Muppet Christmas Carol songs: Why was one song cut from original movie?

Bohemian Rhapsody – The Muppets

The Muppet Christmas Carol is a movie which fans run to every Christmas Eve to enjoy with their families. The film has, in recent years, made an obvious skip at one moment, when a song is interrupted. It turns out this was removed from the film, but it looks as though it will be coming back.

Muppet Christmas Carol tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, as he is visited by three ghosts who show him his life in the past, present and future in order to help him mend his ways.

This version, as the name suggests, has some of Jim Henson’s famous Muppets involved, with them playing key characters in the well-known tale.

However, one moment has been missing for some time, which was when a young Ebenezer and his fiancee, Belle, break up.

To explain her feelings about this, Belle sings to Ebenezer ‘When Love is Gone,’ as Sir Michael Caine, as the older Scrooge, watches on in tears.

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The moment is heartbreaking, but when Scrooge sees the light as the film ends, it is reprised with new lyrics, ‘The Love We’ve Found.’

At some point, in versions released all around the world, Belle’s song was removed, with fans wondering what happened to it.

Brian Henson, the son of Muppets creator Jim and director of Muppet Christmas Carol, revealed in 2018 what happened to that moment.

He told The Big Issue: “It’s because Disney lost the negative. I made the movie with When Love Is Gone in it and then I removed it for the theatrical release – because the studio wanted the movie shorter – with the agreement that I would put it back in again for the video release.

“We made a video master with When Love Is Gone then we cut it out, spliced the negative, for the theatrical release.

“But in the process, they lost the video master and they still have not been able to find the negative.”

As a result, not only was it different in cinemas but DVD versions did not have the song as it was based on the cinematic master, rather than the original, meaning many young people have not seen the original song unless their family owns the VHS version.

Brian also struggled when the movie went to Blu-ray, as he said the lower resolution made it clear there was a cut.

He continued: “I’m still pressuring them to find it. They keep swearing to me that there is no way it has been lost forever, and I keep saying, ‘but it’s been 20 years!’

“They’re still searching. I call them like every month to ask if they’re still looking. One of these days they’ll find it.”

It turns out, that day has finally come, as Brian confirmed on BBC Radio 2 the song had been rediscovered.

In a radio interview to be broadcast on Christmas Day, Brian 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.”

This means many fans who spent years missing the song, or never even getting the chance to see it, will finally be able to, though at present it is unclear if and when Disney will release the new version.

However, this Christmas the versions on TV will likely be those with the cut, but next year could be a whole other story.

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