At long last, it is the twelfth day of Muppet Christmas, and not a moment too soon because my brain has more or less turned into guacamole. But before we wrap up, we must take a look at the narrators in Muppet Christmas Carol and Christmas Carol ’99.
Most of Christmas Carol ’99 dispenses with narrators. It’s only within the last five minutes or so that Fred chimes in with voiceover narration to inform us that Tiny Tim survives and Scrooge becomes a changed man. The gist of the story is conveyed successfully without any narrator at all, and I contend that a narrator was not strictly necessary for the production.
Gonzo (as Charles Dickens) and Rizzo do more than narrate the story in MCC. They provide the Muppet humor and sensibility. For long stretches of screen time, they’re the only Muppets on screen at all, and they bear the brunt of the comic relief. Maybe it would have been possible to make a version of Muppet Christmas Carol without any narrators, but it wouldn’t have been a true Muppet movie; it would have just been a movie with some Muppets in it.
MCC wouldn’t be what it is without Gonzo and Rizzo, and therefore I deem them to be more essential than the voiced-over afterthought at the end of Christmas Carol ’99.
Advantage: Muppet Christmas Carol