It’s a Christmas miracle. A song that was thought to have been lost from festive classic The Muppet Christmas Carol has been found and returned to its rightful place.
Brian Henson, son of Jim Henson, has said he is 'so happy' to have the song, called When Love Is Gone, returned to the film for its 4K remaster.
The song is sung by Meredith Braun's Belle to the young Scrooge in the 1991 movie.
But Disney producer Jeffrey Katzenberg removed it from the theatrical release of the movie, feeling that it was too 'sophisticated emotionally' and would not appeal to younger viewers.
Though it featured in the original VHS version of the film, when it came to converting it to DVD, it was only the cinema version that was available.
It was thought that both the negative and the original master were lost, but now Henson has revealed that it's back, and that the crew remastering the film saved its inclusion to surprise him.
It was only when he was called in to view the new version that he found it that the song had been found.
Speaking to the BBC, he said: “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.
“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.”
Speaking about the discussion with Katzenberg all those years ago, he added: “I reluctantly agreed (to remove it) because he said: 'If you say you're not going to do it, you don't have to do it', and I was like: 'Well now, darn it, I guess I will because you want me to'.
“The agreement was we would remove it from the theatrical release but then put it back in for all of the television and video releases from then on.”
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The movie finds Michael Caine as the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, and Steven Mackintosh as his young nephew Fred, while the Muppets take on the bulk of the roles, with Kermit as Bob Cratchit, Fozzy Bear as Mr. ‘Fozziwig’, Robin as Tiny Tim and Gonzo as Charles Dickens.
It's not yet known whether Disney+ will be uploading the movie in time for Christmas, but Henson said that they would have to 'scramble' to do it in time.
The interview with Henson will be aired on Radio 2 on Christmas Day.