’A Muppet Family Christmas’ arrives on DVD in time for the holidays and brings a farmhouse full of fun with it. Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, Gonzo and the rest of the crew from ’The Muppet Show’ decide to spend Christmas with Fozzie’s mother on her farm. (Much to her chagrin, as she was on her way to Florida.) They are soon joined by the familiar characters from ’Sesame Street’ and the party is in full swing. Yet, Kermit can’t relax, because Miss Piggy (who ran late at a photo shoot) is trying to get to the farm to join them, and a blizzard is on the way.
Full of great slapstick comedy, hummable songs, and a great deal of warmth, ’A Muppet Family Christmas’ is a superior holiday special and a must for Muppet fans. The show offers the traditional Muppet humor and allows the ’Sesame Street’ folks to get in on the laughs. Actually, this is one of the rare occasions when the majority of characters from each show was together for one project. (Be on the lookout for a ’pre-hype’ Elmo in the background.) Yes, parts of this special are dated, as most viewers below the age of 15 will have no idea what a Fraggle is, but the universal appeal of the special should overcome these flaws. Also, there is a short appearance by Jim Henson at the end of the show, which is very bittersweet.
Columbia TriStar rolls out ’A Muppet Family Christmas’ for DVD. As this was originally a TV special, the show is presented full-frame. The show, which was shot on video, looks great here, as the image is very sharp and clear. There is no grain or distortion, nor is there any video artifacting. The colors are fantastic (especially the Fraggle scene) and show no signs of bleeding. The 2.0 Surround audio is fine, offering clear dialogue, nice reproductions of the songs, and some surround action.
Muppet purists should be warned about this DVD however! For reasons unexplained, the scene in which Fozzie first meets the talking snowman has been removed from this version, making some later scenes awkward.