A song originally cut from The Muppet Christmas Carol movie has been found and reinstated, director Brian Henson has revealed.
Called When Love is Gone, the track is performed by Scrooge’s fiancée, Belle (played by Meredith Braun) when he goes back in time.
Wouldn’t appeal to young viewers
The 1992 Christmas movie has become a cult classic amongst fans, starring Muppets Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, as well as Sir Michael Caine as Scrooge.
It was revealed that the When Love is Gone ballad was removed from the final version of the film because Disney’s then studio chief, Jeffrey Katzenberg, feared children would get bored during the song.
Once it was removed from the theatrical release, the song’s video master and negative were both lost. However, the song did appear on the VHS release of the film. But, once the film was released on DVD, only the cinematic master was available.
A Christmas miracle?
Speaking to OJ Borg on a special programme about the Muppets and their music, Brian Henson recalled receiving a call in November asking him to check a new version of the film in 4K.
Unaware that the lost track had now been found, Henson couldn’t believe what he saw. He said, “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.”
What is the song about?
When Love is Gone reminds Scrooge of the time when he and his fiancée broke up, after he decided to focus on his career over their relationship.
Henson told the BBC that, when the song was being made, they felt the film didn’t justify a love ballad "because there is no loving relationship that we can celebrate in that movie... So the love ballad is when Belle is leaving Scrooge.”
How can I listen to the new song?
The normal cinematic release of Muppets Christmas Carol is currently available to watch on the streaming platform, Disney+.
However, Henson revealed that the full length version with the lost ballad isn’t available on the streaming platform yet.
You can listen to the song, and an interview with Henson, on BBC Radio 2 on Christmas Day (25 December), during The Muppets at Christmas: it’s Time To Play The Music, at 7pm.