Kermit-emmet-open

Kermit's appearance in the special, a role edited in and out of various home video releases.

Through the years, as the distribution of Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas moved from network to network, changes were made in order to accommodate various time constraints. Cuts were made, but in some cases, previously deleted material was added. These alternate edits were used for various television airings and subsequent home video releases. Additionally, after the sale of the Muppets to the Walt Disney Company in 2004, all official releases and broadcasts until 2015 excluded the scenes with Kermit the Frog.

Edits

1977

The original edit of the special created in 1977 for airing on CBC. According to The Jim Henson Company, this version did not include Kermit's narration, which was added sometime between the 1978 re-broadcast on HBO, and the ABC broadcast in 1980.[1] It is available for viewing at the Paley Center.

1980

A slightly altered version of the special was created for airing on ABC and commercial television; this edit was used for the 1983 VHS release (complete with fadeouts to commercial breaks) as well as the Nickelodeon broadcasts in the 1990s. It is also also available for viewing at the Paley Center.

Alterations from the original 1977 edit include:

  • Fadeout to commercial after the opening titles.
  • A couple lines of dialogue are added after Ma hands Gretchen Fox her laundry.
  • A couple of extra lines of dialogue are added before Emmet sees the guitar in the shop window.
  • A few extra lines of dialogue are added to the scene where Emmet and Ma wonder what to give each other for Christmas.
  • Fadeout to commercial before the talent show.
  • A short talent show scene is added after Yancy Woodchuck sings "Barbecue."
  • After Yancy Woodchuck's rendition of "Barbeque, Will Possum says the show is off to a shaky start.
  • The Mayor's introduction of George and Melissa Rabbit, along with Will Possum saying "Well, It's gonna be a long night" is cut.

1996

The special was altered again in the 1990s; this edit was used for the 1996 and 1998 VHS releases, 1999 airings on Odyssey Network, and the 2001 DVD release from Columbia Tri-Star.

Alterations from the original 1977 edit include:

  • Kermit's narration throughout the special is absent
  • Kermit's scene in the restaurant at the end of the special is removed.

2005

Another edit first appeared on the 2005 "Collector's Edition" DVD released by HIT Entertainment. This version restores the original 1977 edit of the special, only all scenes/narration with Kermit the Frog were removed (as the Henson Company sold the rights to Kermit and the Muppets to the Walt Disney Company in 2004). The alternate and extra scenes from the previous variations were included in the disc's "Deleted/Altered Scenes" bonus feature. This version was used for subsequent Henson Company releases into the 2010s.

Alterations from the original 1977 edit include:

  • Kermit's introduction and opening bicycle scene are removed
  • Kermit's scene in the restaurant at the end of the special is removed

2015

When the special aired on ABC Family in 2015, it was remastered and presented in a cropped widescreen format. It also ran at a 30-frame-rate speed, rather than the original 60-frame-rate. It marked the first official broadcast since 2004 in which Kermit's scenes at the beginning and end were included (though his narration was not restored).

A variation of this edit was also used for home video releases starting in 2015 - including the 40th anniversary DVD, and streaming and digital downloads.

Alterations from the original 1977 edit for video releases include:

  • Cropped widescreen format

Alterations from the original 1977 edit for television airings include:

  • Cropped widescreen format
  • Emmet joking around on the river about knitting more socks to barter more pumpkins to make more pies to buy more wool is removed.
  • The Riverbottom Nightmare Band's breaking the fruitstand and entering the music store is removed.
  • "Ain't No Hole In The Washtub" is cut.
  • The scene where Emmet returns from fixing the fence and Ma and Emmet go to the slide on the river is trimmed.
  • "When the River Meets the Sea" is cut. (Subsequent airings put it back in)
  • Will Possum's line of the show getting off to a shaky start, which first appeared in the 1980 edit, is included, but is placed after Carrots the Dancing Horse rather than after Yancy Woodchuck's rendition of "Barbeque."
  • After the commercial break, during the talent contest, Harrison Fox mentions that "Deedra and Sandra Mole" on "snare drum and piccolo" have just performed.

