The Muppet Christmas Carol

  • Review Date: November 6, 2006
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1992

Common Sense Media says

A gentle, fuzzy version of the Dickens classic.
  • Review Date: November 6, 2006
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1992

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Scrooge learns to be generous and compassionate and to enjoy life.

Positive role models

Tiny Tim, Scrooge, The Ghost of Christmas Past... they are all there in a harmless and fun way.

Violence & scariness

Gonzo and Rizzo get knocked off a window ledge a few times, but no one is injured.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language

Fine, unless you consider "bah humbug!" a curse word.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the Ghost of Christmas Future is scarier than the others and may frighten more sensitive children. In one version of the future, Tiny Tim is projected to die. Scrooge has to confront his cruel behavior and learns life lessons because of it.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Charles Dickens himself, played by the chicken-crazy Great Gonzo (Dave Goelz), narrates this tale of Ebenezer Scrooge's (Michael Caine) spoiled life. Scrooge is hated by all. Even the (puppet) mice in the street know he's no good. Scrooge runs a mortgage company and relishes debtors' misfortune and sneers at his nephew and solicitors. When he is visited by the ghosts of Richard and Jacob Marley and then the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, Scrooge has to decide whether to live out the fate he sees or thaw his heart for a better, more loving life.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL may be your child's first introduction to the classic story, and in that capacity this fuzzy version does its job well. It's gentle and includes classic characters your children will love, as well as a few danceable songs. Unlike the grim live-action films of the tale, there's just enough Muppet madness and kindness here to keep kids feeling safe and entertained. There are some great touches: the businessmen soliciting for charity are Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beeker. Robert and Jacob Marley are played by Statler and Waldorf, the two critics from The Muppet Show -- and they continue to heckle, even in death.

But best of all, the Great Gonzo is accompanied by Rizzo the Rat (Steve Whitmire), who has a way of saying what kids are thinking. When the Ghost of Christmas Future shows up in his Grim Reaper garb, for example, Rizzo says, "This is too scary. I don't think I want to see any more." He and Gonzo then disappear until the next scene. This is a good time to either fast-forward through the scary part for particularly sensitive children or to warn and cuddle up with them for the potentially frightening parts. Overall, The Muppet Christmas Carol deserves a place on the shelf with A Charlie Brown Christmas and the animated How the Grinch Stole Christmas as heartwarming, kid-friendly holiday fare.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether Scrooge learned his lesson and how he saw the error of his ways. What did he miss out on by only caring about work and money instead of friends or family? How do you show the people in your life that you love them? Are you generous? How?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 11, 1992
DVD release date:October 8, 2002
Cast:Dave Goelz, Michael Caine, Steve Whitmire
Director:Brian Henson
Studio:Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Book characters, Holidays, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires, Music and sing-along, Puppets
Run time:120 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of The Muppet Christmas Carol was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 8 year old Written bylibrarian4little1s April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 
Adult Written byfirstbornwonder April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

A must see family Christmas movie

The only reason why I would suggest PG is because, as with all versions of the Christmas Carol, the scenes associated with the visits from the spirits may be scary for the younger children. Otherwise, this is one version of the Christmas Carol that our family enjoys year after year no matter how old we get.

Kid, 10 years old Written bymudkip7 April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

FUNYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

THE FUNNIEST MOVIE EVER.

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Top Kids' Movies: An Essential Guide for Families