review for A Muppet Family Christmas on AllMovie

A Muppet Family Christmas (1987)
by Jeremy Wheeler review

This televised Muppet special brings Jim Henson's three beloved series, The Muppet Show, Sesame Street, and Fraggle Rock, together in a hilarious and often touching holiday celebration for all ages. While the idea of fitting all of those worlds together might seem daunting, here they work together in a marvelous combination of comedic sketches that present the best of what each show is known for. The Sesame Street gang has a lovely self-aware humor about itself as the characters ramble on about everything educational (As Burt says, "This is what we call small talk where we're from."), while most every Muppet gets his or her moment in the spotlight. Between Swedish Chef's gut-busting encounter with Big Bird to a match made in heaven -- Cookie Monster and Animal -- the meeting of these worlds is a treat and offers nothing but laughs and heartfelt good cheer. The grand finale of Christmas carols is nothing but joyous, after which the very rare appearance of Jim Henson at the close will surely put a lump in anyone's throat that still mourns this performer's tragic passing. In fact, though it was made a few years before his death, A Muppet Family Christmas is as good of a swan song as it gets.