A Restored Version Of The Muppet Christmas Carol Featuring 'When Love Is Gone' Is Coming To Disney+

Muppet fans rejoice! After 30 years of waiting, "The Muppet Christmas Carol" will finally be released in its full, uncut glory. 

Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Quibi mastermind who once ran Disney, infamously cut a pivotal number from the adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic that was perhaps thought lost to time. Katzenberg was not a fan of ballads, particularly in family entertainment, and thought them too boring for the kiddos. He even came close to cutting "Part of Your World" from "The Little Mermaid" before it premiered. Unfortunately, he succeeded in his pruning with "The Muppet Christmas Carol."

However, during the D23 Expo panel celebrating the film, it was announced that "When Love Is Gone" will be reinstated to the film an available for your holiday viewing pleasure on Disney+ on December 11, 2022 — exactly 30 years after the film's initial theatrical release

The importance of 'When Love Is Gone'

For those who don't know, "When Love Is Gone" is a song performed by Belle (Meredith Braun), the former love of Ebenezer Scrooge (Michael Caine), during the Ghost of Christmas Past section of the story. It is a break-up song, where she laments that Scrooge, even at a young age, is entirely wrapped up in his work and no longer is the loving man she once knew. 

The song is utterly devastating and reduces Scrooge to a puddle of tears in a moment so beautiful that it stands among the best in Michael Caine's entire career. Paul Williams structured much of his song score around this number, even having the film's finale be "When Love Is Found." If that doesn't make decision to cut the song's obvious counterpoint even more baffling, I don't know what does.

There had long been a search to find the footage of the song, and a couple of years ago they actually succeeded. It has existed as a deleted scene in the extras section of Disney+ that I assume most people do not even know exists. I'm sure for so many who watch "The Muppet Christmas Carol" religiously every holiday season will find the new addition initially jarring, as it is a little tough to alter that nostalgic pacing, but dramatically, the film will work stronger than it ever has before. And it was incredibly strong to begin with.

The fully restored version of "The Muppet Christmas Carol" debuts December 11, 2022, on Disney+.