This weekend, fans of The Muppets got a very special treat! Nina West took to the stage amongst Kermit, Piggy, and even more friends to share memories of one of our favorite holiday films, 30 years later!
The panel opened with Miss Piggy, Kermit, Gonzo, and Robin as they interacted with host Nina West. The group began a formal interview about their time filming The Muppet Christmas Carol before Miss Piggy interrupted to make sure no one forgot she was the star. Before the group of felt friends left, there were plenty of chuckles and moments of awe!
Next, the panel transitioned into the segment with Brian Henson, Paul Williams, Dave Goelz, and Polly Smith. They talked about their experience creating the movie. Some of my favorites included Henson talking about how the film was impacted by his father and Richard Hunt’s passing and Williams talking about his deeply personal journey writing the music.
In news that will excite any fan of The Muppets, Brian Henson revealed the process that came to cutting “When Love is Gone” from the film. While they took it out for a theatrical release, they were going to cut the song back in for home release. Later, Henson found out, that the studio had lost the original negative for the scene, making it nearly impossible to recover. Just a few years ago, Disney found another original cut of the film, allowing Henson to restore the film and put together a “full-length” feature of the film. We are so excited to hear that this version will hit the Disney+ streaming service on December 11, 2022. Then, Jodi Benson hit the stage to sing the “lost” song from The Muppet Christmas Carol.
When the panel ended, The Muppets went big! The Muppets from earlier in the panel, including Fozzie, Penguins, and even vegetables came together to sing a medley from The Muppet Christmas Carol with Nina West. This was the moment where lots of fans, myself included, completely lost control of our emotions. This will always be one of my favorite memories, next to hearing Paul Williams sing “Rainbow Connection” alongside The Muppets at the Hollywood Bowl.
Overall, it was so special to experience this retrospective panel in a room full of fans that are just as excited. The room was filled with tangible energy and the performers were feeding off of it as well. It will be hard for me to beat the experience of this panel but I can only hope we get more from The Muppet Studios in the future!