The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
On a “cold, bleak, biting” Christmas Eve, Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his business partner Jacob Marley. Marley’s ghost tells Scrooge he will be visited by three spirits that night, and that he must listen to them or be cursed to carry chains made of his own sins. Scrooge, “a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner” hates Christmas, calling it “humbug.” He refuses his nephew Fred’s Christmas dinner invitation, rudely turns away two gentlemen seeking donations for Christmas dinner for the poor, and his only “Christmas gift” is allowing his overworked, underpaid clerk, Bob Cratchit, Christmas Day off with pay. This he considers “a poor excuse for picking a man’s pocket every 25th of December!”
The first of the spirits, the Ghost of Christmas Past, takes Scrooge to Christmas scenes of Scrooge’s boyhood and youth, stirring the old miser’s tender side by reminding him of a time when he was kinder and more innocent.
The second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present, takes Scrooge to several different celebrations of Christmas: a joy-filled market, Fred’s Christmas party, and to Bob Cratchit’s family feast, where Scrooge learns that Cratchit’s youngest son, Tiny Tim, full of simple happiness despite being seriously ill, will soon die unless the course of events changes.
The third spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, reveals that Tiny Tim has died because Cratchit could not afford proper care on his meager salary. A visit to a neglected grave with a tombstone bearing Scrooge’s name leaves Scrooge sobbing and promising to change his ways.
Scrooge awakens on Christmas morning with joy and love in his heart. He spends the day with Fred’s family, sends a prize turkeyto the Cratchit home for Christmas dinner, and gives Cratchit a raise. A changed man, Scrooge now treats everyone with kindness, generosity, and compassion to embody the spirit of Christmas.