This ‘baffling’ take on ‘A Christmas Carol’ is a surprise HBO sensation

A still from A Sesame Street Christmas Carol
Image via Sesame Workshop

Ready or not, Christmas season is here, and the holiday streaming offerings are piling up. HBO Max in particular is quickly taking the lead on seasonal classics, with yet another Christmas offering trending in the U.S. today. And this time, it’s one perfect for the kids — for the most part.

A Sesame Street Christmas Carol has entered HBO Max’s top 10 movies list in the U.S. today, rounding out a collection already packed with three other Christmas flicks, FlixPatrol reports. Originally developed as a made-for-DVD movie, this 2006 take on A Christmas Carol twists the Charles Dickens classic and takes it into a far less intense direction. Instead of threatening fire and brimstone, A Sesame Street Christmas Carol follows Oscar the Grouch as he learns about what his fellow Sesame Street residents did, are doing, and will be doing on the holiday. By the end, Oscar pretty much still hates Christmas, but he does figure out a few things he can like about the holiday, such as the fact that Christmas is over on the 26th.

If you’re already familiar with the far superior The Muppet Christmas Carol, you may be a little confused why A Sesame Street Christmas Carol also exists. While refraining from calling the movie outright “bad,” The Muppet Mindset’s Jarrod Fairclough points out that the special is mostly a rehash of previous Sesame Street classics. As Fairclough explains:

I just don’t get what they were going for here, after all, none of the old footage had Oscar in it, and he’s done a lot of grouchy things at Christmas over the years. So how is this A Christmas Carol, when he doesn’t learn anything about his past behavior and doesn’t grow at the end of it? I just don’t get why this special exists. It’s a good special, it made me laugh, it was nice to see Ernie and Bert, and Mr Hooper, and Big Bird. I just think there were other avenues to go down to make it relate more to A Christmas Carol, or to make it a whole separate thing to begin with. It’s harmless fun, its existence is just baffling.

Baffling or not, U.S. fans are loving A Sesame Street Christmas Carol, certainly because it’s mindless fun for all ages. Catch it on HBO Max now if you’re in the States.