I was given a copy of Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol” when I was maybe nine or ten years old and since that time it has been one of my favourite stories. For me Christmas is not the same without it and every year I either reread my book, yes I still have the same copy; or I watch one of the TV or movie versions of the story.
Dickens can be a bit wordy, I like the stories but the writing style is different with very long sentences so you need to be able to concentrate. However, “A Christmas Carol” is a shorter story so it is more readable.
I didn’t realise until I sat down to write this how many versions of this story had been filmed. I knew that there was at least one animated version, a Muppet version and several modern takes on the story as well as the traditional ones. Here is a list of feature-length and animated films but there have also been short films.
- The Right To Be Happy – This 1916 silent movie was the first full-length film version of A Christmas Carol, starring Rupert Julian in the Scrooge role.
- A Christmas Carol – Another silent movie version from the United Kingdom, this 1923 film stars Russell Thorndike, Jack Denton, Forbes Dawson and Nina Vanna.
- Scrooge – Seymour Hicks reprises his role as Scrooge in this 1935 release.
- A Christmas Carol – 1938 version with Reginald Owen, Gene Lockhart and Kathleen Lockhart.
- Scrooge – This 1951 release, starring Alastair Sim as Scrooge, along with Mervyn Johns and Hermione Baddeley. Considered by many to be the best version of A Christmas Carol on film.
- Scrooge – 1970 musical starring Albert Finney and Alec Guiness as Scrooge and Marley’s Ghost, respectively. This is the film many of us grew up watching.
- Scrooged – Modern adaptation from 1988 starring Bill Murray as a tv producer who doesn’t understand the spirit of Christmas.
- The Muppet Christmas Carol – A 1992 film that was targeted for children, using the famous puppets created by Jim Henson.
- A Christmas Carol – 1999 feature-length tv film starring Patrick Stewart as Ebenezer Scrooge. If you want to consider only feature films that played at the cinema, leave this one off the list. It’s a faithful adaptation, though.
- Disney’s A Christmas Carol – 2009 “performance capture” film, with Jim Carrey starring as Scrooge, the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas Future. Released on November 4, 2009. (U.S.)
- A Christmas Carol – 1971 animated short by Richard Williams, later famous for directing Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Starred Alistair Sim, reprising his role from 1951.
- Mickey’s Christmas Carol – 1983 short film starring the most famous Walt Disney characters, with none other than Scrooge McDuck, naturally in the role of Scrooge. Disney’s first version of A Christmas Carol.
- A Christmas Carol – Lesser-known straight-to-video animated version by Jetlag Productions, an American-Japanese studio.
- A Christmas Carol – 1997 – Animated film featuring the versatile Tim Curry as Scrooge and also starring Michael York, Whoopi Goldberg and voiceover master, Ed Asner.
- Christmas Carol: The Movie – Ambitious 2001 animated film by Illuminated Films, using voices of famous movie stars like Nicholas Cage, Kate Winslet and Simon Callow.
- A Christmas Carol – This 2006 film uses computer animation and anthropomorphic animals to tell the story of Scrooge.
- Barbie in a Christmas Carol – 2008 film loosely based on A Christmas Carol, from the seemingly endless series of Barbie animated movies.
- List from https://www.askdeb.com/holiday/christmas-carol-movies/
I am a traditionalist so I like the Albert Finney version. I’m not sure if I have seen any of the earlier ones. I love The Muppets so naturally, I like “A Muppet Christmas Carol” as well. I also quite like “Scrooged” as a modern-day story even though I don’t care for the slapstick element so much I forgive them because I love the musical number at the end of the movie.
I have not seen the Patrick Stewart version but I do have an audiobook of him reading the story and I think that will be my chosen way to enjoy the story again on Christmas Eve.
There are too many Scrooges in the world today. When I read ” Every one of them wore chains like Marley’s Ghost; some few (they might be guilty governments) were linked together; none were free. ” I can easily imagine Morrison, Dutton, Corman, Hanson and others chained like that. (Feel free to substitute the politicians of your choice). The final chapter is hopeful though. Even a man as miserable as Scrooge could change if he really wanted to.