shopping she’ll be up to the farmhouse right away.
While we wait, the Swedish chef gets ready to prepare the Turkey. Burt and Ernie lead us in the sesame street Christmas pageant of The Night Before Christmas. Fozzie makes a snowman and brings it to life to be his new act. It’s all very festive.
Miss Piggy finally shows up – and Kermit gives her a mink.
I love it so much. I can’t even count how many times I’ve watched this special. I had it on VHS when I was a kid and it still is one of my must-watch holiday traditions.
Here are my top five reasons this warms my heart.
1 – The dialogue is killer.
It doesn’t matter if you are five or thirty-five. There is something for everyone.
Sprocket: bark bark bark
Doc: Careful Sprocket, these could be from some foreign planet!
Mom: Actually, they’re from Television!
Turkey talking to Camilla the Chicken: “I tell you, chicken little, you’re my kind of poultry… you’ve got some drumsticks my fine feather mama.”
2 – THE CROSSOVERS
Not only do we get The Muppets – but we also get Sesame Street AND Fraggle Rock AND Baby Muppets. In today’s tv landscape this would be at least a 3-hour television event, but in 1987 they jammed it all into 45 minutes! I love it soo much.
3 – THE MUSIC!
This is just jammed packed with sing-along-able holiday music.
We need a little Christmas.
Jingle Bells… into Jingle Bell Rock
Sleight Ride Together – bear and a snowman with you!
Here we come a Carolling
Deck the Halls
The Christmas Song
PASS IT ON!
No Place like Home for the Holidays
Three Ships Come Sailing in
Good King Wenceslas
The Holly and the Ivy
I’ll be home for Christmas
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
I heard the bells on Christmas day
It’s in Every One of Us
We’ll be together (At Christmas)
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
4- The Turkey
The Swedish chef invites the turkey for a nice relaxing Christmas Dinner. Grover tries to warn him but he’s a survivor. His trick – while the Swedish Chef tries to figure out if the turkey will fit in the pan, the turkey turns the Swedish Chef’s attention to an even BIGGER bird… BIG BIRD! It’s a great moment. Obviously, Big Bird wins the Swedish Chef over with a song and homemade chocolate covered birdseed. It’s heartwarming. I cry every time.
5 – JIM HANSON HIMSELF!
How often do we actually get a Jim Hanson cameo – almost never. It’s a Holiday Miracle!
Watch it all here: