Miles Goodman: Overture to The Muppet Christmas Carol
The Muppet Christmas Carol is a popular musical version of the festive tale, produced by Jim Henson Productions and Disney. Premiered in 1992, the film has seen much success, and is still referred to as one of the greatest Christmas films ever. Many familiar Muppets feature in the film including Kermit the Frog, Gonzo, Rizzo and Miss Piggy. The film also sees Michael Caine step into the gloomy character of Scrooge.
Miles Goodman composed the score for the film, with Paul Williams writing the songs. Together, the two created an unforgettable score that merges songs, instrumental interludes and Christmas carols to create a wonderfully festive score.
The Overture to The Muppet Christmas Carol opens the film and shows the audience the city the film is based in, as well as rolling the title credit of the film. The overture opens with a brass ensemble who play a carol-like theme that is warm and undeniably festive. Sleigh bells emerge and a piccolo flute and tuba start a duet. This interesting pairing shows Goodman’s comedic style of writing, as the huge gap between the two instruments creates a funny atmosphere. The overture’s themes reflect the songs heard in the film with the first representing ‘It Feels Like Christmas’.
Brass feature heavily in the overture, with Goodman utilising the classic brass band sound that is often associated with Christmas. Rich strings introduce the theme to ‘When Love is Gone’. A solo cornet, saxophone and clarinet are heard in this section, with each nugget of melody playing into the main theme. The music then goes into ‘Thankful Heart’ and brings the tempo back up. The solo cornet emerges once more and as the brass slow down the ensemble, the music suddenly injects lots of energy into the final flourish of the overture.
Ⓒ Alex Burns