Home Alone: Lost in New York

The original Home Alone, released in 1990, is a Christmas classic beloved by millions of people across the globe. It has been this popular ever since it was first released to theatres, maintaining the number 1 spot at the Box Office for 4 months. In fact, it would remain the best selling Christmas film of all time until the release of Illumination Studios’ The Grinch in 2018. As you would expect with a movie which made this much profit, a sequel was put into into production by the end of 1991 and planned to be much bigger. This was matched by the $28 million budget, which was $10 million more than the original, and with scenes shot on location in New York City.

We follow 10 year old Kevin MacCallister as he accidentally boards a flight to New York instead of one to Miami with the rest of his family, leaving him stranded in one of the largest cities in the world. Initially, all is well, as he stays at the illustrious Plaza Hotel. But with the return of Harry and Marv (under new mantle The Sticky Bandits) and their plan to steal from a toy store on Christmas eve, it is once again up to Kevin to stop them. I’ve seen a lot of criticism of Home Alone: Lost in New York, with the main critique being that it simply re-hashes the plot of the original in a new setting. It’s hard to dispute that, but I do think that the change in location gives Kevin more issues to deal with this time around. As well as the Sticky Bandits, Kevin must keep his solitude a secret from the management at the Plaza Hotel. Although everything eventually works out well, Kevin is found to be using his father’s stolen credit card and he runs straight into the arms of the Sticky Bandits. He also encounters a homeless woman in the park who he befriends, mirroring his relationship with Old Man Marley in the original. However, this woman is totally alone as opposed to just not talking with her family, which is possibly the biggest difference between these two films. There’s less home and more alone.

I’ve also seen criticisms of Macaulay Culkin’s performance in comparison to the original, and whilst I think it feels less genuine, I think it’s unfair to criticise the man himself. It is now well established just how little control he had over his own career and finances, coupled with his stardom coming literally overnight. What Macaulay Culkin went through, as well as being the result of a system that was drastically unfit for child stars, was incredibly rough, and I think we should cut him a little slack. As for the character of Kevin, I do think there is an inherent flaw with him being two years older. An 8 year old attacking grown men as an act of self-defense is funny, but a 10 year old luring two grown men into a trap just comes off as cruel. He comes across as bratty, and with the change of context (luring instead of defending) he also comes across as vindictive. The comedy itself still works, with the slapstick being implemented well and the traps being just as inventive as in the original film. The standout moments come from the acting of Tim Curry, who portrays a concierge at the hotel and is clearly having a blast with the role. Tim Curry always gives 120% to every single performance, and it is practically impossible to be sad whenever he is on screen. His line delivery on “a cheese pizza” is particularly outstanding, I think the main difference in the comedy- the slapstick in particular- is that it is more child friendly; making the slapstick feel less of a genuine threat. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, although I suppose it depends on your personal opinion. For me, it isn’t enough to spoil the film.

Home Alone 2 ends up being longer than its predecessor by around 20 minutes, taking its runtime to just under 2 hours. This allows for the film take its time to tell a story, and that might be my only issue with it. This instalment takes a little longer to get to the main plot, and it can sometimes linger on a joke for too long. Home Alone 2 is, I feel, not as concise as it needs to be, and it certainly isn’t as concise as the original. I usually don’t compare films, but when it’s a self contained franchise where the plots are so similar, it’s difficult not to. I wonder if the film would have been received better if it had come first, but alas there is no way of knowing.

What makes this film re-watchable is the emotional core. Catherine O’Hara gives another truly heartfelt performance as Kevin’s mother, and much like Tim Curry, it is difficult not to like her. This is amplified by the beautiful score, brought to us once again by the masterful John Williams. There have been essays written about the legacy of his work, and it is well deserved. Once again, the set is adorned with Christmas decorations so it is impossible to escape the festive feel. At the end of the day Home Alone 2 is a suitable sequel and wonderful festive fare. There are several small issues but they are not enough to dampen the movie for me, or many of its other fans. I once wrote this of another sequel, and I feel it is equally applicable here:

There is a marvellous sequel in here trying to get out but, for what it is, it’s fine. It will forever hold a place in my heart.

