Watch This Mashup of 'Christmas Carol' Adaptations

by Caroline Pate

Few stories have been told, and re-told, and re-animated and told again more than A Christmas Carol. But 'tis the season for decking the halls, trimming the tree, and watching old Scrooge see the error of his ways, so here's yet another adaptation, although this one isn't as much an adaptation as it is an amalgamation of other adaptations. Kindly YouTube user Jack Hodges is such a Dickens purist, he decided to piece together different scenes from 10 different film adaptations of the novel to create a version that's closer to the text. The cuts are a little disconcerting, but the scenes flow together surprisingly well once you get used to it. Sure, considered "classics" like the Richard Williams animated short film are used, but so is A Muppet Christmas Carol.

It's perfect for people who pick apart film adaptations of books, and especially those who immediately disregard any film adaptation of A Christmas Carol that does things like leave out Ignorance and Want (Yes, these people are real, and I'm related to many of them. You do not want to be watching The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug with them, trust me.) You can watch the whole story in parts on a YouTube playlist here.

But, if you don't want to watch the films piecemeal, here's a list of some of the biggest adaptations of A Christmas Carol, in order from best to worst:

  1. A Christmas Carol (1984) - This is a made-for-television version featuring George C. Scott as a raspy, blustering Scrooge. Most Dickens purists will tell you to watch the Richard Williams animated version, but it's the casting in the adaptation (and George C. Scott in particular) that truly do Dickens's text justice.
  2. A Christmas Carol (1971) - The famous Oscar-winning animated short film adaptation by Richard Williams. It captures the true darkness of the tale well, and Alastair Sim gives one of the defining Scrooge performances.
  3. Scrooge (1951) - Although it may not have the rich animation of the previous film, it does still have Alastair Sim's knockout performance and is considered a classic adaptation of the tale.
  4. A Christmas Carol (1938) - Doesn't quite have the teeth that the text does, but it's a well-acted, sweet adaptation that was considered the defining adaptation of A Christmas Carol for many years.
  5. Scrooge (1970) - Although the old-age makeup for Scrooge is a bit distracting (Albert Finney was actually 34 at the time), the performance certainly makes up for it, and the musical captures the Christmas spirit well.
  6. Scrooged (1988) - You will either really love or really hate this movie, depending on how liberal you like your adaptations to get with the source material and how much you like Bill Murray. But if you fit the bill, you'll have a lot of fun with this surreal, modern take on A Christmas Carol.
  7. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) - It's cute, there's singing Muppets, Kermit is Bob Cratchit. It's Christmas, what more could you want?
  8. A Christmas Carol (1999) - It's kind of awesome watching Patrick Stewart as Scrooge. But this movie wants to be Scrooge very badly, and it doesn't quite live up. Plus, Stewart always looks like he's about to bitch slap someone on the movie poster.
  9. Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983) - Scrooge McDuck was already a character, so really, how could Disney not make this movie? Sure, it may be a little too warm and fuzzy to be a true adaptation, but watching this will always make you feel like you're 10 years old again, watching Toon Disney.
  10. A Diva's Christmas Carol (2000) - Okay, so it's not great. It's a VH1 made-for-TV movie, what do you expect? But it's fun, Vanessa Williams is always fantastic at playing cold, heartless divas, and gender-swapped Scrooges are few and far between.
  11. Christmas Carol: The Movie (2001) - You'd think an animated movie with Nicolas Cage and Kate Winslet would be more fun to watch...it is not.
  12. A Christmas Carol (2009) - Fun fact: Jim Carrey's creepy, CGI face is the face I see in my nightmares.