The Muppet Christmas Carol remains a fixture in our festive movie catalogue, but until now, streaming platforms and DVDs haven’t been showing the film as it was intended by director Brian Henson.
The original cut of the movie featured a song entitled When Love Is Gone – which sees Michael Caine’s Scrooge revisit a painful moment from his past. The song was cut from the initial cinema run, but it was included on the Muppet Christmas Carol VHS. I remember it, my sister had it and probably still does.
The song features Scrooge’s lost love Belle singing to him at a crucial juncture in their relationship, as he continues to prioritise his career over their proposed wedding. It’s actually quite poignant and goes a long way to explaining how Scrooge became such a bitter, nasty old skinflint in the first place.
After it was cut from the DVD release, it largely disappeared until Disney Plus included it as a bonus feature on the streaming platform last year. So, it can be watched on Disney Plus, just not in the context of the movie.
When does Muppet Christmas Carol extended cut launch?
Thankfully, Disney is rectifying that in time for the film’s 30th anniversary this year, and we’ll see an extended version of the 4K remaster of the film that was added to the platform in 2021. Users will be able to find it alongside the theatrical version in the “extras” section from December 9.
The extended cut will see the film presented in the way director Brian Henson, the son of Jim and Jane Henson, had originally intended. Henson first revealed the negative footage had been rediscovered (and thus available to be restored to the film in 4K) in an interview with the BBC in 2020 (via Gizmodo).
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“I was so excited. They actually hid it…so I went down and they said: ‘But before we show it to you, we’ve got something else we want to show you’. And they put up reel four of Christmas Carol with ‘When Love Is Gone’,” he said.
“I was like, ‘No, you did not!’ and they said, ‘Yes we did! We found it!’ I was so happy, I was so happy. They are all set with the full-length version again. I don’t know if they are going to get it up on Disney Plus in time for Christmas because they have all these processes but it is coming back, the full-length version is coming back.”
So there you go. The Muppet Christmas Carol extended cut will be available on Disney Plus on December 9.