6. Emmet Otter’s Jug-band Christmas
Production company and network: The Jim Henson Company (pre-Disney requisition), Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (1977), and HBO (1978)
The story of Emmet Otter is a sweet one. First of all, it is one of the very first The Muppets specials and narrated by their creator, Jim Henson. Secondly, it explores the close bond of Emmet and his mother, and how they used their musical talents to try to make one another’s Christmas memorable.
Speaking of which, Emmet and his mother are poor, with both working odd jobs to make ends meet and to provide food on the table. There is nothing left over for gifts, so the two enter a talent show at the neighboring town hall to try to win the cash prize of $50. With the money, they can each buy the other their dream gift and make the holiday happier.
Despite not winning, Emmet and his mother realize that the greatest gift of all is one another and the kindness shared.
What is memorable: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, and Jerry Nelson provided iconic voiceover performances, and Kermit the Frog is sporting the late 1970s fashion. Additionally, you hear the Hendrix influence in one of the talent show performances.
The adult observation: The love of family and strong friendships are greatly felt with the appreciation of what you already have.
Where to watch: Your best bet to rewatch Emmett Otter will be Amazon Prime, as Disney+ didn’t acquire the rights to stream as of yet. The special can also be purchased through Youtube for $7.99 or to rent for $3.99.