In 2022, Christmas came a little early for fans A Muppet Christmas Carol – At least, those who subscribe to Disney Plus. Not only did the streaming service add a 4K restoration of Brian Henson’s 1992 holiday film, but the release came with an extra option for deep-cut fans: a version of the film that restores the song “When Love Goes On.”
The number written by Paul Williams was cut from the theatrical version A Muppet Christmas CarolReportedly at the behest of Disney honcho Jeffrey Katzenberg. Then it was accidentally restored to home video editions. A VHS copy? are included. An 86-minute widescreen DVD release? Not included. Full screen version in 90 minutes Same DVD set? included! The original negatives of the scene were once thought to be lost, then rediscovered, but not in time for the film’s first release on Disney Plus in 2020. Fans will have to wait until the film’s 30th anniversary this year to see “When Love Gone.” A Muppet Christmas Carol on Disney’s flagship streaming service.
The addition sparked a small holiday battle at Polygon, with staff arguing over what the song adds and whether it’s an important part of the film. (Disney is likely having its own internal debate about inclusion: The streamer is offering a theatrical version of the film, including a “full-length version” of the song, and a clip that’s just the song itself, so viewers can take their pick. They depend on preferences.) But what’s a pop culture debate if you don’t invite all of your readers to pick sides? We decided to talk about it publicly.
Tasha Robinson: Well, let’s make one thing clear: I saw it A Muppet Christmas Carol A week ago for the first time, thanks to friends who were surprised that I had never seen it before and made a group to watch it online. (They actually found out last year in our group’s semi-hateful look White Christmas, and insisted on arranging this week’s screening almost a year ago. It’s dedicated!)
Often that means I’m not in this conversation with a long-term memory for the film or any internal metrics that make up the “right” version. It doesn’t feel weird and out of place to my ears, say, lost The Wizard of Oz The musical number “Jitterbug” performed when the Guardians first discovered and released the footage. You are more than one A Muppet Christmas Carol Doctor than me, Susanna – has this affected your opinion here?
Susana Polo: And vice versa. Although it was cut from the theatrical version, “When Love Gone” was accidentally included in the home video versions. All the copies my family had, from VHS to today, included the scene. It is always there for me. And yeah, I think it’s suuuuuuuuu- I mean, yeah, I think it’s the weakest part of the movie. But how does it harm you, fresh for glory A Muppet Christmas Carol?
Tasha: As an integral part of the story, honestly! We first saw the theatrical cut, and the scene, where Ebenezer Scrooge’s young romance ends, with him leading the bitter miser, seemed to me strangely diminished and confused. I wasn’t really sure why he was drowning her! The cut scene isn’t just a song, it’s all about how he postpones their wedding, and how he realizes that he doesn’t love her anymore, and continues with his plans without really realizing it. This is a very important condition!
And then I thought that the song itself was very beautiful. It’s another one from frequent Muppet singer Paul Williams, the man behind Muppet classics like “Rainbow Connection” and “I’ll Go Back There Someday.” This song is not in that class, but to me, it has a similar taste of sweet laughter and sweet harmonies. Why do you hate it so much?
Susanna: See, now that’s an interesting flip. I’ve basically never seen a movie without this scene, given that I was in elementary school when it was in theaters. It wasn’t really clear to me until now that Katzenberg was degenerate His character was all over the place. It was a very foolish thing for him to do. And it makes me doubly happy that Disney Plus has been restored.
As one would expect from every single scene in the movie, there are a lot of things going on in “When Love Goes Away.” A Muppet Christmas Carol, as you say, at least introducing the musical motif that recurs in the final moments of the film. If nothing else, it should be included in any release of the film for protection. This is what I fully believe.
It’s just that I object to “When Love Flies” on the grounds that it makes good music. The song itself isn’t that great, it’s barely done, and it’s done uncreatively, but more than that, it takes the audience on a long journey with a character we know a little about and who narrates the story. Totally Drops – Marking as a true departure in the realm of absolute barren musical arrangements.
Tasha: It’s only a few minutes! It’s not that long! And that’s about our last touch point for young, emotional Scrooge before his heart hardens. So she’s the focus here, not his least developed love interest!
But for the most part, I’ll admit that you’re right on the nose here, and that it’s a very flawed scene, largely because we don’t know who Bill really is. (Besides being played by singing stage star Meredith Brown.) So the sudden focus on her emotional pain feels very strange, especially when she’s at peace forever after.
