It's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie [2002]

Kermit takes center stage in this hilarious, parody-laden celebration of Muppetry, pulsating with original music, a star-studded cast of human cameos, and a heartwarming story reminiscent of It's a Wonderful Life. Joan Cusack plays the deliciously villainous Miss Bitterman, a ruthless banker who succeeds in foreclosing on the Muppet Theatre only days before Kermit's Christmas extravaganza. As Kermit loses his livelihood, he plunges into the "I wish I'd never been born" mind-set instantly recognizable to George Bailey fans. It's going to take some Divine intervention (Whoopi Goldberg is cast as God, no less), plus a little help from a heavenly "Clarence." Despite some moments where the script seems adrift (how hard it must be to live up to the irresistible precedent set by the 1979 premier Muppet Movie) and some humor that borders on risqué, Fozzie and the gang are in fine form. The message is sweet: dreams are as vital to life as loyal friendships are to see them through. (Ages 5 and older) --Lynn Gibson

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