The Muppet Christmas Carol

Movie review by
Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media
The Muppet Christmas Carol Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
A gentle, fuzzy version of the Dickens classic.
  • G
  • 1992
  • 120 minutes

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 21 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

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

Positive Role Models & Representations

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

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

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written by4myB&K December 13, 2011

Ghost scary for 5 yr old and under.

There is an element of scariness. If you have younger kids, be aware that the first ghost of Christmas past can be pretty scary. Our 5yr old didn't want to... Continue reading
Adult Written byPaloula December 31, 2020

NOT as gentle and fuzzy

I would not recommend the movie for children under the age of 8. The Spirit of the Future is especially scary and dark. The Spirit of the Past is too eery. Mich... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old February 4, 2017

Charming Okay Film

Scrooge is a little bit rough on everyone until the end. When Scrooge returns from work, a scary face appears on his door knocker which might frighten younger k... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bystripesanddots November 29, 2010

Love. This. Movie.

I first saw this in school on one of the days leading up to Christmas Vacation. I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy it, but I LOVED it! It's become o... Continue reading

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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

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