Until Next Time…

Signed: Your festive neighbourhood queer

Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

In 1957, Theodor Geisel, under his pen-name Dr. Seuss, released a storybook for children title How the Grinch Stole Christmas. As with many of his works, the tale included a lesson which, in this case, was that Christmas was about peace, love, and joy, instead of decorations and presents. The book was received well, and was adapted into an animated special in 1966 which padded the runtime with new songs written for the occasion by Geisel himself. This was also received well, and has been a staple of American television at Christmas ever since, along with entering the pop culture mythos. For many, this is what they imagine when you ask them about The Grinch. But there is another… in 2000, the story was adapted for the big screen in live-action by director Ron Howard- of Apollo 13 fame- which clocked in at a staggering 1 hour and 50 minutes. I have seen both ends of the reaction spectrum with this one, from hate and ridicule right through to love and enjoyment, but whatever your opinion, it exists in infamy.

The plot follows The Grinch as he plots to steal Christmas from the present-and-decoration-obsessed Whos of Whoville. We also glimpse the life of Cindy Lou Who, who is no more than six, and seems to be the only Who aware that Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. If you are familiar with the Whos of old, this may seem a little odd to you, because they knew what Christmas was about and this seemed to be what finally changed The Grinch’s sour heart. It’s one of the several issues that I have seen levied at the film, but I am of the opinion that it’s a good way of updating the story for the 21st Century. There is a discussion to be had about whether or not the story needed updating, after all the 1966 Special seems to be doing just fine, but there is no denying that society has changed since then. Over the decades, Christmas has only become more commercialised and even in the 20 years since this movie was released it has only continued to increase. It really does feel like the decorating, the shopping, the music, and the advertising start earlier every single year, especially to those of us who work in retail. (Side note: Please be nice to retail employees. They are only doing their jobs and it is especially stressful at this time of year.) Updating the Whos to be consumers makes them more relatable to us, the audience, which makes the final message of the story hit a little bit closer to home.

This update does come with an odd repercussion which becomes difficult for me to ignore. In the original tale and the 1966 Special, we know next to nothing about The Grinch. We know that he hates the joyful noise, lives atop Mount Crumpet, is disgusting, wears shoes that are too tight, and has a dog named Max. However, the film gives us an extensive backstory where he is taken in by two old women, is made fun of as a child, and when he finally gets into the Christmas Spirit is mocked by his peers and his teacher. (2 side notes: Firstly, those women are lesbians and I love them. Secondly, that teacher sucks. I mean if you are that mean to a child you need to find a different job). We know exactly why he hates this time of year, and if it wasn’t clear enough, when The Grinch finally returns to town he gives a lecture about how the Whos are focused on the presents and the decorations to a ridiculous degree, which is what inevitably leads to his decision to steal Christmas. Where as the original had him hating the Whos and wanting to do something exceedingly cruel, here he is trying to teach them a lesson. The Grinch is not the villain of this movie, he is more like the anti-hero. There is one constant between these iterations, and that is that his dog Max is adorable. You can add and change what you want about this story, but it is difficult to not make Max a cute and lovable character.

The tone of the film is also criticised as it comes across like an action movie instead of an uplifting Christmas tale. However I do wonder if this is because many are viewing it through the same lens that they view the 1966 Special. Personally, I have never viewed it through this lens because until recently I had not seen that special, and this film was actually my introduction to the town of Whoville. Now that I have seen it, and have compared it to the film, I have come to the conclusion that the 2000 version is itself a response to the commercialism of that year. Through this lens, the film becomes a parody of the media that surrounded it. It has all the traits of a blockbuster, from the relatable villain and montages to the chaos and explosions, but if you really look at what message the film is delivering, it doesn’t fit in with that genre. The message is that same as it has always been, but it is being reached in a way that seems to be the complete opposite of how it was done in the original. I think the best example of what I mean may be the mayor of Whoville, who is more like a game show host than a mayor, right down to the promise of a new car. Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a beautiful book and a marvellous television special, with a beautiful message, but if you are expecting a direct adaptation, I think the satire in this film may go over your head.

In terms of adapting the design of the book to the realm of live action, I remain stunned as to how close it is. The Whos themselves are mildly odd to look at because they allowed them to look a little more human, but once you get over that, it fits with the rest of the aesthetic. Every physical aspect seems to have been lifted directly from the book, and all this led to Academy Award nominations for Best Direction, Best Costume Design, and Best Makeup – the last of which it won. There are also elements that originated with the 1966 Special that have carried over, including You’re a Mean One, Mr Grinch, and The Grinch’s green skin tone, which have themselves become synonymous with the story and the festive season. Special acknowledgements must go to James Horner for his brilliant score and to Jim Carrey- The Grinch himself.

