There have been so many movie adaptations of Charles Dickens' classic story The Christmas Carol. You know the one - Scrooge, Tiny Tim, all those wily Christmas ghosts. It's even the basis for one of the most iconic Disney characters of my childhood, Scrooge McDuck!
I started thinking about all the different movie versions of The Christmas Carol - and these are some of the ones I came up with:
A Christmas Carol (1910): A 10-minute silent version of the story starring Marc McDermott as Scrooge and Charles Ogle as Cratchit. There's not a huge amount to it, of course, but I think it's pretty fascinating to see what they did with the tools they had at the time. And I just found out this very cool fact: it was made for Thomas Edison's production company. How cool is that?
Scrooge (1951): (Re-titled A Christmas Carol in the U.S) Starring Alastair Sim as Scrooge and Mervyn Johns and Hermione Baddeley as the Cratchits. This is widely considered by film experts to be the best film adaptation of The Christmas Carol. To accomplish this, they took some liberties in adding to the original tale - but nothing too egregious, I think.
Scrooge (1970): A musical starring Albert Finney as Scrooge and Alec Guinness as Marley's Ghost. This one got some Oscar nominations.
Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983 - Disney): An animated short film featuring various Disney characters, with Scrooge McDuck playing the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, Mickey Mouse as Bob Cratchit and Goofy as Jacob Marley. As I mentioned above, this short turned into an iconic character with Scrooge McDuck. There are a lot of animated versions, but this one still stands out for me. I loved it as a kid, and it may have been my first encounter with the story.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992 - Jim Henson Productions/Disney): featuring the various Muppet characters, with Michael Caine as Scrooge and Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit. Apparently this was the first muppet movie release after the deaths of Jim Henson and puppeteer Richard Hunt - and it's dedicated to their memory. I love this movie! I watched it when I was a kind, but I still remember many of the scenes. I laughed until I cried. So clever! And it's got Michael Caine in it! I have to say that despite my literary leanings which would imply liking a more faithful adaption, this one just might be my favorite. Fun wins this time! I included my favorite clip.
A Christmas Carol (2009 - Disney/ImageMovers): A performance capture film adaptation starring Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge and the three ghosts. I haven't watched this one yet, actually. For me Jim Carrey is a love-him-or-hate-him actor, so it's always a risk depending on the movie. I'd love to hear what you all think about this version! Should I watch it? Is it worth it?
I didn't include the Bill Murray movie "Scrooged," because I haven't seen it and it's not as direct of an adaptation, more inspired by the story, if I'm understanding it correctly. What do you think? Does it belong on this list?
What's your favorite film adaptation of The Christmas Carol? Or is there some other adaptation you prefer, like for television or theater?
Image credit: Den of Geek - link attached.