That Old Bitter Miser Scrooge

On the Ninth day of Creepmas, The Krampus gave to me a Scrooge on TV

A Christmas Carol 
1971| Color | 28 Min | 1.33:1 | G | Mono | Holiday | Richard Williams Productions

Director: Richard Williams

Writer: Charles Dickens

Alastair Sim
Michael Redgrave
Michael Hordern

An old bitter miser is given a chance for redemption when he is haunted by ghosts on Christmas Eve.

For the past few years, I find myself tracking down a version of the Christmas Carol that I have not already seen. Why you ask, well every Christmas as a child the one thing my mom would ask to do on Christmas was to watch A Christmas Carol. We would all moan and grown when it came on and then would turn back to our Christmas haul and play away. It was not until I was older when I finally understood the power of this story. It is by far the best ghost story around. And now I find myself  holding up her tradition with a little node to Bah Humbug every year.

This year I found myself captivated by this 1971 animated short that came out of Londen. This was the first animated TV special that was so well received that they released it into theaters. In return it became eligible for an oscar nomination and won in 1972. This is the only version of "A Christmas Carol" to will an Oscar even to this day.  In fact, so many industry insiders were unhappy that a short originally shown on television was given the award, that the Academy changed its policy, disqualifying any future works initially shown on television.

Director Richard Williams (Ziggy's Gift, Roger Rabbit) and Ken Harris bring back Alastair Sim as the voice of Ebenezer Scrooge a role Sim had previously performed in the 1951 live-action film Scrooge. "Scrooge" was my mom's favorite version of the story and the one I will watch every year. Michael Hordern likewise reprised his 1951 performance as Marley's Ghost. Michael Redgrave narrated the story and Williams' son Alexander Williams, then aged four, provided the voice for Tiny Tim.

I really enjoyed the distinctive look of this film. They used  multiple pans and zooms and innovative unexpected scene transitions. The look and feel of this were inspired by 19th century engraved illustrations of the original story reminiscent to the illustrations in the 1930's book. You get this great feeling of darkness when watching. In a way it even gave me a chill at times.

The Christmas Carol has always been a little scary for example, the Disney version with Jim Carrey  was a dark version and I'm still not sure it's a kids movie. This one fits in with that some of its younger audience may really get freaked out by the style and darkness of this special. But then again what youngster will sit and watch an old cartoon these days?

If you are looking for a quick watch for some Creepmas cheer look no further than YouTube for this little gem. I highly recommend it. If you have seen it how do you feel about it? Do you like its dark style or was it a bit much for you?

I may review another version of Scrooge during my 12 days of Cartoons for Christmas. In the meantime, I give this bad boy...

4 Samari Santa's 


  1. My fave is the original 1951 Alastair Sim movie too. He embodies Scrooge for me.

  2. I concur - Alastair Sim is the best scrooge!


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