A Million and One Adaptations of a Christmas Carol

Years I ago when I was a kid I received my first TV as a Christmas gift during a magical time called the “nineties.” The first thing I ever watched on that TV and the only thing I ever watched on that TV was the Flintstone’s version of “A Christmas Carol.” Fred was obviously Scrooge and so on. This made me think about how many times has this book been adapted because I feel like everyone and their mother knows this story, yet I have never ever read or was even inclined to read this novel ever in my life. This prompted to question how many adaptations of this novel and its various different forms, also the inclusion of pastiches, parodies and other uses.

Scrooge adaptations have been adapted in various formats from theatre, cartoons and various films. I did some research and it seems that the 1951 version “A Christmas Carol/ Scrooge has been rated from different sites as the best adaptation because of the darkness that the movie brings to the original story. The portrayal of Scrooge by the English actor “Alastair Sim” takes the cake as far the all-time Scrooges. The movie also has acclaimed notoriety because it includes a Marely death scene that adds to the overall dark undertone of the narrative. The movie was actually shot in England and maintains authenticity all throughout the film; which has helped the movie maintain it status.

The most recent adaptation that has reached mass success is Jim Carrey’s star driven “A Christmas Carol which amassed over 318 million dollars. It was a modern adaptation using CGI in order to recreate the story and also passing down the story to a newer generation of children. This film is also lauded for its scary nature and its honest adaptation of Scrooge’s character; which never comprises Dickens’ classic in order to fulfill its desire to match the production costs of modern day Hollywood.

I guess the question is at this point, is what exactly is so amazing about a story of old man who does not care about charity and is an asshole? I think it is because we all at certain times embody scrooge at different parts of our lives. We all tend to get very obsessed in our personal endeavors and fail to see the simple beauties of life that surround us and focus on the negatives. This is also a result of aging as well, as we become more jaded and paranoid and lose our childlike sensibilities because we believe have to behave more “professional” and “responsible” in order to gain respect in the different aspects that of our lives that we pursue. I remember as child, I would do anything for most everyone in need but as an adult I have looked away at various homeless people and changed the channel on the feed the needy commercials because I simply did not care for whatever reason. Scrooge continues to exist and will always exist because at certain times we need to be reminded to relax and think about other people instead our struggles in life. Or else ghosts will threaten you and small children will die because of your selfish actions.

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6 thoughts on “A Million and One Adaptations of a Christmas Carol

  1. Ali Troiano

    I really enjoyed your post and it reminded me of the question Professor Tougaw asked us in the beginning of the semester. We discussed why these Victorian texts continuously get re-adapted in culture today. I’ve seen A Christmas Carol on Broadway at least four times in my life and yet, like you, have never actually read the story. I thought the most interesting part of reading this text was reading it outside of the Christmas-time tradition. As you and some other students highlight, the story forces you to self-reflect and works to teach a lesson. But reading the story now, in the context of this class, made me focus on how this story fits within the Victorian tradition. I think it is really interesting to think about why these stories keep getting circulated today.

  2. alixg

    Your point about there being a million adaptations of this classic story couldn’t be more true. I think the first time I really watched an adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” was in the loosely adapted “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” with Matthew Mcconaughey. For those of you who haven’t seen it, he’s basically a Scrooge in the sense that he’s a player, and so on the eve of his brother’s wedding he’s visited by three past girlfriends to the same effect of “A Christmas Carol.” This isn’t a piece of cinematic genius, it’s just a fun watch and yet another way that the story is still being brought into modern culture.

  3. Jason Tougaw

    Also: I’ll post some critical readings on questions about adaptation to our “Readings” page, since there seems to be a lot of interest in them.

  4. davidginsberg

    Funny post, but also poignant and true.

    Scrooge makes the reader reflect on his/her self which is why I think this story and the character of Scrooge are so powerful.

    Like you, I used to always give money to homeless people whenever I saw them. Now, i think that most of them are scam artists and never even look at them when I’m on the subway. I also do exactly the same thing you do – I always change the channel whenever a commercial comes on for needy kids or animals. It’s mostly because I feel bad but I know I won’t donate anything. I refuse to donate to organizations because they take such a huge cut out of your donation but it’s also because I’m a selfish prick sometimes, much like Scrooge, caught up in my own world.

    People hate Scrooge but they also relate to him. When Scrooge finally comes around at the end of the story, I feel that it gives the reader a sense of hope. If Scrooge can change, so can we.

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