What the Dickens? Writer’s Relief has noticed that there seem to be endless incarnations of Charles Dickens’s famous novella, A Christmas Carol. This story of miserly, grumpy old Ebenezer Scrooge learning the true meaning of goodwill and holiday spirit even has a Smurfs version!
With characters that include plucky Tiny Tim, the otherworldly ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and (shudder!) Yet To Come, and long-suffering Bob Cratchit, the story was a hit from the moment it was published back in 1843. The enduring, positive message of generosity and redemption has resulted in countless versions of A Christmas Carol being brought to life via television, film, stage, graphic novel, audio book, and even opera.
While the Writer’s Relief super-super-abridged version of A Christmas Carol found in our classics montage is—of course—our favorite, here are some other interesting adaptations of this holiday masterpiece:
Scrooge, or, Marley’s Ghost: The earliest known film adaptation of the Dickens novella, this silent British short film is from 1901.
The Right to Be Happy: Made in 1916, this was the first feature-length film adaptation of A Christmas Carol.
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past: A 2009 romantic comedy starring Matthew McConaughey, this film puts a romantic spin on the classic tale.
A Christmas Carol: It may be hard to tell by the title, but what we’re referring to here is the 1978 Marvel Comics adaptation of the story. Bet you didn’t know this one even existed!
A Christmas Carol: The Graphic Novel: Created by Sean Michael Wilson and Mike Collins, this 2008 version of A Christmas Carol was chosen one of the Top Ten Graphic Novels of the Year by The Sunday Times.
Mister Scrooge: This reincarnation of the story is an opera from 1958–59, composed by Ján Cikker.
An Audio Recording by Jim Dale: That’s right, the man who recorded the unabridged readings of the Harry Potter books (for which he won two Grammys!) also recorded a reading of A Christmas Carol!
Mickey’s Christmas Carol: Of course Disney put its own spin on the classic Christmas tale! It’s pretty cute too—we won’t lie.
A Flintstones Christmas Carol: While we’re on the subject of cartoons, we can’t forget to mention this version! The 1994 TV special had the well-known Flintstones characters putting on a play based on Dickens’s novella.
A Christmas Carol: This 1984 made-for-television version stars George C. Scott and was directed by Clive Donner, who also edited a 1951 film version of the story titled Scrooge.
Of course, there are many more versions of A Christmas Carol—too many to list here! Whichever is your personal favorite, be sure to watch it during this holiday season.
Question: What’s your favorite version of A Christmas Carol? Let us know in the comments section!
I adore the Muppet Christmas Carol 😁
Thanks for the review of many versions of A Christmas Carol. You left out my favorite, the Mr. Magoo version.
“The Muppets Christmas Carol” is actually an astonishingly good, musical adaptation. Michael Caine plays Scrooge, and it’s perhaps the best Scrooge on film I’ve ever seen (George C. Scott also amazing, but seriously, Caine is marvelous). The familiar Muppets characters are used in adorable ways that actually work wonderfully in the structure of the story. The musical numbers are singable and just right for the tone. It’s one of the few Christmas movies I own and return to every year.
We’re fans of the Muppet version, too!
I love the one with Alister Sims made sometime during the 50s.
The Alistair Sims version is my favorite, but the Muppets come next.
Muppets Christmas Carol is the best.
Alistair Sims version the best of all time, followed closely with the new CD Christmas Carol, then A Disney Christmas Carol with Jim Carey.
My three top favorite Christmas Carol movies are:
#3. Scrooge – 1935 (Seymour Hicks as Scrooge)
#2. A Christmas Carol – 1938 (Reginald Owen as Scrooge)
And my Absolute #1 Favorite is:
#1. A Christmas Carol – 1951 (Alastair Sim as Scrooge)
Although I have enjoyed a number of other versions over the years, Nothing beats the Classics..