Scrooge: A Christmas Carol
An animated musical version of Dicken's classic Christmas ghost story. The miserly Ebenezer Scrooge finds salvation one Christmas Eve when he is visited by four spirits.
Spoiler Level: None
A Christmas Carol is my favorite holiday story and I watch some version of it several times throughout the season, in addition, I have been involved in numerous live action productions including the musical stage version of the 1970 movie Scrooge. So I was very excited to learn that an animated version of that production was premiering in 2022. But what I viewed was nothing like the original movie or the live action productions that followed. What we got was an Ebenezer Scrooge so far removed from the source material that it tarnishes the entire production.
The basic plot is the same as all the other versions. The miserly Ebenezer Scrooge (Luke Evans) is visited by four spirits on Christmas Eve with the hopes of reclaiming his soul and saving him from an afterlife of torment. The ghost consists of his deceased business partner, Jacob Marley (Jonathan Pryce), the Ghost of Christmas Past (Olivia Colman), the Ghost of Christmas Present (Trevor Dion Nicholas) and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (non-speaking role). Scrooge is taken through scenes of his past, present and future to convince him that he can learn from his mistakes and become a better man.
As you can see, the vocal cast for this production is amazing, but the script changes many of the characters to appeal to a younger more modern audience. In addition, the original songs from 1970, penned by the late Leslie Bricusse, were altered and new songs added with a more modern rhythm changing the entire dynamics of the story and removing any emotional impact they could have had. Plus, they gave Scrooge a pet dog bequeathed to him when Marley passed away. Neither Scrooge nor Marley would EVER have had room in their hearts for a pet. Less emphasis was placed on character development and the gradual change in the title characters reclamation, and more was placed on some very flashy animation. The artistic design is beautiful and there are some amazing visuals that do enhance the story, but some of it is distracting and assumingly placed there to placate younger children. The performances on their own are quite good and if you take the songs out of context, they are well composed and performed. The animation style alone is beautiful and exciting with some great moments. But when you put all of this together, it misses its target by a mile.
I try not to ever say “Do NOT watch this”. I truly believe that every movie has its audience who is going to connect with it on a spiritual level, so I will not tell you to skip this production. If you have little kids, this may be a great introduction to Dickens’ classic story, but for the older folks, you may want to stick to the 1970 movie or any other version of this story.
Although all the separate pieces of this film are well produced, with an amazing cast, the finished product is like a puzzle put together with pieces from several different pictures.
Scrooge: A Christmas Carol
- Writing - 3/103/10
- Storyline - 5/105/10
- Acting - 9/109/10
- Music - 8/108/10
- Production - 7/107/10
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