‘Muppet Christmas Carol’s’ Belle on ‘When Love Is Gone’ Restoration

“The Puppet Christmas carol” is again integer. As the film celebrates its 30th anniversarye birthday on Dec. 11, Belle’s fan-favorite song, “When Love Is Gone,” was finally restored. A full version of the holiday classic (with the tearful ballad included) is now available to stream on Disney+.

“It’s the strangest thing” Meredith Braunwho embodied Belle, says Variety. “How many years later, they suddenly put it back! For me, it’s the gift that keeps on giving in a fun way.

The song, in which Scrooge’s young love tearfully bids him farewell due to his stingy ways, was cut from the film’s original theatrical release. Director Brian Henson said Weekly entertainment that Jeffrey Katzenberg, who was the head of the Disney studio at the time, suggested the song be deleted.

“He said, ‘You see how nervous these kids are getting? ‘” Henson told the outlet. “He’s like, ‘It’s just a little too adult-emotional for little kids to stay connected to.’ [The movie] certainly plays well without the song, but I obviously preferred having the song. I think it’s good for children to be drawn into deeply emotional moments, even if they feel a bit uncomfortable when they’re in a movie theater.

The song was featured in the VHS release of the film, but was missing from later home video releases on DVD and Blu-Ray. “It’s because Disney lost the negative,” Henson said. The big problem. “When we tried to cut it from the Blu-ray movie it looked terrible because you could tell we cut from the high res to the original video version. I’m still pushing them to They keep swearing to me there’s no way it’s lost forever and I keep saying, “But it’s been 20 years!”

Henson’s prayers were finally answered in 2020, when the footage was retrieved. “I was so excited,” he said BBC Radio 2. “I was like, ‘No, you didn’t!’ and they said, ‘Yes, we did! We found it!’ I was so happy.”

Braun tells Variety she had no idea what impact the film would have all these years later. “I was 19 when I did it. I was in the middle of the “Mis”, leaving every night to die, covered in blood and food, I was Eponine. It was a very nice contrast with that! I liked it, it was a lovely piece of work, but it hadn’t occurred to me at the time that it would come back every year, being a Christmas movie.

At first, Braun was unimpressed with his track’s cut. “The song hadn’t been released in theaters, but it was still on VHS. I remember Brian was really disgusted with it. He was very nice. But I was like, ‘Well, it still exists. What is the problem? The movie stuff comes and goes and it will stay on the tape.'”

She continues: “I know it was because of the slowdown in things for five-year-olds, which I get, because it’s quite sad. It’s really, really sad. I’ve heard since it’s was the same man who wanted to cut ‘Part of your world’, which I hadn’t realized until recently.

Braun says the ballad took on more meaning for her as she got older. “Many years later, I released an album in 2017 that has the song in it. But it’s used in a very different way. It’s part of a song cycle for leaving an abusive relationship and it fits perfectly with The subtext that you bring to a song each time, when I originally did it, is very different from what you would bring to it many years later.

“What I’m actually most proud of – and I don’t think I realized it at 19 – she’s making a very strong decision from a feminist perspective,” Braun adds. “I think Belle became a suffragette and won the vote for women. I think she is making a strong decision, even though it hurts to leave and do what is right.

Braun has fond memories of sharing the screen with Michael Caine, whom she calls “a very generous actor and a lovely man,” but says she was more smitten with the Muppets. “I felt deeply in awe of all of them. They were the stars. Miss Piggy was not a diva, contrary to popular belief. I think the best artists aren’t. Michael Caine was the same. If you’re really good, there’s no need to be a diva, right? Everything is invented!

The now complete version of “The Muppet Christmas Carol” is in the works released in UK cinemas to celebrate the milestone anniversary. Braun can’t wait to see it. “I’ll probably bring a group of friends and just go laugh. Why not? What’s not to like about the Muppets? I am honored to have been part of it. »

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