Balladeer’s Blog’s TENTH Annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon hurls toward its finale tomorrow! Here’s a look at yet another version of the Dickens Yuletide classic. And remember, if you have any 11 + sauce to spare in this holiday season, please donate it to the Ethan Van Sciver family.
A SESAME STREET CHRISTMAS CAROL (2006) – This 46 minute special, which presents Oscar the Grouch as the Ebenezer Scrooge substitute, opens and closes with some very Christmassy scenes of artificial snow falling on the Sesame Street set. The apartments on that street are all decorated for the holiday so everything looks very festive.
Obviously this version of A Christmas Carol is aimed at children and pretty much only children so don’t expect the broader appeal that lies in A Muppet Christmas Carol. Still, anyone with children of their own or nieces or nephews or really young siblings can take 46 minutes to hang out with the kids while they enjoy this.
The story does not follow the actual plot of A Christmas Carol but instead uses the ghostly visits as framing devices for short sketches featuring the likes of Big Bird, Tickle-Me-Elmo, Bert & Ernie, Snuffle-upagus and Mr Hooper. This is ideal for children’s shorter attention spans while the adults can enjoy long-ago clips from when Hooper and the original voice actors for those Muppets were all still alive.
We start with Oscar the Grouch trying to barricade himself in his garbage can to avoid all that mushy Christmas cheer. He is visited by Joe Marley, a Muppet who works as a delivery man for the Scaredy-Pants Delivery Service. Marley informs the annoyed Oscar that he will be receiving three packages which contain Ghost-O-Grams.
Marley’s delivery of the first Ghost-O-Gram unleashes Rhubarb the Grouch of Christmas Past, a revered figure in Grouch history according to the awestruck Oscar. This ghost wears the chains that Marley’s Ghost usually sports but what can ya do?
Rhubarb makes references to the kind of garbage he wallowed in back in 1843, a nice reference to the year A Christmas Carol was published. The Ghost shows Oscar past Christmases in the form of a few clips from previous Sesame Street Christmas specials.
We get the Bert & Ernie version of O Henry’s Gift of the Magi plus Big Bird pining for (no, not the fjords) the company of his buddy Snuffle-upagus. Big Bird sings the only tolerable song in this thing. It’s titled All I Want For Christmas Is You, but it’s not the same song sung by Mariah Carey.
Up next is the Ghost of Christmas Present, portrayed by a female figure called Christmas Carole. She’s basically a Christmas tree with a head, face and arms. She shows Oscar scenes from what is supposed to be Christmas Present but is actually more short clips, largely from Elmo Saves Christmas.
Elmo learns that if every day was Christmas, then Christmas would become meaningless, but we can all still carry the spirit of Christmas with us throughout the year, blah blah blah.
This Ghost also shows Oscar scenes of Hanukkah and similar celebrations but those scenes feature all-human actors, no fun Muppets or cartoon characters.
The Ghost of Christmas Future (yes, this is one of the versions which fails to call it the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come) is a “futuristic” robot called iSam. This ghost shows Oscar some over-the-top Christmas celebrations of the future courtesy of all the high-tech advancements by then. It’s like a parody of those 1950s shorts which would speculate on futuristic kitchens, automobiles, etc.
In the end Oscar of course hasn’t learned anything and won’t stop being a Grouch but that’s to be expected. Our Scrooge stand-in DOES get his own holiday happiness in the form of all the garbage that gets thrown out after all the Christmas gifts are unwrapped.
Some critics complain about the CGI Christmas Ghosts and the use of old clips, but they’re just being Scrooges (as it were). The old clips in particular might bring a tear to the eyes of adults who remember Mr Hooper and the original voice actors from their own childhoods.
A Sesame Street Christmas Carol is much more touching and Christmassy than the soulless Disney cartoon Mickey’s Christmas Carol. It’s ideal for sharing with your children (think of Cara from Cara Has Angels fame and her son) but don’t expect sophisticated adult storytelling from this holiday special.
And don’t read anything into the line “Get your own ho-ho-ho!”
FOR MORE VERSIONS OF A CHRISTMAS CAROL CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/category/a-christmas-carol-2/