Whatever Happened to – Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas
I grew up watching the Muppets. I loved Sesame Street with Kermit and Big Bird to the Muppet Show that would come on tv on the weekends. If I wasn’t watching cartoons I would be watching something with the Muppets in it.
With the flood of Christmas shows that came out (nowhere near what the kids have today) one movie stood out for me growing up and that was Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas. For me it is not really Christmas till I can watch this classic tale.
This movie stars a little otter named Emmet who grows up in a poor family consisting of him and his Ma. His Ma is a widow and works her fingers to the bone to provide for herself and Emmet. It truly is a sad tale and reminds me of my mother, as a single mom she would work all the time to provide for me and my sister.
Here is the official Synopsis:
The story tells of Emmet Otter and his Ma, a widow who scrapes by on the small amount of money she gets from doing laundry and that Emmet gets from doing odd jobs around their home of Frogtown Hollow, despite both of them often being cheated, notably by Old Lady Possum and Gretchen Fox, the mayor’s wife. As Christmas approaches, they hear of a talent contest in the nearby town of Waterville, and separately decide to enter to buy nice presents for each other — a nice guitar for Emmet, or a piano for Ma. However, in a twist on The Gift of the Magi, they must sacrifice each other’s livelihood for the talent contest — Ma hocks Emmet’s tools for dress fabric, while Emmet turns Ma’s washtub into a washtub bass for a jug band.
Emmet and Ma each do an excellent job (despite Emmet’s jug band having to frantically change songs after another contestant performs their song, Bar-b-que), only to be defeated at the last minute by a rock and roll band called The Nightmare (most likely due to the nasty Gretchen Fox on the judging committee), which comprises a hoodlum gang from the fairly distant town of River Bottom. However, as Ma and Emmet’s jug band sing a song together on the way home (more accurately, both of their talent show songs together after Ma realized they fit together), they are overheard by Doc Bullfrog, owner of a local restaurant, who hires them to sing for his customers, thus granting them the bigger prize.
It is somewhat of a dark tale but has many lighter moments. For me one of the parts I remember the most was the Riverbottom Nightmare Band! They really rawk even by today’s standards. For something fun head over to youtube and punch that in and see some of the tribute bands.
I think this year I am going to introduce this to my little one and see if she loves it as much as her daddy does. It’s a shame that Disney pulled out Kermit the Frog narrations when they bought out the Muppets. I hope they give this movie a facelift like they do with so many other movies. I have one of the original copies from 1977 with Kermit added he does a great job as narrator.
It makes you really appreciate what you have and shows you that not everyone is as fortunate as we are. The Mother and Son relationship really pulls on my heart strings and makes me get a little something in my eyes a few times thoughout the film.
I give this movie a 10 out of 10 and one of just a few movies I like around Christmas.
So if you remember this film let me know what you thought in the comment section below. You can find this movie on DVD but I won’t image you will be seeing it on tv again.
- FREE Movie Admission To The Muppets from Disney Movie Rewards (chipandco.com)