In an effort to stir up a more festive spirit inside myself (it’s getting there; it’s just limping along slowly), I decided to write a brief little post about my favorite versions of A Christmas Carol. A Christmas Carol has got to be one of the most definitively Christmassy stories of all time–is there really any story more closely associated with Christmas than Charles Dickens’s yuletide ghost tale?
- Scrooge (1951, starring Alastair Sim, Mervyn Johns, Michael Horden, and Hermione Baddeley): This movie is required viewing at our house every Christmas. Alastair Sim absolutely nails the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, and the story is pretty faithful to the original Dickens novella (yes, I have read A Christmas Carol. Is anyone honestly surprised?). I especially enjoy the part where (spoilers!) Scrooge goes to his nephew Fred’s house and asks forgiveness for how poorly he was treating him and his wife Clara.
- The Muppet Christmas Carol (1987, starring Michael Caine, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmere, Jerry Nelson, and Frank Oz): The Muppets take on the beloved tale of an elderly miser who learns the true meaning of Christmas as only they can–with singing, dancing, and bantering. I make no apologies for still liking this movie as an adult.
- Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol (2010, starring Matt Smith, Karen Gillan, Arthur Darvill, Michael Gambon, and Katherine Jenkins): Yes, even Doctor Who has tackled this literary classic as part of their tradition of airing a special episode on Christmas Day. The timey-wimey gets all wibbly-wobbly here as the Doctor attempts to use time travel to soften the heart of Kazran Sardick, a lonely, bitter miser who is willing to let an entire shipload of people die because he simply doesn’t care about their lives. This is probably one of my favorite Doctor Who Christmas specials.
Hey, I think it worked! I’m feeling a little more festive already.