Comparison table

CBC logo 1974-1986 Emmet VHS1 EMJBCDVD EOJBCCEDVD Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas 40th Anniversary Edition DVD Emmet Otter Blu-ray
Original CBC airing
(1977)
ABC airings & early VHS
(1980s)
Odyssey & early DVD
(1990s)
Collector's Edition DVD
(2005)
ABC Family & later DVD
(2015)
Blu-ray release
(2018)
Kermitbicycle1

Kermit's opening bicycle scene
Kermit the Frog rides his bicycle along the river, he greets the audience as he crashes into a sign post between Frogtown Hollow and Waterville. The Riverbottom gang pulls up in their car and steal Kermit's scarf before speeding away. Kermit continues to introduce the story.
X
EmmetOpening

Kermit's narration #1
Voice-over narration by Kermit before "The One Bathing Suit" introducing Emmet and his ma as they row down the river.
X X X X X
Onebathingsuit

Extended "The Bathing Suit That Grandma Otter Wore"
An additional verse about a pirate stealing the bathing suit for a sail is included in "The Bathing Suit That Grandma Otter Wore".
X X DVD bonus DVD bonus
Rowing

"If you pass the hat to fish, all you get is a wet hat."
After singing "The Bathing Suit That Grandma Otter Wore", Emmet remarks that the song sounded pretty nice. Alice agrees and says "you can hear the fish applauding" to which Emmet suggests they should "pass the hat." Ma reminds him that Pa use to say, "if you pass the hat to fish, all you get is a wet hat" and the two lament not having much money for Christmas this year..
X DVD bonus DVD bonus
Fox's Dock

Expanded laundry deliver scene
Alice says she hopes Gretchen Fox would "fall off the dock." Emmet applauds her by saying "Way to go, Ma." and Alice responds, "Yeah, well, sometimes you gotta talk tough to these uppity types." In alternate edits, Alice bites her tongue as Gretchen leaves and cuts herself off after saying "I'd really appreciate it if you'd..."
X DVD bonus DVD bonus
Music Store

Expanded window shopping scene
After the Otters remark that "Pa should've gotten rich on snake oil, but there aren't enough people who want to oil a snake!," Emmet says that "Pa always used to say that when business was bad." Alice agrees saying "Yep, he said it a lot."
X
TheRiver

"There Ain't No Hole in the Washtub" introduction
Before singing "Ain't No Hole in the Washtub" Emmet says, "At least there ain't no hole in the washtub," to which Ma replies, "Ooh, 'Ain't Got No Hole in the Washtub'! That's what you call your basic keepin' warm while you're rowin' kind of song."
X DVD bonus DVD bonus
Aintnohole

Extended "There Ain't No Hole in the Washtub"
Two additional lines ("Lunch with the upper crust, dinner at the club..." and "Watermelon garden, berries on the shrub...") are included in "Ain't No Hole in the Washtub."
DVD bonus DVD bonus
Frogtown Hollow

Kermit's narration #2
Voice-over narration by Kermit after "Ain't No Hole in the Washtub" announcing that winter had arrived in Frogtown Hollow.
X X X X X
Paotter

Expanded pondering about the talent contest montage
While wondering what to do about the talent contest, Ma thinks that Emmet "sure would like that guitar" and Emmet thinks "Nothing would make her happier than having a good old piano again." Both are uncertain about what to doing concluding "I just don't know..." and "I just can't decide..."
X
Waterville Town Hall

Kermit's narration #3
Voice-over narration by Kermit over the establishing shot of the Town Hall before the talent contest.
X X X X X
WillP

"Better fill, Harrison, we're off to a shaky start"
After Yancy Woodchuck's rendition of "Barbeque," Will Possum is shown backstage telling Harrison Fox to fill as the show is off to "a shaky start."
X DVD bonus DVD bonus
Geoandmel

George and Melissa Rabbit / "It's gonna be a long night"
Harrison Fox introduces George and Melissa Rabbit who perform on the stage. After the act, Will Possum is shown backstage saying saying "Well, It's gonna be a long night."
X
Kermit-emmet-end

Kermit's closing Riverside Rest appearance
Kermit wraps up the story with an appearance in the Riverside Rest watching Alice and the Frogtown Hollow Jubilee Jug-Band perform.
X X
Brothersinourworld

Extended reprise of "When the River Meets the Sea"
A longer reprise of "When the River Meets the Sea" (including the final verse) is featured.
X
Aspect ratio Original 4:3 fullscreen Original 4:3 fullscreen Original 4:3 fullscreen Original 4:3 fullscreen Cropped 16:9 widescreen Both

Notes

See also

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 A Bit of a Chat podcast with Craig Shemin March 27th, 2018

Start a Discussion Discussions about Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas edits

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    • Paley Center has what they're calling the HBO cut, but it apparently dates from 77 and mentions that commercials are deleted (suggesting...
    • I've been thinking of picking up a copy of the 83 VHS if no one else seems to have it. (Actually, I might even have one in storage, I'...
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