But none of this is what I expected for a long time A Muppet Christmas Carol Fans to Object – Here I thought most of the people who wanted to miss this song felt like it contained a dramatic, sad, Muppet-less number in a movie full of Muppets, two humans moving on with their most primitive love. does Story, and not a puppy in the eye. Is that in your mind when you think about cutting this scene? What are your biggest objections here?
Susanna: Clearly, I think the whole scene should be rethought before filming. The whole thing is how we’re not invested in Bill and won’t see him again when the music on this song is over. But I have many questions:
Why is the visual stage of this solo number like that? speechless Boring? She never even takes her hands off her cute little Victorian muff. [Ed. note: While gathering images to lay out this post I discovered that Belle is actually not wearing a muff at all, she just keeps her hands so still and pinned to her stomach for the whole song that I Mandela Effect-ed one into existence. I am noting this in case you too believed that Belle was a muff-wearer.] why on the earth Wasn’t this number designed for a joint song between Bill, Young Scrooge, and Old Scrooge? We can still end up with the Bell and Present Scrooge syncronism – it’s perfect and I have no notes.
If I had To do a scene with this song, I think the best solution would be to simply strip it down to its essence. Bell describes the full character development here in the first verse and chorus. The second verse is about… how does he feel about the adventure that takes him away from a full life and worries that he might regret it? But then he leaves anyway! It’s not kidding. Cut straight to her from the end of the first course and present Scrooge on the bridge and outside. Short, sweet, it conveys all that we need, it introduces the musical form to call later, and it chooses a state of disharmony.
Tasha: I’m going to bet you don’t let Bill start singing with young Scrooge – intuitively, I know it’s the same character, but seeing Bill and this random young introvert makes me feel like we’re see two Characters we barely know and don’t connect with meaningfully. And again, this scene isn’t really about the young Scrooge, it’s about the old man who watches and remembers the moment that pushes him into the process of convincing himself. likes His lonely, bitter, impressive life. Young Scrooge does not feel any great at this moment, and that is what the scene tells us. (The guy playing him looks like he’s focused on making a convincing Michael Caine face as he watches his planned life unfold before him.)
This string is part of what makes the song so great! Young Scrooge literally just fades into the background from her, out of focus, while she’s still singing about leaving him! He proves her point in that moment – he doesn’t want to fight for her or argue with her, he’s going to do his job. that is not full of regret, so it’s up to Present Scrooge to step up and express that regret—and maybe even realize and admit it for the first time in his life. Their juxtaposition—past and present fully in conversation—is what’s so beautiful about this scene to me. The sight of an old man realizing for the first time that he does not know everything, arrogant and self-confident in his youth? There’s a lot to pack into the song, but as stiff as the string is and as fake and plastic as the set, Michael Caine steps up in the moment and the addition of his voice really brings it all out.
Susanna: I never really thought about it – for a long time it was the only place in the movie where I’d get up to pee or get another cookie and a hot chocolate, so I really like that alternative. I enjoy view
Perhaps half of this situation is simply that Muppets musicians have historically struggled to fit the genre’s essential grossing romance song into a Muppet movie. Examples range from forgettable (“He’ll make me happy,” The Muppets Take Manhattan) to the cloyingly saccharine and not really supported by the plot (“Love led us here,” Muppet’s Treasure Islandto campy bombast (“Never before, never again!” The Muppet Movie; “The first time this happened” The Great Muppet Keeper). I think the best romance song in a Muppet movie might be “Can’t We Ride.” The Great Muppet Keeperand it’s really just a little bit about how great it is to ride a bike in the park with your love, as well as a complicated puppy job pulled off with great ease.
Tasha: Yeah, I sure as hell won’t try to sing you Muppet love songs in general. I firmly believe that the Muppets are at their best when they’re being completely sincere, and my favorite Muppets songs are the kind of painfully funny songs that Williams writes, including the ones I mentioned above. and “When the River Meets the Sea,” a sweet holiday song about death.
But somehow that sincerity never really translates into good Muppet songs about romantic love. Mules can love the rain, art, vulgarity, the wonderful fantasy of belonging to one’s own place, or (I’ll say it again) the sweet embrace of death, but when they love each other Tries, the chemistry doesn’t work, and it just falls flat. It’s probably a good thing that Gonzo and Rizzo aren’t trying to get involved in “When Love Flies.” For me, at least, it’s a flawed but interesting number that creates some important characters for the film. This is not a love song for the ages. But in the ways it works, it probably works best because it puts aside the Muppets for a moment and appeals directly to the humanity of the audience.