This Muppets article was written by Oliver Hope, a GIGsoup contributor
A Christmas Carol is a joyous and festive outing for Jim Henson’s band of merry puppets. The film itself is a rather splendid adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic. Originally written in 1843, A Christmas Carol depicts the struggles of Ebenezer Scrooge and his coming to terms with the spirit of giving during the Christmas period. Michael Caine depicts Mr Scrooge splendidly throughout but the main drawing point of the movie is the fantastic soundtrack. A Christmas Carol was created as a means of celebrating Jim Henson, who had unfortunately passed away two years previous to the film’s release.
The film’s score was comprised by Miles Goodman, who had previously scored films such as Little Shop of Horrors and Teen Wold. The songs were written by Paul Williams, also known for his contribution to titles like Bugsy Malone and The Muppet Movie.
The soundtrack itself contains eighteen tracks, all of which are performed by either The Muppets themselves or Michael Caine. The reason for the albums creation was due to the fact the film was shot as a musical rather than a serious drama. The Muppets had always prided themselves on their musical prowess, the original television show contained skits and musical numbers which are still remembered to this day. Their original big screen outing, where Paul Williams provided the music once again, was a major success. The musical element of the films won over the audience massively and left them clambering for more.
A Christmas Carol does notably contain less songs then the usual Muppets film would produce. There certainly was more of a focus on the acting abilities of Caine and his interaction with the Muppets characters for progression of the storyline, rather than a reliance on music to build up the story. Not that this takes away from the music.
The score is fantastic and adapts to the atmosphere of the film well. Never does it seem like there is a song present for no apparent reason, they are placed as a means of allowing the film to flow smoothly. You never feel like the music is forced on you, which can sometimes be the case with musicals.
Williams and Goodman’s combined effort creates a lovely, enjoyable soundtrack that forms a perfect partnership when placed alongside the film and their beloved puppet stars.