What would life amongst the Muppets have been without their unofficial leader Kermit the Frog? That's the question posed by this made-for-TV confection, which not only spoofs the Yuletide classic It's a Wonderful Life, but also takes satirical aim at such pop cultural phenomena as Moulin Rouge and Fear Factor. The plot is set in motion when typically evil banker Rachel Bitterman (Joan Cusack) forecloses on the Muppets' famous variety theater, with the intention of building a gaudy nightclub. But Bitterman's machinations take a back seat when apprentice guardian angel, Daniel (David Arquette), shows Kermit (voiced by Steve Whitmire) what conditions would have been had Kermit never existed. Without going into full detail, suffice to say that a Kermit-less world would have found Miss Piggy (voiced by Frank Oz) running a fraudulent psychic hot line, Fozzie Bear as a homeless derelict, and Sam the Eagle as a caged dancer at a rave.
Recorded to benefit the Special Olympics, this has some of the biggest names in contemporary music, most covering seasonal favorites with mixed success. Outstanding tracks include The Pretenders "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," with Chrissie Hynde giving a touching performance. Run-D.M.C.'s topical "Christmas in Hollis" relies heavily on sampling "Back Door Santa," and may head you toward the dance floor. Alison Moyet's stately version of "The Coventry Carol" is beautifully haunting. Only the Material Girl, Madonna, embarrasses herself with an overly campy "Santa Baby".