Those that attended the Muppet’s panel at the D23 Expo were in for a special treat as the Muppets themselves alongside four imperative contributors of the film and a special guest shared memories from the popular favorite holiday film.
The Muppets Panel at D23
Can you believe that it has been 30 years since the Muppets debuted The Muppet Christmas Carol? This holiday film has become a family household staple across the world during the Christmas season. In fact, Brian Henson, the director of the film, shared with the audience that the film has been rated the best version of Charles Dickon’s story in the United Kingdom as it is the only film that is truest to the novel.
The panel opened with Miss Piggy, Kermit, Gonzo, and Robin as they interacted with Nina West, the host of the panel. The group began a formal interview about their time filming The Muppet Christmas Carol. Next, the panel transitioned into a segment with Brian Henson, director of film and son to the late Jim Henson, Paul Williams, music composer of the film, and also the brilliant mastermind who composed Kermit the Frog’s Rainbow Connection, Dave Goelz, voice of Gonzo, and Polly Smith, costumer designer. They spent a great deal sharing about their experience creating the movie.
“When Love is Gone”
At one point during the panel, Brian Henson revealed why the song “When Love is Gone” was cut from the film. Ironically enough, it was due to a pre-screening to an audience and several kids asked to use the restroom during the song. While they cut it from its theatrical release, they were going to include it back in for the home release. However, the studio lost the original negative for the scene making it impossible to recover.
Brian continued to share that a couple years ago, Disney found another original cut of the film, and they were able to restore the film. This version of the film will be released on Disney+ beginning on December 11, 2022.
It was at this time during the panel that Brian announced to the audience that we would be treated to a special guest singing the song. It was none other than Jodi Benson, the voice of Ariel from The Little Mermaid, who came out to sing. Another fun fact that was shared was that Jodi noted that the song, “Part of Your World” was almost cut due to a child spilling popcorn during a pre-screening of the film!
When the panel came to a close, The Muppets from the beginning of the panel which included Fozzie, Gonzo, Kermit, Miss Piggy, Kermit’s nephew, Robin, Penguins and a couple of vegetables came together to join Nina West for a medley from The Muppet Christmas Carol.
It may be have been September during the D23 Expo, but enjoying the film’s soundtrack of songs that we love to hear during the holiday season was quite a wonderful experience especially for Muppet fans of all ages. Overall, the panel was wonderful to attend! I (Marisol) look forward to watching the restored version of the film!