It’s possible that the two and a half hour long application of the Grinch makeup has become as well known as the film itself, but I think it’s important to remember that it isn’t the makeup doing the acting, it’s Carrey. If you don’t like Jim Carrey, and his cartoonish performance style, then this really isn’t the film for you because he’s in full swing here. It takes a great amount of skill to act through a costume that only allows us to see your eyes and mouth, but Carrey had proved he could do this with his 1994 film The Mask. He has often been likened to a living cartoon character, and that is not the mockery that some may think it is. Wife of the author Audrey Geisel herself said that she thought only several men could pull of the role: Robin Williams, Jack Nicholson, and Jim Carrey. For the record, she was absolutely right.

So here we are, 20 years later and, love it or hate it, we are still talking about Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. There is now a generation of children that experienced this before any other Grinch media. I have watched it every year since I was young, as have many of my friends, and as someone who enjoys this film I can see why there are those who don’t like it. Although I don’t think it’s as far removed from the source material as it could have been, I dare say that you could recreate the 1966 special using the footage from this film, at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what version you prefer. What matters is who you share it with.

Until Next Time…

Signed: Your festive neighbourhood queer

Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009)

Motion Capture doesn’t seem to be such a big deal anymore. It gets used in practically every summer blockbuster, and has been pivotal in creating costumes for the heroes of the MCU for over a decade. However there was a time when this technology was relatively new and its limits were being tested. Most people know of one of its earliest applications, creating the creature Gollum for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, but few remember some of the following applications. The Polar Express was released in 2004 and was filmed entirely in Motion Capture, before being animated by computer, even being recognised as the first all digital motion capture film by Guinness Book of World Records. The film’s director, Robert Zemeckis, chose this method of production as it allowed for a grand scale on a small budget and would do the best job of representing the original storybook’s illustrations. These same decisions would lead Zemeckis’ to apply this same method of production to an adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens novel A Christmas Carol.

Released in 2009, Disney’s A Christmas Carol follows the money-grabbing Ebeneezer Scrooge as he is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future, in an attempt to change his selfish ways before it is too late. Disney is no stranger to A Christmas Carol, having adapted it with Mickey Mouse in 1983 and The Muppets in 1992. The former of these is probably the best 26 minute summary you could ever hope for, with the latter being a personal favourite that has already been subject of a review. However, this take is unique in that it is probably the darkest adaption of the tale there is, which may have something to do with how accurate it is to the original novel. There are plot elements here that I had completely forgotten about, because I have not read the book in around a decade (but have watched The Muppet Christmas Carol every year since I was a child), Ebeneezer’s sister Fran makes an appearance, as well as two gaunt children clinging to the Ghost of Christmas Present called Ignorance and Want. It’s much more of a tragedy than I remember it being, and it is nice to be reminded. A Christmas Carol is about a man who needs to be subjected to his deepest regrets and fears in order to change the course of his life.

I think it’s important to remember that when the original novel was published in 1843, ghostly apparitions were not viewed as a lighthearted subject of discussion. Today we are inundated with ghoulish tales from Scooby Doo to Ghostbusters to Casper, so seeing this take, especially in a children’s movie, is relatively refreshing. The colour palette matches the overall tone of the movie in that it is dark and dingy, but when it needs to be bright and cheery, it has no problems doing so. A perfect example of this, and often something that best exemplifies their respective iterations, is how the Ghost of Christmas Present is presented. Here, he sits upon a mountain of food and is only about twice the size of Scrooge whilst the walls are adorned with golden garlands in a room that has tripled in height. As the scene progresses, the room in which they sit seems to hover over the city, allowing them to see the goings on of the townsfolk, and the Ghost of Christmas Present grows older until he has become grey. By the scene’s end, the Ghost has become hostile towards Scrooge, and as they stand in a seemingly endless room, he unleashes the disturbing Ignorance and Want before literally turning to dust whilst laughing manically, in a moment that’s flat-out uncomfortable. It’s tense, getting more so as the film races towards its conclusion. That’s not to say this tension hasn’t been present since the beginning, we are often left in complete silence as if to signify how lonely Scrooge is, but when there is music it is often a joyful and triumphant arrangement of a Christmas carol. The score was composed by the excellent Alan Silvestri, who previously conducted the score for both The Polar Express, and the Back to the Future trilogy. It seems that if your film demands triumph, it demands Alan Silvestri.

