A Christmas Carol was written by Charles Dickens in 1843 and became popular pretty much immediately. It spawned theatre shows, live TV performance, radio shows, operas and of course numerous films – over 20 feature films and even more TV movies! With that many options to watch the classic tale, how are you supposed to know which version to watch?
Whatever you do, don’t try to watch
all of them in one day!
Chances are if you have already seen a version of A Christmas Carol that you enjoy, you are likely not going to seek out another version. However it is already good to keep an open mind when watching new versions of a classic because you may find a new love or at least the possibility of another love.
For me the very first adaptation of A Christmas Carol that I remember seeing was Mickey’s Christmas Carol, an animated short version of the tale featuring the characters from the Disney cartoons. I watched this as a child and other than maybe the Muppets or Flintstones versions, I don’t think there really could have been any better options for a child watching A Christmas Carol (at that time).
Little mouse Tiny Tim
was just the cutest.
Many versions of A Christmas Carol can be frightening for younger children. The idea of ghosts and death are scary things to kids but when it is wrapped up in some of their favourite characters and a much lighter tone it is watchable with a smaller chance of nightmares. Mickey’s Christmas Carol has the added bonus for children’s short attention span since the movie is only 26 minutes in comparison to the Flintstones and the Muppets run times of over an hour. So if you are choosing a version to watch with a child or you are a child at heart – the option for you is Mickey’s Christmas Carol.
Or maybe Barbie if you’re into that.
Alright but then what is the best option for us adults who aren’t afraid of no ghosts? It is hard to find all of the early versions to even make them an option. On YouTube you can find the 1910 silent movie version, Scrooge 1935, Scrooge 1951, and Scrooge the 1970 musical version. From what I have read, the ones you can find on YouTube are really the best of the older films anyway.
Also within the last 30 years there were numerous adaptations that you may have heard of (I didn’t!). There was a TV movie done with Patrick Stewart as Ebenezer Scrooge, a TV musical done with Kelsey Grammer, a 1997 straight to video animated version, and a 2001 animated version that had the voice talents of Nicolas Cage and Kate Winslet.
Finally, most well known in the last 30 years was the Jim Carrey motion captured animated version that was released in 2009 to fairly decent reviews and of course Scrooged released in 1988 which presented the best modern twist to the story I think I’ve ever seen.
You can cut a tin can as easily as tomato!
Okay, okay. I’ve just thrown 10 different versions at you and I’ve given you no more information about which version to watch. Well the answer for you is hands down, Scrooged! Scrooged was the version I chose this year to watch for the very first time, and it was amazing! One of the main reasons why I don’t always enjoy watching a new A Christmas Carol version is that they all start to seem the exact same. Scrooged is the only version I’ve seen that offered a fun, fresh perspective on the classic tale. I loved the meta feel of the movie with the airing of a Christmas special based on A Christmas Carol within the movie.
Granted I enjoyed some of the new story elements that the Jim Carrey version brought in 2009, but once you’ve seen one Jim Carrey remake you’ve pretty much gotten all the extra physical humour you need.
I’ve definitely jumped on this bandwagon!
So if you haven’t seen Scrooged, add it to your Christmas watching list this year! Disagree with my choices? What is your favourite ‘A Christmas Carol’ adaptation? Let us know in the comments.