Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas (1977)
Very very predictable, including the post credit scene !!!
To me, this movie is perfection.
Your blood may run cold, but you now find yourself pinioned to the story.
Charming Christmas special from Jim Henson, based on the book by Russell and Lillian Hoban. This sweet story is about dirt poor Emmet Otter and his mother. Unbeknownst to each other, they both get the idea to join a talent show in hopes of winning the prize money to buy a gift for the other. It's a sentimental tale with a great moral lesson and some nice songs. Wait until you get a load of the Riverbottom Nightmare Band! Try to find the uncut version if you can. Unfortunately, after Disney acquired the rights to the Muppets, some scenes were removed from the DVD releases. Still, whatever version you watch I'm sure you will enjoy this delightful Christmas special.
This film has a special place in my heart. Long ago, when I was a little boy and in love with the Muppets, I saw this movie on HBO and was enchanted. Considered a trial run for Jim Henson in order to see if making a feature length Muppets was possible, it has become much more than that to the many fans of this wonderful holiday film. Wonderful songs and equally great puppetry meet up with a sugary sweet story that will warm your heart on the most important holiday of the year. Songs like "Our World" and "Barbecue" will ring in your head long after you've seen this. Message of love and giving are sure to have people of all ages happy during Christmas time. I cannot recommend this movie enough!
Cheery Emmet and his kindly Ma are two otters who live in poverty in the quaint rural swampland community of Frogtown Hollow. Both want to buy the other a gift for Christmas, but neither has the money. So they both enter a local talent show contest in order to win the $50 dollar cash prize. This endearingly pleasant and tenderhearted show offers a marvelously delightful wealth of entertainment: the engaging and colorful characters, the brisk pace, the folksy, flavorsome down-home score, the polished photography, the hilarious talent contest show set piece (the split dancing horse is gut-bustingly bad!), the gentle, good-natured humor, the meticulous set and costume design, the catchy and charming songs ("Our World" is an especially lovely tune), the amazingly lifelike and personable puppets (Emmet in particular is adorable), and the sweet, upbeat tone all click just right. The positively astonishing mean'n'growly hard rock harshness of the Riverbottom Nightmare Band rates as a definite highlight. Moreover, the cast voice their parts with infectious aplomb: Jerry Nelson as Emmet, Marilyn Sokol as Ma Otter (her singing voice is truly heavenly!), Dave Goelz as Emmet's amiable porcupine best friend Wendel, Eren Ozker as the snippy Gretchen Fox, and Frank Oz as hostile Riverbottom Nightmare Band ringleader Chuck. But what really makes this program so special and touching is the irresistible glowing warmth that's prominent throughout which in turn makes it a complete joy to watch.
I had seen evidence around my city that very, VERY few people have seen this classic. My friend, Maggie, asked me if I had ever heard of it and commented a lot of people at our college thought she was a little loony. Having recorded it off TV back in '85, it's a classic my family loved to watch every Christmas season. She was thrilled & astounded when I told her how my family obtained the Jim Henson piece! I highly recommend this Muppet special for any family viewing. Going from poverty & odd-jobs just to get by & ending up entertaining with music, the Otter family has their trials & triumphs much like any other excellent Holiday classic. I recall, I believe, HBO airing this over 20 years ago.