So what of this grand scale that Zemeckis spoke of? As previously mentioned, there are the scenes featuring the Ghost of Christmas Present, but there is also the grimy city of London. There are several times that we find ourselves flying over the rooftops, and even from the ground, the buildings look as big and grand as they have ever been up close. This is amplified during the chase sequence with the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, which doesn’t feel like it should be here, but ends up being thrilling anyway. Both ghosts, along with the Ghost of Christmas Past, are voice by Jim Carrey, who also voices Scrooge, in a decision that potentially adds more depth to the tale. The ghosts have often been viewed as an extension of Scrooge’s thoughts, but with this choice they seem to become direct extensions of him. Carrey playing multiple voice roles was a focal point of the advertising, but if you didn’t know that (or forgot like me) you may not recognise that they’re all him. Of course, the rest of the cast, including Gary Oldman, and the late Bob Hopskins, are terrific, but there is a reason that Carrey got his name prioritised in the advertising.

The observant among you may notice that I have failed to talk about the Ghost of Christmas Past, but there is a reason for that. His design creeps me out… and… his Irish accents baffles me. I actually think that Dickens wrote a description that is extremely difficult to pull off. I mean, how would you design a being that is both old and young at the same time? As for the Irish accent, it continues to baffle me.

Until Next Time…

Signed: Your festive neighbourhood queer

Die Hard

A man flies from New York to Los Angeles to surprise his wife, who hasn’t seen him in 6 months. The villain of our story is sophisticated and only in it for the money. There’s snow, there’s romance and there’s festive music throughout. These are the hallmarks of a classic Christmas Rom-Com, but it is also the hallmarks of Die Hard, featuring Bruce Willis as off-duty police officer John Maclane. Many of you may be under the impression that Die Hard is an action film, but the gunfights and explosions are actually rather scarce, though what they lack in quantity they make up for in quality. Particularly outstanding is the explosion in the elevator shaft, which seems to the rock the camera to its very core. This film is, in short, is a work of art – and it deserves the franchise that it spawned.

We follow John Maclane as he attends a party at Nakatomi Plaza on Christmas Eve, where the building is overtaken by Hans Gruber and 11 other “terrorists”. While the FBI plot their attack, and the local news network watches, John takes a defiant stand. John’s limo driver Argyle is also there, chilling in the garage. The inclusion of Argyle is, to me, one of the best elements in the entire film, because the film barely pauses to acknowledge him. We’ll be in the middle of a gunfight and suddenly cut to Argyle chatting away on his limo-phone having heard nothing. I’ve always been a fan of juxtapositions like this, though I’m not sure I can aptly explain why. I think it’s because they are a form of expectation subversion which is one of my favourite forms of comedy. Perhaps it’s because I see a little bit of my own lack of observation skills in Argyle, and as such relate to him more than I do John Maclane. Perhaps it’s because I think he’s cute. It could be any and/or all of these things.

As I’m sure we all know, the true hero of Die Hard is Sargent Alan (Al) Powell. At first he seems to be a regular movie cop, buying vast amounts of Twinkies “for his wife” but then he is called to Nakatomi Plaza to investigate a disturbance. He decides that it’s a wild goose chase and that nothing out of the ordinary is happening, until a terrorist falls onto the hood of his police car and he is shot at. While most films might make Al a one-time gag character, Die Hard instead opts to keep him around, making him a straight-man in comparison to the stereotypical FBI and LAPD. Al ends up being one of the most well developed characters ever to exist in an 80’s action movie, if not film in general. The finest character in the piece though, is Hans Gruber portrayed by the late Alan Rickman. Here is a villain who simply saunters into the plot, and casually executes his plan. His gentle tone barely falters, but as members of his crew start dying and his detonators go missing, his bravado starts to falter. Once he discovers Holly Gennero to be the wife of John Maclane, he takes her hostage out of spite. I can’t see Hans at the start of the movie doing anything out of spite, which goes to show how good John is at his job.

