20 Best Muppet Christmas Carol Moments

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Michael Caine in The Muppet Christmas Carol (Image via Walt Disney Pictures/Jim Henson Productions)

1. Michael Caine as Scrooge

Michael Caine has said that he agreed to appear in The Muppet Christmas Carol in part because he wanted to make a movie that he could share with his kids. I also suspect he simply wanted to act with the Muppets – could you turn down the chance to act with Kermit the Frog, after all?

Until that point, few of Michael Caine’s films could have been considered family-friendly. Now, adorably enough, he says he gets to watch The Muppet Christmas Carol with his grandkids, too. I’m a terrifying Grinch with a heart that’s become a lump of frozen coal and even that made me smile.

This doesn’t even mention the fact that Michael Caine is also, you know, a good actor. He does a wonderful job playing Scrooge. He is properly menacing and grim at the beginning of the movie, despite the fact that he’s acting opposite cheer-inducing Muppets. Maybe I’m extra impressed because I was raised on a glut of shoddy adaptations of Dickens’ work. Still, Caine brings a believable depth and humanity to a character that’s often reduced to a frown and a “bag, humbug!” I even believe in his final transformation into a philanthropist and all around good human being.

Caine later said that he agreed to do the film, but with one very important condition: “I’m going to play this movie like I’m working with the Royal Shakespeare Company. I will never wink, I will never do anything Muppety. I am going to play Scrooge as if it is an utterly dramatic role and there are no puppets around me.”