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Cut Song from “The Muppet Christmas Carol” Re-Added to Film for 4K Remaster

Fans of The Muppet Christmas Carol have been given a special gift, just in time for the holidays.

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In an interview with BBC Radio 2, director Brian Henson revealed that “When Love is Gone,” a song originally cut from the film, has been re-added in time for its 4K remastering. Before its 1992 release, Disney executives, including Jeffrey Katzenberg, felt the song wouldn’t appeal to younger viewers, calling it too “emotionally sophisticated,” and prompting its removal. In editing the film for theatrical release, the studio lost both the negative and the video master, though as part of the agreement, the song was able to be released on the VHS release of the film, as well as a bonus feature on subsequent DVD and digital releases.

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The song is sung by Belle (Meredith Braun), Ebenezer Scrooge’s fiancée, decides to leave him, finding he’s more in love with money and his career than her. Henson described his joy at the sequence’s recovery in the interview. Two weeks ago, Disney called him, asking him to check the film during the remastering. Then, they surprised him with the news, as he recalled: “I was so excited. They actually hid it… so I went down and they said: ‘But before we show it to you, we’ve got something else we want to show you’. And they put up reel four of Christmas Carol with When Love Is Gone. I was like, ‘No, you did not!’ and they said, ‘Yes we did! We found it!’ I was so happy, I was so happy.”

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Though the number has been restored, it may still be a while before avid Muppet fans can see it remastered, as Henson explained: “They are all set with the full-length version again. I don’t know if they are going to get it up on Disney Plus in time for Christmas because they have all these processes but it is coming back, the full-length version is coming back.”

Is this a Christmas gift or do you say “Bah, humbug” to this news? Share your thoughts in the comments!

  1. This is my favorite Christmas movie and I’ve been yelling into the ether of the internet for years about this exact subject.

    The fact that it was ever removed is a tragedy. It’s the focal point of Scrooge’s turn from “I still don’t care” to “Oh yeah, I remember when and why I stopped caring”.

    Not to mention the final number of the film, “The Love We Found”, is a slight change to “When Love is Gone”. Without the first song, the ending doesn’t make as much sense or hit the emotional note it’s supposed to, it’s a bit confusing since it’s only a few lines long before it cuts to the credits.

    Such a small thing is a huge gift to fans of the movie like me.

  2. I am so, so happy about this! I missed this song so much when it was released on DVD after watching it on VHS for all my childhood and listening to the soundtrack every Christmas!

  3. This is exciting! I grew up with this song on the VHS copy. Even as a kid, I understood the emotional importance, if not the full meaning of the adult problems presented. When I “upgraded” to the DVD, I was quite sad to hear the song was gone! Hopefully, Disney+ will have the full version available, if not this year then next!

  4. The movie is not complete without this song, our whole family was in complete dismay at the removal and see no logical reasoning in removing it,

  5. I never saw the film with the song included, I never even knew it existed until I discovered the scene a few years back on YT. But even without knowing there was a song cut, I always found the transition weird. She just says “you did once” and then leaves. No explanation, no goodbye, no emotion, nothing. It made Rizzo’s sudden burst into tears over something as trivial and unemotional as that seem all the more exaggerated.

    I always found it strange that a movie that’s so well-constructed would give so little thought to the most important part of the story… the break-up of Scrooge and Belle. Turns out it DID give the scene a lot of thought.

    I can see some people finding this song boring, it’s definitely not in the same style as the rest of the movie. But even so, it’s essential in my view. So essential, that it was missed without even knowing it existed. Very good that they found it!

  6. I have never known a version of MCC that didn’t have “When Love Is Gone.” Where does this truncated edition exist? I’ve never seen it.

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