In 1843, English author Charles Dickens released his novel A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost-Story of Christmas, which is commonly known as A Christmas Carol. Written during a time of resurgence in holiday traditions in England, the story centered around a bitter old business man named Ebenezer Scrooge and the three ghosts that visit him on Christmas eve. Taking his own experience of poverty from his childhood, Dickens makes Scrooge the antihero who eventually sees the error of his selfish ways.
Since the release of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the book has received many adaptations, turning into an opera, a ballet, a Broadway musical and of course TV specials and big screen movies. The first three film adaptations of A Christmas Carol were silent films released in 1910, 1913 and 1923, with sound included in the 1935 and 1938 versions.
Many film versions have since been released, but five adaptations in particular have stood out among the rest. To celebrate the holidays, we’re looking at the five best film versions of A Christmas Carol. Merry Christmas to us all!
A Christmas Carol, 2009
Scroogy-ness of Scrooge: 6/10 Jim Carrey’s Scrooge is too terrified to be mean.
Similarities to original story: 8/10 This Christmas Carol takes the original story and adds the magic of Disney, which means a lot of flying.
Holiday cheer: 7/10 Though it’s animated, the film relies heavily on blues and greys, making it better suited for big kids and adults who will stick around until the end to see the happy stuff.
Weepiness: 6/10 The 3D effects are so entertaining we almost forget to cry.
Length of film in terms of cookies: Six cookies or 1 hour and 36 minutes
Mickey’s Christmas Carol, 1983
Scroogy-ness of Scrooge: 9/10 Who knew ducks could be so mean?
Similarities to original story: 8/10 Disney stayed close to Dickens’ story while still making the film kid-friendly.
Holiday cheer: 8/10 It has Mickey Mouse!
Weepiness: 7/10 We have no shame when it comes to crying over animated films.
Length of film in terms of cookies: Two cookies or 26 minutes
Scroogy-ness of Scrooge: 9/10 Bill Murray’s self-absorbed Scrooge is hilariously fun to hate.
Similarities to original story: 6/10 The modern retelling requires about 150 years of updates.
Holiday cheer: 8/10 We love seeing big cities decorated for the holidays. It ‘puts a little love in our hearts.’
Weepiness: 6/10 This version has much more crying from laughing than crying from crying.
Length of film in terms of cookies: Six cookies or 1 hour 41 minutes
The Muppet Christmas Carol, 1992
Scroogy-ness of Scrooge: 8/10 Michael Caine’s Scrooge is just as cankerous and sour as we can hope for with any Scrooge.
Similarities to original story: 6/10 While the basis of the film stays close to Dickens’ story, we’re pretty sure the rats and pigs in his telling of A Christmas Carol didn’t speak.
Holiday cheer: 9/10 It’s almost impossible to not be happy while watching The Muppets.
Weepiness: 6/10 See above point.
Length of film in terms of cookies: Five cookies or 1 hour 25 minutes
A Christmas Carol, 1951
Scroogy-ness of Scrooge: 8/10 Alastair Sim’s Scrooge is captivating with a range that makes you feel both pity and anger towards the businessman.
Similarities to original story: 8/10 Some of the finer details, like Scrooge’s business dealings, are different from Dickens’ original tale, but overall, the film sticks close to the book.
Holiday cheer: 7/10 If you’re looking for a lighthearted movie about the joy of Christmas, watch the Hallmark channel. If you want to keep the holidays real and watch a film with substance and gravity, watch A Christmas Carol.
Weepiness: 8/10 What is it about black and white films that make us weepy?
Length of film in terms of cookies: Five cookies or 1 hour 26 minutes
Get into the holiday spirit with A Christmas Carol (1951) as well as Masterchef Canada: A Holiday Special, Comedy Central’s All Star Non-Denominational Christmas Special, Michael Bublé’s 3rd Annual Christmas Special, A Colbert Christmas: The Greatest Of All Time, Christmas Lights, A Russell Peters Christmas, Christmas In South Park and Doctor Who: The Christmas Specials available now on CraveTV.