A Muppet Family Christmas / The Christmas Toy

A Muppet Family Christmas / The Christmas Toy [DVD]

Release Date: November 3, 2003
Studio: Columbia Tristar
Actors: Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Richard Hunt, Kathryn Mullen, Jerry Nelson
Directors: Eric Till, Peter Harris

A warm Yuletide special, A Muppet Family Christmas pairs the Muppet gang with the perennial favourite Sesame Street cast for a seasonal celebration. With a blizzard brewing outside, Fozzie's childhood farmhouse on Christmas Eve becomes the backdrop for a medley of holiday tunes--eight in all--ranging from the Muppet band's rousing "Jingle Bell Rock" to Big Bird's sweet rendition of "The Christmas Song". Though the script meanders in part, the 42-minute programme shines as a musical revue, seasoned with quick-witted interludes by the culinary comedic Swedish Chef, slapstick odd couple Ernie and Bert, and the diva-like escapades of Miss Piggy. While lacking the irresistible sizzle of The Muppet Movie, the show's finale, which includes Kermit and Piggy under the mistletoe and a cameo appearance by Jim Henson, proves that nothing can dim the Muppets' appeal. --Lynn Gibson

In the 50-minute Christmas TV Special, The Christmas Toy, Rugby the Tiger is Jamie's favourite Christmas toy from last year. Rugby is convinced that he will be wrapped up and placed under the tree again this year. When it's Christmas Eve and all the other toys try to explain to him that that is not going to happen, Rugby decides to take matters into his own paws and place himself under the tree. He makes the dangerous trip from the playroom to the living room trying not to be seen, for if a toy's secret of being able to move when humans aren't around is discovered, it becomes frozen forever. Now all his friends from the toy room must get him back before it's too late. This sweet story about friendship and loyalty is delightful, as are the songs, including "Try the Impossible" and "Old Friends". Think Toy Story with Muppetts. --Peggy Maltby-Etra