This Emmy-nominated TV special is one of the few homages to It’s A Wonderful Life I’ve ever seen that actually comes close to capturing the emotional power of the original. This is also the most serious and bittersweet Muppet-related film since The Muppets Take Manhattan; while there are uproarious moments (particularly a clever Gift Of the Magi parody and a riotous production number spoofing Moulin Rouge), the film as a whole is heartrending, bringing the characters to their lowest and then lifting them back up into an amazingly uplifting climax. Granted, for all its laughs, it doesn’t equal the early Muppet films purely as comedy: there are times when the modern references and attempts at meta humor feel a little forced and out of place (although they sometimes work, as when Miss Piggy appears with the cast of Scrubs), but the overall emotional pull of the film supersedes any weaknesses. In addition to the Moulin Rouge sendup, the show features a beautiful theme song, “Everyone Matters”, that is a worthy successor to the immortal “Rainbow Connection”. The film features guest appearances by a lot of big names, which shows what the Muppet name still meant at this point, but the most memorable performance in the film came from Joan Cusack as the loathsome villain, Rachel Bitterman. Despite the character not having a single redeeming feature, Cusack plays the part with surprising nuance, taking her from a morally bankrupt cynic obsessed with pragmatism at the cost of human feeling, to a petty, defeated, petulant child who ultimately turns down a chance to profit from her situation purely out of spite. This is easily the best Muppet movie of the decade, and ranks as one of the finest of all the post-Henson Muppet films in general.