Book Review: The Muppet Christmas Carol Illustrated Holiday Classic

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Jarrod Fairclough – The Muppet Christmas Carol is a classic holiday movie.  It’s got everything you could ever want – great songs, pathos, rats in Hawaiian shirts.  The biggest problem is that it’s a 86 minutes long, and that’s too long to show the kids before bed.  If only someone would turn it into a picture book instead…

Oh, they did!  Released earlier this month, The Muppet Christmas Carol Illustrated Holiday Classic is quite possibly the best Muppet book there has ever been.

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Adapted by Brooke Vitale, the book does a wonderful job of not only telling the story of Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, but also that of the Muppet version.  While the black text tells the story, other prose is split in blue and green blocks, which indicates Gonzo and Rizzo’s lines respectively.  Their fourth-wall breaking narration is a large part of why the film itself works, and Brooke has done a great job of keeping that intact.  She’s chosen some great lines from the pair, meaning the book has that Muppety sensibility about it.

She’s aided by our good pal Luke Flowers, who illustrates.  Luke is without a doubt the best Muppet artist working at the moment, and this book shows us exactly why.  Each and every page is filled with colorful, expressive illustrations, with Luke displaying his own style while also keeping the characters recognizable and familiar.  The book is simply gorgeous, which is all I could say to myself upon opening it up.

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Literally think about a character you remember from Muppet Christmas Carol.  Not a main one, I mean a background Muppet, one who maybe had a line in ‘It Feels Like Christmas’.  I can almost guarantee Luke has slipped them in somewhere, which shows a genuine love for the source material.  Heck, there are even some hidden easter eggs from other properties, some of which I’m going to spoil for you now.  Spoiler alert, I guess?  If you check out the image of outside Fozziwigs party, you’ll notice a lot of cameos.  Wilkins and Wontkins from the old Wilkins Coffee ads appear in the window, behind Sam from Sam and Friends.  The three are standing in front of two men who look remarkably like Jim Henson and Frank Oz.  Behind Fozziwig in the door you’ll see the outline of Mickey Mouse.  And while he isn’t an exact lookalike, you’ll notice a purple vampire, with a striking similarity to The Count.  Oh, and then Joe Hennes from ToughPigs is in it too, because that guy finds a way to weasel his way in to most things these days.

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Seriously, look at every square inch of this book.  Every single page is a piece of art.  Every nook and cranny has something in there.  You can tell Luke has dedicated himself to it, with references everywhere.  The graveyard scene has some memorials to our dearly departed friends, including The Count, making another appearance.

You’d be a fool not to buy this book, whether for yourself or a friend, or all your friends.  It’s available now right here!

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