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Muppet Christmas Carol: The Scribbling Cut

The Scribbling Man

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Merry Christmas, everyone!

Tis the season to be editing, and so I’m very happy to present you with:

The_Muppet_Poster_2.jpg

 
This is a very light edit of one of my favourite Christmas movies. I’m a big Muppets  fan and I tend to watch this nearly every year (as well as reading the Dickens novella)  – however, watching it on a yearly basis, the same things always bother me - The odd cliché line, overly kiddish element, and more than anything – THE PENGUIN CHRISTMAS SKATING PARTY; a corny scene that drags and generally feels like it’s only there for the sake of having penguins in a Christmas Movie.

For those familiar with the source material, here's an example of the largest cut made:
Original:

The Gist:

  • Trimmed Gonzo and Rizzo antics
  • Improved comic timing (IMO)
  • Reduced cringeworthy/cliche elements
  • Added outtakes to credits (just for fun)
 
Full Cut-list:

  • Added fanedit.org templates
  • Added Scribbling Man branding
  • Added new title
  • Cut Gonzo and Rizzo commenting during Scrooge and nephew convo
  • Heavily trimmed “The Penguins Christmas Skating Party”
  • Cut “there are only two things I hate in life…”
  • Cut “you are such an idiot” – “What?” etc.
  • Trimmed Gonzo catching Rizzo
  • Cut “Hello world, goodbye lunch”
  • Cut “Spirit” “Yes?” “Nothing”
  • Cut post-dragged-through-the-woods chicken introduction
  • Cut “Nice Kitty”
  • Cut Gonzo’s “What?” after “You have all the fun”
  • Removed cheesy song from credits and replaced with a gag reel (taken from 50th Anniversery Edition special features)
  • Re-synced outtakes (for whatever reason, the source featurette is slightly out of sync)

Special Thanks:


  •  to Sinbad, ThrownGPR and Captain Kahijt for technical assistance
  •   to my sister, for doing a quick poster design, despite her busy schedule
  •   to good beer and King Kong (1933), for providing much needed brain relief

File size - 2.89 GB (MP4)

Original runtime - 85 minutes
Time Cut - 4
Edit runtime - 81 minutes

This is very much a personal edit, but there’s always the chance that some of you have similar feelings and would like to see it - so here you go!
 

MusicEd921

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Ah, a true Christmas classic!

It looks like you're done, but have you thought about inserting Belle's song "When Love is Gone" back into the movie?  It's only available on the FULLSCREEN DVD release, but with some cropping it could find it's way back into the film.
 

The Scribbling Man

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musiced921 said:
Ah, a true Christmas classic!

It looks like you're done, but have you thought about inserting Belle's song "When Love is Gone" back into the movie?  It's only available on the FULLSCREEN DVD release, but with some cropping it could find it's way back into the film.

Interesting! I've never actually heard of that, and I don't think it's on my copy. I'll see if I can find it on YouTube. If I like it, maybe I'll consider buying that edition so that I can insert it.
 

Sinbad

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Ahhhh, all is revealed... will sit down on Christmas Eve with the kids for this one for sure! :)
 

The Scribbling Man

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Found Belle's song on YouTube, for those interested:


Can't say I'm a big fan of the song, but it certainly gives Scrooge more character development. His reaction from when he starts singing is heartbreaking (Michael Caine is great in this film).
 

MusicEd921

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The Scribbling Man said:
Found Belle's song on YouTube, for those interested:


Can't say I'm a big fan of the song, but it certainly gives Scrooge more character development. His reaction from when he starts singing is heartbreaking (Michael Caine is great in this film).

It also explains the jarring looking cut that's in the film since they didn't do a good job cutting out the song.  Just food for thought.  If you don't include it, it won't take away from your edit, but it does provide a little more to the story overall.

Looking forward to this!
 

The Scribbling Man

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musiced921 said:
It also explains the jarring looking cut that's in the film since they didn't do a good job cutting out the song.  Just food for thought.  If you don't include it, it won't take away from your edit, but it does provide a little more to the story overall.

Looking forward to this!

Very happy to have a go at putting this in at somepoint - however, by time I get a copy of the DVD and have come back from visiting my family it will be past Christmas time. I don't have any means of editing where I am now. 

In the meantime, the current version is completely finished. So feel free to PM me if you'd like to see it.
 

MusicEd921

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Sounds good!  Congrats on finishing up the edit!
 

The Scribbling Man

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So I just had a showing of this with my family and I noticed that jarring cut where Belle's song was removed. Never noticed it before, but now I know it will bother me forever - unless I either go back and smooth it over, or re-insert the deleted song as you suggested. 

So, yeah... Thanks, @"musiced921" - ignorance was bliss! :p
 

TM2YC

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The Scribbling Man said:
So I just had a showing of this with my family and I noticed that jarring cut where Belle's song was removed. Never noticed it before, but now I know it will bother me forever - unless I either go back and smooth it over, or re-insert the deleted song as you suggested. 

So, yeah... Thanks, @"musiced921" - ignorance was bliss!