Die Hard is a character driven story in the guise of an action blockbuster. While Hans Gruber’s death may be an obvious green screen, the explosions are real. The practical effects, while minimal, are great. CGI has its advantages, but almost nothing beats watching a genuine explosion occur. It’s only topped by watching those same explosions at Christmas time, this year and every year that follows.

Until Next Time…

Signed: Your festive neighbourhood queer

Home Alone

I feel bad for Kevin McCallister, and it’s not because he is abandoned by his family 2 days before Christmas. I feel bad because after facing some of his biggest fears, and two of the clumsiest burglars in America, Kevin is reunited with that very same family. I know that this is supposed to be the emotional crux of the film, but his family is absolutely awful to him. They belittle him with names, eat his food and deliberately ignore him as well as shame him for anything that goes wrong. He is 8 years old, and quite frankly I think someone should call Child Protective Services. This is not the cute Christmas ending you think it is, but let’s start at the beginning.

Home Alone follows 8 year old Kevin as his family accidentally leaves him behind when they go on holiday to Paris. While his mother frantically tries to get home, Kevin protects his home from burglars Harry and Marv. I don’t think there could have been a better team to pull this off. It was written by the late John Hughes, who was no stranger to comedy, and the always phenomenal John Williams. These two minds are professionals at what they do, and what they do is pull at the heartstrings. It also helps that the set dressings absolutely scream Christmas. There are the decorations but many of the curtains, bed-sheets and items of clothing are red, gold or green. Also leaving behind a child, whether intentional or not, is a rather heavy subject for any type of film and hits people of any age. When I was a child, being left alone was a terrifying prospect and as I grew up, my siblings being left alone became the fear. As I’ve grown into an adult, I have gained young cousins and if I were to adopt a child of my own, I would be horrified at the thought of them being alone. That’s why I think Home Alone has stood, and will continue to stand, the test of time.

I think the physical comedy also makes the film timeless, in much the same way that Tom and Jerry or Laurel and Hardy are timeless. There seems to be a distinct difference between timeless, which is this film, and dated, which is what many would call the sequel. I think it comes from writing a story without caring when it’s set, as opposed to using the time period in your story. In Home Alone: Lost in New York there’s the voice recorder and the Donald Trump cameo, among other things. I still enjoy that film, but it’s very much a product of its time, whereas Home Alone works regardless of setting, timing, message, comedy, and heart. It’s no wonder that it became a Christmas classic along with the likes of A Christmas Carol and How the Grinch Stole Christmas despite only being 30 years old. I know to some people that 30 years ago may seem like forever ago, but in terms of cinema, I think that’s fairly young. It’s clear that a lot of passion went into making Home Alone, and it continues to fill me with the festive spirit year after year.

Until Next Time…

Signed: Your festive neighbourhood queer

Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

There is something incredibly nostalgic about these 24 minutes of animation. Originally aired on CBS in the USA in 1966, it has been shown every Christmas since. It would take 3 years before it aired in the UK and I wouldn’t see it until December of 2018. I was of course aware of the 1957 childrens book and I was more than aware of the 2000 film starring Jim Carrey but this specific special somehow evaded me. Thankfully I now own it on DVD and will be sure to make watching it an annual tradition.

Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas tells the tale of a Christmas curmudgeon known as The Grinch and how he steals Christmas from the Whos of Whoville. It may be short but it still manages to convey a pure message about Christmas and what it stands for. I’m sure you know how it ends but let me remind you anyway. Despite stealing every Christmas present and decoration from Whoville and being on the verge of throwing them from Mount Crumpet, The Grinch witnesses the Whos celebrating Christmas anyway. As Dr Suess so elegantly wrote:

“It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!… …Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

This may be a childrens story but it delivers is message so unapologetically and with so much heart that it can deliver to people of all ages. I, watching it for the first time as a 21 year old, found myself being filled with joy and nostalgia. I think it’s the work of legendary Looney Tunes artist Chuck Jones whose various cartoon Christmas specials I remember watching as a child. Perhaps it’s the grainey audio quality that I recognise from those same early cartoons. Perhaps it’s having a story read aloud to me as my mother once did. Perhaps it is the message that capitalism is not and should not be the point of Christmas. There’s so much here to love and connect with that there can be no single reason why it has withstood the test of time. The narration is provided by the great Boris Karloff who sadly passed away in 1969 before this special could air in the UK. His voice delivers an air of sophistication while still having a great warmth to it. Though uncredited at the time, Thurl Ravenscroft provides the vocals to You’re A Mean One, Mr Grinch. He had also sung and provided voices for several Walt Disney projects but, at the time, he was best known for voicing Tony the Tiger in Kelloggs’ Frosted Flakes adverts. I was going to make a joke about how this is ironic because this special is “grrrrreeeeaat” but this special is above that.

