Wednesday, December 3, 2008

25 Days: Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas

For the third night of the 25 Days of Christmas we took in one of the many Muppet Christmas movies, this one, however, starring some very different muppets.

Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas was created by Jim Henson in 1977, and besides the narrator being Kermit the Frog, the film doesn't have any of the iconic muppet characters.

Instead, we follow Emmet Otter and his mother, Ma, as they struggle to make ends meet.

When Christmas rolls around, Emmet would do anything to purchase his mother a piano, while Ma knows Emmet had his eye on a brand new guitar.

To make ends meet, Ma bakes pies, knits and does laundry in her washtub. Emmet, meanwhile, helps out with odd jobs thanks to a tool kit his departed father left him.

News of a talent contest that offers the top prize of $50 quickly spreads to the Otter household, and Emmet joins his three friends in a jug-band, in hopes of winning and purchasing his mother that piano. The only downside is, to play the washtub bass he must put a hole in his mother's washtub.

Ma Otter also hears of the talent contest, and with some persuading by a neighbor, decides to enter the contest in hopes of getting Emmet that guitar. In order to get some fabric to make her costume, however, she has to sell Emmet's tool kit.

It's a pretty touching story, that has a pretty happy ending.

The puppeteering is a little old school, as on multiple occasions you can view the strings that are being used to move the marionettes.

But, for being a 1977 film, the overall look of the film is pretty well done.

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