IIRC - The song was in the finished cut of the film approved by Henson but it was felt that a whole sequence sans-Muppets would not play well to kids, so the studio insisted on it being cut for the theatrical release. When the VHS, Laserdisc and pan&scan DVD releases (and TV broadcasts I assume) came round, Henson naturally reverted to his intended cut. That was the version that 99% of kids grew up with for about a 15 year period and we all loved that song (IMO The finale reprise of "The love we've found" doesn't make a lick of sense without it?) Then when the widescreen DVD and later blu-rays/VOD came out they have all reverted to the trimmed theatrical version. Not sure why Disney don't wanna double their money and put out both?
 

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From what I can see, Belle's song isn't available on any of the UK DVD releases, which could pose a problem. Anyone know if incorporating footage from PAL and NTSC is relatively doable?
 

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The song is available in widescreen and essentially HD-ish (not quite as clear as the rest of the film) as an iTunes extra in the US and assume it’s the same across the pond.  That would of course require some other programs to use the footage in editing but it’s a source!
 

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Dr. Chim Richalds said:
The song is available in widescreen and essentially HD-ish (not quite as clear as the rest of the film) as an iTunes extra in the US and assume it’s the same across the pond.  That would of course require some other programs to use the footage in editing but it’s a source!

Yowzers! You're right! It's a christmas miracle (Firing up the fanediting tools shortly  :D).
 

The Scribbling Man

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Dr. Chim Richalds said:
The song is available in widescreen and essentially HD-ish (not quite as clear as the rest of the film) as an iTunes extra in the US and assume it’s the same across the pond.  That would of course require some other programs to use the footage in editing but it’s a source!

Could you link me to it? I can only find the song as part of the soundtrack.
 

The Scribbling Man

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Can't believe I never noticed until recently, but this looks so much like Beaker is giving Scrooge the finger:


I'd have sworn it was a sneaky gag for older audiences, until I saw this:

Screenshot_2017_12_12_13_29_17_504.jpg
 

Sinbad

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The Scribbling Man said:
From what I can see, Belle's song isn't available on any of the UK DVD releases, which could pose a problem. Anyone know if incorporating footage from PAL and NTSC is relatively doable?

I would try converting the ntsc clip to pal first (as lossless as possible) if the converted file looks ok you are all good to add it in with the rest. it would be panning shots that might be jerky because its missing a frame.
 

TM2YC

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The Scribbling Man said:
From what I can see, Belle's song isn't available on any of the UK DVD releases, which could pose a problem. Anyone know if incorporating footage from PAL and NTSC is relatively doable?

It can be done but needs done carefully and correctly (see tech forum). The NTSC footage needs inverse-telecined back to progressive 24fps(ish) and then sped up to PAL 25fps. Not doing it properly will make a right mess.
 

The Scribbling Man

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TM2YC said:
The Scribbling Man said:
From what I can see, Belle's song isn't available on any of the UK DVD releases, which could pose a problem. Anyone know if incorporating footage from PAL and NTSC is relatively doable?

It can be done but needs done carefully and correctly (see tech forum). The NTSC footage needs inverse-telecined back to progressive 24fps(ish) and then sped up to PAL 25fps. Not doing it properly will make a right mess.

Thanks. That's good to know. I think that getting hold of an NTSC source that includes the scene will probably be Plan B. Plan A would be if the iTunes release includes it as an extra for UK customers, in which case I may as well do an HD version of the whole edit. I can't seem to work out if that is the case or not though. No details on extras that I can see, and I don't want to buy it without being sure.
 

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Man, I'm torn about this. On the one hand, we've never had a Muppet fan edit on this forum before, so I'm thrilled that anyone is tackling such an edit. On the other hand, MCC is pretty near perfect to me, so I'm not sure I'd enjoy any editing of it. :D

That being said, more power to you, and I hope you're able to get it just the way you want it! (And kudos to you for deciding to put "When Love is Gone" back into the movie!)
 

The Scribbling Man

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TomH1138 said:
Man, I'm torn about this. On the one hand, we've never had a Muppet fan edit on this forum before, so I'm thrilled that anyone is tackling such an edit. On the other hand, MCC is pretty near perfect to me, so I'm not sure I'd enjoy any editing of it. :D

That being said, more power to you, and I hope you're able to get it just the way you want it! (And kudos to you for deciding to put "When Love is Gone" back into the movie!)

I agree! It is a NEAR perfect movie ;)

I love it to bits - hence why I watch it every year. It's for you to judge for yourself whether or not my cuts are justified. Personally, I can't see any merit in the Penguins Christmas Skating Party, and I'm glad to be rid of it, but the other cuts are all very minor trims and, as I said, chiefly personal. I think that some of the gags get milked past the point in which they are funny - sometimes lines are added, when all that is needed is a comic pause. Plus, the narrative flow is sometimes (ironically) harmed by Gonzo and Rizzo's comments.

Although I've not got my computer atm, I have my drive, which has a couple of rendered clips on it. If you'd like to see an example or two (if I can find them), I'd be happy to upload them and post here.

Out of curiosity, what are your thoughts on the Penguins Christmas Skating Party?
 
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