There are some things in this world that are unanimously agreed upon, and one of those things is that The Muppet Christmas Carol is one of the best holiday movies ever released. Brian Henson’s first directorial film and the first major project from The Muppets since the passing of Jim Henson in 1990 is wonderfully perfect, bringing a perfect blend of heart and spookiness to Charles Dickens’s classic tale. It’s a weird and wonderful self-aware film that tugs at the heartstrings of its viewers and pushes the Muppet brand to new unchartered boundaries. Now, to capitalize on the popularity of the movie and the Christmas season, Disney is out to do that once again.
This year saw the release of a new book from Disney and Insight Editions with The Muppet Christmas Carol: The Illustrated Holiday Classic, a book retelling of the Muppet feature film retelling of the original book by Charles Dickens. Written by the talented Disney publishing veteran Brooke Vitale, and illustrated by the pop-culture artist extraordinaire, Luke Flowers, this book is a wonderful blend of the elements that made the film so magical, but adapted for book form. Full of wit, comedic one-liners (many adapted from the book, but maintaining their visual hilarity), and gorgeous color that pops from the page to fit right into the Muppet world.
Helmed by this team, this book feels like the perfect inclusion to the world of Muppet books and a great adaptation that feels true to the spirit of the franchise. Translating many of the Muppets’ visual gags and comedic delivery to the written word is a challenge in of itself, that the creators of this book accomplish wonderfully. There’s much that hardcore Muppet fans will be excited to see, including so many obscure Muppet characters and references throughout. Fozzie’s dummy-puppet Chuckie from that one episode of The Muppet Show? The cast of Henson’s first television show Sam and Friends? A dog that may or may not be Sprocket from Fraggle Rock? This book has it all.
The book wonderfully adapts moments of solemn and heart brilliantly through the written word and the gorgeous illustrations that accompany it. Anyone who has seen the film will know that it features some of composer Paul Williams’ best work, with powerful songs such as Tiny Tim’s (played by Robin the Frog), “Bless Us All”, and heartwrenching moments like Tiny Tim’s sad fate are so gorgeously and poignantly delivered that it has the equal part of heart and humor that made the original film so endearing and memorable.
Overall, The Muppet Christmas Carol: The Illustrated Holiday Classic is another wonderful Muppet publication that certainly deserves a spot on the expanding Muppet library of books. It’s a wonderful blend of talent and great storytelling that cements the legacy of the Muppet film, and hopefully, the start of a long series of illustrated Muppet retellings.
The Muppet Christmas Carol: The Illustrated Holiday Classic is now available to purchase.