Dr Seuss How the Grinch Stole Christmas is fantastic. It really is the Christmas classic that people proclaim it to be. It is a perfect adaptation of a perfect book it continues to bring joy to millions of people.

Until Next Time…

Signed: Your festive neighbourhood queer

The Muppet Christmas Carol

*Dedicated to my Grandpa. I miss you more with each passing day, even after all these years*

It wouldn’t be Christmas without A Christmas Carol, and, for me, it wouldn’t be A Christmas Carol without The Muppets. There are countless iterations of the classic tale, and each one manages to conjure the spirit of the original, but it’s this particular version that I grew up with. Each Boxing Day was spent at my Nanna’s house, and each time eventually the noise of socialising would become to much, which is when I would escape to the spare bedroom and press play on the VHS player. It’s now been some time since Boxing Day celebrations were held in that house, but The Muppet Christmas Carol has become a staple of the season to me.

Based on the 1843 novel by Charles Dickens, we follow Ebeneezer Scrooge as he is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future. Technically we follow Gonzo the Great portraying Charles Dickens, and Rizzo the Rat portraying himself, as they follow Ebeneezer. It’s a perfect addition to the story, injecting some classic Muppet humour while not distracting from the tale itself and adding some culture in the form of Gonzo’s narration. It never feels overused and allows the focus to remain on Scrooge, who is portrayed this time round by the wonderful Sir Michael Caine. His natural likeability is hidden well under Scrooge’s grumpy demeanour, but when it’s finally allowed to shine through it’s delightfully infectious. Ebeneezer is joined by his ex-fiance Belle, his nephew Fred, and Fred’s wife Clara as the only human core cast members. There are humans as background extras but for the most part, the cast is made up of Muppets.

Kermit is overly optimistic as Bob Cratchitt, while his nephew Robin portrays a perfectly adorable Tiny Tim. Sam the Eagle is hilariously monotone as Scrooge’s former headmaster, Fozzy Bear is wonderfully dimwitted as Scrooge’s first employer, and Animal, Rolf, and The Swedish Chef manage to make appearances. Of course, to me, the highlight is Statler and Waldorf’s iconic performances and Robert and Jacob Marley- Scrooges former business partners. As curmudgeons of the dead, it feels like they were born to play these roles. Though The Muppets are “just puppets” they interact with the cast and surroundings in a way that I don’t think CGI ever could. It is perhaps for that reason that they have remained such a beloved memory to many, or perhaps it’s the timeless comedy and their lovable personalities.

In true Muppet style, this has some of the best musical numbers I have ever encountered. Tragically omitted from most versions of the film is Ebeneezer and Belle’s duet When Love is Gone, which is heartbreaking and given the weight it deserves when re-instated. If you’re going to hunt down any copy of The Muppet Christmas Carol, please make it one with this song because it really is worth the extra effort. For every song that tugs at the heartstrings there’s a One More Sleep ‘Till Christmas or a Marley and Marley which are so toe-tapping that you’ll find yourself humming them all year round. Each of the ghosts of Christmas get their own musical accompaniment and costumes which were especially made for the occasion. The Ghost of Christmas Future still sends a shiver down my spine.

The Muppet Christmas Carol would be the first project for Henson Studios since the passing of Jim Henson, and would be dedicated to him. It would also be dedicated to long-time Muppet performer Richard Hunt who passed away a year before the film’s release. Both men were extraordinarily talented, and their contributions to the history of The Muppets are really felt here. It doesn’t seem fair that they would never see what is perhaps the greatest moment in Muppets history. If nothing else, please watch it on their behalf. And so, as Tiny Tim observed,

God bless us every one…

Signed: Your friendly neighbourhood queer