In yesterday’s post, I introduced you to three retellings of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. All of them, I thought, were straight retellings. Today I wanted to look at some of the more colorful versions.
One of the artistically creative versions was released by Disney. It was done entirely in 3d, computer-generated imagery and starred comedian Jim Carrey as Scrooge. I have mixed feelings about this one. Having done some computer-generated modeling myself, I was greatly impressed by the sweeping views of the city. I also thought the ways the ghosts transported Scrooge to the past, present, and future were very innovative. Christmas Present turns the floor of the room transparent and flies the whole room around town with Scrooge seeing everything through the floor. Christmas Future is a shadow, a living portal that Scrooge falls through. I did find some of the creative choices to be a little bit bizarre though.
In the Jacob Marley scene, Marley opens his mouth so wide that the skin and muscles on his jaw split and his jaw comes loose. The rest of the speech is a mixture of comical and bizarre as he fumbles with his jaw.
When the Ghost of Christmas Present finishes his scene, he falls to the floor of a clock tower, withers up, and turns into a skeleton.
The Ghost of Christmas Future drops Scrooge into the path of a phantom funeral hearse that chases him through the streets of London. I couldn’t decide if I liked the scene or if the guys who came up with it had played too many video games. I included that clip here so you could decide. (If you have any problem with playback, here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_Xc9K2WmDI&feature=player_embedded.)
Overall, I thought this version of A Christmas Carol was a technical marvel, but it lacked the emotional warmth I usually associate with the story.
What is the funniest version of A Christmas Carol?
There are many excellent contenders including the Bill Murray film “Scrooged,” but my vote is on Sanford and Son Episode “Ebenezer Sanford.” This is the whole episode. Feel free to watch it all or sample.
There are many other versions of Dickens’ beloved tale of redemption available for viewing. Alistar Sims’ version from the fifties is probably the best of the black and white, pre-George C. Scott versions.
Henry Winkler starred in An American Christmas Carol back in 1979. I haven’t seen it since then, but notice that it’s available on YouTube.
And I heartily recommend The Man Who Invented Christmas which is showing now in select theaters. My writer friends, especially, will appreciate it.