Muppet Christmas Carol creators on reason for cutting "emotional" song

Dan Seddon
·2-min read

From Digital Spy

Perennial festive favourite The Muppet Christmas Carol originally had to ditch a song because the test audience seemed bored.

As the movie turns 28 this year, director Brian Henson (son of puppeteer and filmmaker Jim Henson) and songwriter Paul Williams sat down with Entertainment Weekly to discuss the musical number, which the latter admits was a gem.

If you fancy looking it up online, it's titled 'When Love is Gone' and was performed by Ebenezer Scrooge's fiancée Belle (played by Meredith Braun).

Photo credit: Park Circus - YouTube
Photo credit: Park Circus - YouTube

Related: The best Christmas movies of all time, ranked

During the post-production phase, Disney's then-studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg noticed how youngsters were fidgeting throughout this emotional moment in the movie.

"[Katzenberg] never forced me to do anything, but he said, 'Do you see how antsy those kids are getting?'" explained Williams. "He's like, 'It's just a little too adult-emotional for little kids to stay connected'.

"[The movie] certainly plays well without the song, but I obviously preferred having the song in. I think it's good for kids to be pulled into deeply emotional moments, even if they feel slightly awkward about it when they're in a movie theater."

Photo credit: YouTube
Photo credit: YouTube

Related: The surprisingly turbulent history of the Muppets

The lyricist went on to reveal: "It's one of my favourite things I've ever written in my life, that song," before Henson paid homage to Paul and Meredith's "genius".

Sometimes, that's just how it goes in the movie business.

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