A Christmas Carol is without doubt one of the great stories of our times. You’d have to go to a very remote place in the world to meet someone who hasn’t heard of Charles Dickens’ classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, and his redemption at the hands of three spectres.
Naturally, because of the popularity and resonance of the A Christmas Carol, it has been ripe for adaptation. They range from the good (Alistair Sim) to the bad (Mo-Cap Jim Carrey), but what if you want to see the tale in a new light, or want to bring it down to the level of someone you want to inspire with it? Well, read on, dear reader, for five of the best alternative tellings of A Christmas Carol that offer something a little different whilst still being mighty entertaining.
In no particular order…
5. A Muppet Christmas Carol
Of course, the classic. It has been scientifically proven that if you don’t like this film, you have no soul. Adding The Muppets to anything makes its 27% better, and this s no exception. But the reason it is not only a great film but perhaps the best adaptation of Dickens’ tale- period- is that it best captures the spirit of the novel. It’s bizarre to think a film with The Muppets in it would be the most faithful telling of a literary classic, but it’s true- It’s also very dark and bloody scary in parts- still gives me shudders when I watch it every year.
Of course, Michael Caine just makes the film. No matter how funny Gonzo et al are, and no matter how catchy the songs are, Caine brings gravitas, emotional dignity, and most importantly he brings heart to the film. You just believe this world where Puppet urchins co-exist with Jack Carter, and it’s one of the films with a rare and unexplainable quality- if you catch it on TV, whatever point the film is at, you have to watch what’s left. Funny, scary, sweet, and despite having felt characters hardly diverts from a flawless tale.
The best adaptation, and certainly the best alternative adaptation! If you haven’t seen this already, why are you reading this? Go and watch it, now!
This article was first posted on December 17, 2012