Originally a special for HBO, this Jim Henson production (he also directed) was one of the first real forays into the more realistic, less vaudevillian direction for the Muppets. It also included Frank Oz (Muppeteer), Paul... more » Williams (songs), and Jerry Juhl (script), some of the Muppet Show's usual suspects. Emmet Otter and his jug band are trying out in the local talent show, but they face fierce competition from a gang of toughs, the Riverbottom Gang and their rock band. Perhaps the most notable thing is the creation of a sense of poverty and want that suffuses the little production. Even Emmet's mother, who sacrifices her washtub to further Emmet's cause, gets in the act. Fine Christmas viewing for all ages. --Keith Simanton« less
Dan J. from CIRCLEVILLE, OH Reviewed on 4/16/2011...
This is NOT the complete version as seeon on TV. If you want the COMPLETE version, complete with case and artwork, you need to e-mail me. dan611Logan@yahoo.com
There are 2 versions of Emmet Otter
J. Roche | 11/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"To clear up some of the confusion and angry reviews about this special being edited, as a fan of Emmet Otter, let me explain that there are 2 different versions of this classic holiday special. In 1977, HBO first aired Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas and also ran it in 1978 and 1979 which is the version that's been available on VHS for years and was just released on DVD. In 1980, ABC snatched the special away from HBO for one year and made some changes to it including adding Kermit's voiceover narration, trimming some of the songs ("Ain't No Hole In The Washtub" and the reprise of "When The River Meets The Sea"), extending some scenes like the Riverside Rest scene where Emmet, Ma and the boys are singing inside where it pans over to Kermit narrating to us the audience (the original 1977 version did not have Kermit at the Riverside Rest but just dissolved onto the next scene when Emmet, Ma and the boys are walking home after singing) while trimming others. HBO began airing the special again in 1981 and throughout the '80s but instead of using the original 1977 version that they ran from 1977 to 1979, they instead ran the ABC network version which is what most viewers had remembered seeing and therefore were upset by the video release which was the original 1977 cut and not the 1980 network version. So my advice to those who still have a copy from HBO recorded during the '80s, keep it and buy the video version which is the original version that aired back in 1977 on HBO and watch them back to back and decide for yourself which version you like the most. Personally, I prefer the video edition because that was the version I had remembered watching as a kid. I just wanted to clear up any confusion by those who had bought the video or DVD and was disappointed to see what they thought was an "edited version" of what they had remembered seeing on ABC or HBO in the '80s which is not really the case when it comes to this classic holiday special where there are 2 versions: the 1977 cut which ran on HBO from 1977 to 1979 and the 1980 ABC network version which ran once on ABC in 1980 and on HBO from 1981 into the late '80s. Hope this information helps."
A Great Disappointment
N. C. Ebsen | Fernley, NV United States | 05/11/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"To begin with: I love Emmit Otter's Jug Band Christmas.This is one of my favorite Christmas stories of all.
Resembling O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi (But sort of reversed) the tale is endearing.
I recorded Emmit off the air years ago and it has been part of my Christmas collection viewed every year several times.
When I found the DVD I ordered one. It came in March 2002 and I opened it and watched the whole thing right away.
To my dismay it had CHANGED! Scenes, dialog, and even songs had been changed, rearranged, and even deleted.For Example:The lyrics to "There Ain't No Hole In The Washtub" were changed.
The confrontation between Alice Otter & Gretchen Fox was shortened.
Kermit's closing remarks were deleted.My family and I have seen this classic so many times that we can recite it by memory. What a disappointment that someone decided to change what was already a fine product.If you don't have it all memorized, or don't mind when stories are made more Politically Correct then please buy it, it's still a fine story and teaches a good lesson."
A Classic Movie--How Could Someone Edit It?
rla_2 | Athens, GA United States | 12/30/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm 24 years old and I remember watching this wonderful movie on TV every Christmas. Emmet Otter was a holiday tradition in my family alongside the Grinch and It's a Wonderful Life. Then it disappeared for a few years until it aired on Nickelodeon in the early 90s. Luckily a cousin shared my love of Emmet and his friends, and she taped it. I was delighted to find a new copy available on Amazon.com earlier this year. It arrived today, and my excitement was soon replaced with disappointment when I realized I had been sent an edited version of the film. At three distinct parts in the story there was dialogue missing. This appalled me. How could someone edit a classic? I realize this isn't Amazon.com's fault, but I thought consumers should know that they aren't buying the original. I will continue to watch my favorite Christmas movie, even if it doesn't match perfectly with the version in my head."
They should be required to indicate that it has been edited
Jennifer Sader | Toledo, OH USA | 01/04/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This was one of my favorite Muppets features ever since the first time I saw it on HBO. Unfortunately, as other reviewers have indicated, this version has been clumsily edited and I was very disappointed in the changes. Kermit's narration has been removed, the ending is changed, and some of the lyrics of the songs are redone. The Muppets features always showed the whole range of emotions, from sentimentality to honest anger and a little cartoonish violence. These things have all been removed from the film. I am not sure if the changes were made to "sanitize" this for kids, or if it was just cut for time reasons, but the changes make no sense and really cut the heart out of the film. Save your money until they release the original HBO special."
Kermit Legal Issue
Diablita | Connecticut | 12/07/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Love, love Emmet Otter! My husband had been watching this since he was a kid. He is an Emmet Otter purist. He states that Kermit was in the orginal both to at the start of the movie and at towards the end in the Riverside Rest as part of the audience. According to Wikipedia the following is the reason we may never have a full version available... Wikapedia writes: The original special was hosted by Kermit the Frog; however later releases edited out the frog's naration due to legal issues. While The Jim Henson Company retained ownership of Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas, the company sold the rights to the Muppets (including Kermit) to the Walt Disney Company in 2004."