It's A Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie is a 2002 NBC television film, directed by Kirk Thatcher and written by Tom Martin and Jim Lewis and stars Whoopi Goldberg, David Arquette, Joan Cusack, the cast of Scrubs and The Muppets. The plot centers on Kermit the Frog who, after losing all hope for saving the Muppet Theatre, is assisted by an angel who shows him a world in which he had never been born. The film is an homage to Frank Capra's 1946 film, It's a Wonderful Life, which has a similar plot.
This was the first Muppet production without the involvement of veteran Muppet performer Frank Oz. Instead, Eric Jacobson performed Oz's characters Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy, and Animal, marking his feature film debut as those characters. Oz's character Sam Eagle was voiced by Kevin Clash, while John Kennedy provided the puppetry.
Jerry Nelson was ill during filming, so most his characters were puppeteered by others and later dubbed by Nelson in post-production. The exception was Nelson's character Lew Zealand, who was performed by Bill Barretta.
Scooter, performed in the film by Brian Henson, makes his first major appearance since the death of his initial performer, Richard Hunt. Hunt's character Janice was also performed by Henson and has a speaking role for the first time since Hunt's death.
The film contains an original song, "Everyone Matters", performed by Kermit and Gonzo as part of the world in which he had never been born, and then reprised at the end. The film also makes reference to the Muppet classic song "Rainbow Connection", featuring a statue of Kermit in a park, erected in dedication "for the lovers, the dreamers and you".