If you've somehow never seen The Muppet Christmas Carol, its title tells you literally everything you need to know.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ I equate this to cheating. Using Dickens' classic novella as your Christmas plot is like using puppies to sell dog food: there's no way to fail. A Christmas Carol is not only the Christmas story, it also features three card-carrying spirits! Hence this category is won in two ways.
Ho-ho-who's in it?
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ It's the ruddy Muppets, so it is of course a charming masterpiece, performed beautifully by the best puppeteers the world has to offer. On top of this adorableness, they cast Michael Caine as Scrooge and TMCC is sealed as having one of the best Christmas cast lists ever. Indeed, not only are the puppets played majestically, but Caine falls right into the spirit of Scrooge perfectly and bounces off his compatriots like an absolute champ.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Again, it's the Muppets! I struggle to think of a more family-friendly troupe. Five stars, no questions asked.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ There's some lovely musical numbers in this, and even Mr Caine joins in himself (he's not bad too)! That said, there could certainly be more music in this film, as I'm sure Kelsey Grammer will prove soon, so I docked it a star. Beyond that perfectly feasible reason, I'm loathe to score anything as 20/20 because then I might as well give up on this series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The Muppet Christmas Carol was clearly released knowing in advance what my Christmas movie criteria would be, and has cheated its way into being the first five-star rated film of the season. However, this film does oft wrestle for the throne Best Christmas Movie, so credit where credit's due I suppose.
Having a favourite Muppet would be disgraceful; like having a favourite child. Mine is Dr Bunsen Honeydew.