Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Carols

From big screen to small screen, and played by the likes of Muppets, Magoo, Murray and...Spelling, A Christmas Carol has been redone, it seems, more than any other tale. On IMDB, exact matches for the title tally to 27 different movies alone, and that doesn't even include those that have altered the title.

This Dickens story of redemption is the essence of our holiday spirit, so even with the endless adaptations, each one brings its own little bits of flair.

Some find Scrooge in a modern day world or animated, and others burst off the screen with brillant musical numbers. Lets take a spin though some of those penny pinching Scrooges, past, present, and future (mystical prediction-there will be even more recreations):

Out of all the literal movie versions of the book, no cozy kid stuff, this one from 1951 is the one I grew up with, so to me, Alastair Sim is Ebenezer Scrooge.

Truly terrifying in sections, (endless nightmares caused by the unsettled souls with clanging chains outside his window!) this Scrooge is more villainous than the rest, and by the end has the most joyous (near psychotic) coming to his senses that can not be topped by any other.

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Fozzy, Kermie, Miss Piggy, and all the rest of the gang join Michael Cain with a take on this classic in the fantastical way The Muppets do best.

Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol

Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol brings back the fondest memories of childhood; and most importantly, our families Christmas Tape.

Much like the fated Mix-Tapes of the days of yore (middle school), featuring music taped directly off the radio, the VHS Christmas Tape, I hear,  was a staple to many families. Mostly, it consisted of the greatest hits of Christmas specials/cartoons featured on TV, which was conveniently recorded for yearly viewing pleasure. 

Mr. Magoo was just one of the gems on our tape, but Charlie Brown Christmas and The Snowman (also, ridiculous old commercials!)  were other essentials.


As Christmas movies go, Scrooged is strange and twisted, though quite hilarious, and a change of pace for the season. 

Bill Murray plays Frank Cross, a Scrooge-like television executive, who must endure, like many cold-hearted folks before him, the ghosts of past, present, and future-hilarity ensues.

A Carol Christmas

The enormity of television adaptations of A Christmas Carol (including the timeless classic starring Vanessa Williams and Kathy Griffin, A Diva's Christmas Carol) can be summed up with two word; Tori Spelling.

Nothing brings the holiday cheer to my face more than watching Spelling, as a bitchy actress/talk show host raise hell to all the underlings in her life. Even better is that Spelling's character, Carol, is supposed to be a brilliant actress, but for some reason is never shown acting... I wonder why?

This has become a necessary element to Christmas in my house, and with William Shatner AND Gary Coleman as two of the spirits, you can guess why.

Priceless. Classic. Nothing is better.

Ultimately, there is honestly too many versions to count; what adaptations are your favorite?

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