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Columbia TriStar Home Video presents
Muppet Family Christmas (1987)

"Watch out for that icey patch!"
- Repeated by various characters

Review By: Kevin Clemons  
Published: November 21, 2001

Stars: Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, Kermit The Frog
Other Stars: Jim Henson
Director: Jim Henson

Manufacturer: DVSS
MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing offensive)
Run Time: 00h:42m:05s
Release Date: November 06, 2001
UPC: 043396078147
Genre: holiday

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
B+ A-B+B C

DVD Review

As a child growing up I had a strange fascination with the Muppets. I remember waking every Saturday morning and rushing down the stairs to instantly turn the television on and to whatever channel happened to be showing Muppet Babies, and then later that night I would watch the Muppet Show and hoped it wouldn't end. To be honest, I would do this with nearly every television show, but there is something different about the Muppets. To this day, it is the only show that I can watch as a twenty-four-year-old and not question my thinking, in terms of taste, when I was growing up.

For many, A Muppet Family Christmas is a Christmas classic. As a sort of "all-star" Muppet special, it features nearly every Jim Henson creation—at the time of the special's premiere. Traveling to Fozzie's mother's farmhouse to celebrate Christmas is Kermit, Animal, Gonzo, Bert and Ernie, Big Bird, the Swedish Chef (my favorite), and even Miss Piggy, who obviously is looking forward to kissing Kermit under the mistletoe. As the group crowds the house they learn that the worst blizzard in years is about to hit the area. So, to keep things upbeat, they sing a variety of Christmas songs together, including Animal's cover of Jingle Bell Rock.The talent of Jim Henson is, for myself, the center of A Muppet Family Christmas. It is amazing to see the bevy of Muppet's move around the house so easily together; the interaction and subtle movements are simply amazing. Jim Henson was nothing short of brilliant, and in here his talent shines as bright as ever.

A Muppet Family Christmas is a slimmed-down version of the classic ABC holiday special that I remember fondly from when I was growing up. I say slimmed down because the original television special was nearly an hour in length and was an undisputed holiday treat. What now remains is still a seasonal classic, but it seems like someting good is missing. For those who have never seen the original this won't really matter, but as someone who grew up watching A Muppet Family Christmas, something just doesn't feel right.

Rating for Style: B+
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Presented in full frame, a Muppet Family Christmas offers a considerable improvement over my worn out VHS tape. Colors are vibrant with the yellows of Big Bird's feathers looking absolutely eye-popping. There are very few print flaws or scratches, and though there are moments featuring slight grain, they are kept to a minimum. This is the best I have ever seen this program look.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, French, and Spanishyes

Audio Transfer Review: The Dolby 2-channel mix is offered here in English, French, and Spanish, yet no matter what your choice the results are generally pleasing. Dialogue sounds natural while the songs sound nice throughout the front soundstage. As one would expect, the .1 LFE channel and surround speakers a for the most part nonexistent.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 20 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, French, Spanish
5 Other Trailer(s) featuring Buddy, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Bear In The Big Blue House, Dragon Tales, The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland
Packaging: Amaray
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extras Review: Trailers for Buddy, The Muppets Take Manhattan, Bear In The Big Blue House, Dragon Tales, and The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland are included.

Extras Grade: C


Final Comments

A Muppet Family Christmas is low on plot, yet stuffed to the brim with originality and enjoyment. From the sounds of the group performing a medley of popular Christmas songs to the Swedish Chef trying to cook a holiday meal for everyone, this program is simply a delight. For those looking for something to replace old Christmas time traditions, your collection would be better for the inclusion of this DVD.


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