A Christmas Carol
Film, video and television productions based on the novella by Charles Dickens:
Director Henry Edwards; writer H. Fowler Mear; featuring Seymour Hicks, Donald Calthrop, Oscar Asche
Director Edwin L. Marin; writ. Hugo Butler; featuring Reginald Owen, Gene Lockhart, Kathleen Lockhart, Ann Rutherford, Leo G. Carroll
Also called A Christmas Carol
Director Brian Desmond Hurst; writ. Noel Langley; featuring Alastair Sim, Mervyn Johns, Michael Hordern
Director Ronald Neame Hurst; writ Leslie Bricusse; featuring Albert Finney, Edith Adams, Kenneth Moore, David Collings, Alec Guinness
Animated film: director Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.; writ. Romeo Muller; voices Walter Matthau, Tom Bosley, Theodore Bikel, Dennis Day
Director Richard Boden; writer Richard Curtis, Ben Elton; featuring George C. Scott, David Warner, Roger Rees, Edward Woodward
Director Richard Donner; writ. Mitch Glazer, Michael O'Donoghue; featuring Bill Murray, Karen Allen, Robert Mitchum
Director Clive Donner; writer Roger O. Hirson; featuring Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Hugh Laurie, Miranda Richardson, Stephen Fry, Robbie Coltrane
Tim Curry turns his unique voice to good effect as Scrooge in this 1997 animation.
Sit through this Scrooge with the kids
The animated 1997 version of A Christmas Carolisn't as bad as you might expect after watching for a few minutes.
Yes, it uses a rather flat cartoon style, reminiscent of old Saturday-morning TV, and it wastes time with some cartoonish episodes, such as Scrooge interacting with a comical bulldog, added as his constant companion, and a ridiculous bit involving a mouse in Scrooge's office.
And there are three or four goofy songs—the most over-the-top and catchy being "Santa's Sooty Suit".
But the story is told as well and as completely as in some of the live-action flicks and the actors providing the voices are first-rate: Tim Curry as Scrooge, Michael York as Bob Cratchit and Ed Asner as Marley.
And Whoopi Goldberg does a weird, unrecognizable turn as the voice of Christmas Present—a large black woman with a put-on British accent and who ages before our eyes.
The film works despite those initial caveats. The reformation scene at the end is especially effective.
It's nothing spectacular but I imagine young kids would appreciate this animated film while adults could certainly manage to sit through it.