Sorry, but the Muppet Christmas Carol was almost a self-parody compared to Emmett Otter and the John Denver Special. You can trace the secularization and New-Age-ization of Christmas over the past 30 years by watching the various Muppet Christmas works.
I haven’t even had the stomach to attempt watching It’s A Very Muppet Christmas Movie–or, if I did, I’ve forgotten it. In fact, reading the summary on Wikipedia just now, it literaly is a paraody of itself, since there’s a parody of GIft of the Magi in Very Muppet, and, of course, Emmett Otter is a heart-warming take on the O. Henry archetype.
That said, the John Denver and the Muppets CD is one of the all-time classic Christmas albums. “It’s In Every One of Us,” partiuclarly sung along while driving around looking at lights, is an essential Christmas tradition for my parents and me.
So many beautiful, openly religious songs. What better Advent song than “When the River Meets the Sea”?
The actual special is an entity to itself. Every now and then, I look to see if it’s available for sale. Some fragments show up on YouTube.
Interestingly, many years ago (maybe as far back as 1998), I was looking at henson.com to see about the availability of the John Denver special on DVD or VHS, and it was actually their #1 FAQ.
It’s availalbe at the television museum in NYC, but it has never been released. I’m assuming there’s some kind of copyright/licensing issue involved, but I haven’t been able to track down what it is.
But, over the years, they’ve gone from very overtly religious Christmas material to semi-neutered “Christmas is a time for love and family” to Whoopi Goldberg playing God.