Before I even begin let me state this is just for fun. I amnot a filmmaker or a writer, and not suggesting I know better than the peoplewho created these wonderful films.
Like everyone else. I love A Christmas Carol. And why not?Itâ€™s a great story with a strong character and powerful themes. Also likeeveryone, I have my own favorite versions. However, even with the versions Ilike there will be things I lke more in one than another. So I thought I wouldtake all the Christmas Carol versions I like, and pick the moments from eachwhich are superior. Not every version is perfect, even the George C. Scott onewhich I have adored since I was ten. So here are the movies I am including:
A Christmas Carol (George C. Scott)
Mickey’s Christmas Carol
The Muppet Christmas Carol
Before I begin, for the record I hated the Patrick Stewart version, that annoying Albert Finney musical, and don’t even get me started onthat god awful 2009 Disney version starring Jim Carey! I know Mr.Magoo’s isconsidered a classic but I was never a fan of that cartoon. I was also going to include Scrooged, but decided to just stick with the more traditional versions. I am not comparing characters as much as the overall scene.
This is such a tough one! While George C. Scott nails down the character instantly, the fact they made him go to an exchange is the one change from the book I never understood. Mickey’s has a strong opening to,possibly the best part of the film as we really get a taste of Scrooge McDuck in that few minutes, but it can’t match the Muppets. So why does Muppet win whe they changed things to? To be honest, that opening song is just awesome! PlusMichael Cain is definitely a bad guy and he really did a good job at the start.And I know this may sound odd, but I liked Robin as tiny Tim and the song he sings with Cratchit is really sweet. Plus, Gonzo and Rizzo are comic gold.
MARLEY’S GHOST-George C. Scott version
I always liked the way they did Marley in this version. Itseems like most versions overdo it. They forget that Marley is the primer; he’snot supposed to terrify Scrooge so much as prepare him for the other three. Andthat is what we get here. The performance is low key and I think it works. And the actor did a great job, you really feel the anguish Marley feels. The MarleyBrothers song in “Muppet” is cute, but thatâ€™s all. And while I likehaving Goofy play the role in “Mickey’s” it was obvious stunt castingwhich is hard to ignore. In other words they needed Goofy in there so theythrew him even if it didnâ€™t make sense. He did a decent job being scary andlovable.
This is the tough one. The past is always the most boring part of the story for me. The George C.Scott is strong in the stuff with his father, but it loses me by showing us whatBelle is up to now. Who cares? It just seemed so unncecssary to drive the point in. The Muppet one loses me with that awful lovesong. The scene in the school is pretty good. but what happened to Fran? Mickey is done reall well. The scene is brief but we get everything we need. Scrooge was a shy kid who fell in love, until greed turned him bitter. Ok, got it. It has that great tune and Disney cameos, and Jiminy Cricket was perfect casting. “Remember Scrooge, you fashioned these memories yourself”…PERFECT!
The Muppet version has this won by having elements from the book which most versions usually miss. Most notably, having the ghost age. Italso has that great song Kermit (er, Cratchit) and his family sings. I likethat one. The ghost is really lovable which is great. Also Michael Cain’s acting is great when his family insults him, perfectreaction of pain where George C. Scott is more annoyed. The George C Scott versions also drags on a bit too much, though the actor playing the ghost did a fantastic jobbeing so likable at first and terrifying by the end. The Mickey one is way toofast. Of course the whole thing is to short, but they really rushed the present and totally ignored Fred.
CHRISTMAS FUTURE-Mickey’s Christmas Carol
This is where I am going to lose a lot of people. First Iwant to say I loved the future scene in Mickey’s version. It was short, ofcourse, but had no less of an impact. I mean, who doesn’t cry seeing Mickeytear up in front of his son’s grave? Then the reveal of Pete and throwing Scrooge down the grave is a great moment. So why not the other versions? Well,while George C. Scott nails the cemetery scene, the denial of his charactergets annoying. “Spirit, who is that dead man on a bed just like mine in ahouse like mine?” Really? I know that is accurate to the book but stillannoying. As for “Muppet”, I may be alone here but Michael Cain does not sell the cemetery scene the way George C.Scott does. Maybe Cain was holdingback to keep it from being too scary, but I never really felt he was feelingwhat he was supposed to be feeling. The window scene is even worst when he gets the boy to by thr turkey for him.
CONCLUSION-George C.Scott version
I loved how George C. Scott plays the end of the film. Atfirst he is giddy, but then he calms down and is happy but reserved. I hate itwhen they have Scrooge dancing down the street like an idiot.”Muppet”‘s final scene actually has my favorite song “ThankfulHeart” and I do believe Michael Cain’s acting here. He is a little giddier but does not get too carried away. Why not make it my favorite? Because after doing a great job of introducing Fred in the start, they just brush him off inthe final scene. The George C. Scott version is one of the few that does it right. Scrooge is supposed to visit his nephew, and then deal with Cratchit thenext morning. WHY DO SO MANY VERSIONS CHANGE THIS?? One of the many reasons Ilove that version and always will. Mickeyâ€™s also has Scrooge going directly toCratchetâ€™s house. It is a tender scene, especially when that closing song comes in. I love that song! But at the same time they rush by Fred and the silliness in that scene is a little to jarring after the seriousness of the previous scens. The George C.Scott version is just stronger, and it always brings a smile to my face.
It just wouldnâ€™t be Christmas without this story. If you disagree please let me know, as I said this was all for fun.