Upon noting how many versions of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol there are, David and I thought it would make a great top five list. Each of us could do our own Top Five Favorite Versions of the Tale of That Old Miser Scrooge (including television adaptations) and we’d still have plenty to spare. However, when we began discussing which our favorites were we realized our lists almost completely overlapped, and no one wants to read about A Muppet Christmas Carol twice in a row. Or they might. Either way, we came up with a brilliant solution, if I say so myself:
The 2009 Christmas Carol Awards
(Brought to you in part by Lara and the Reel Boy and Cola [“Mmm…Cola”])
Most Intense Scrooge: Patrick Stewart from A Christmas Carol (1999 TV version)
Patrick Stewart with a top hat and a cane. As if Scrooge wasn’t already terrifying enough.
Kindest Bob Cratchit: Kermit the Frog from The Muppet Christmas Carol
Not only does he have the usual gentle demeanor of Bob Cratchit, but he also sings and dances and puts up with Scrooge and Ms. Piggy.
Most Accurately Androgynous Ghost of Christmas Past: Jim Carrey from Robert Zemeckis’ A Christmas Carol
A candle with a girly man face that spasms. No wonder none of the other adaptations have attempted complete accuracy, this Ghost of Christmas Past is super creepy.
Least Accurate, Yet Most Hilarious Ghost of Christmas Present: Carol Kane from Scrooged
I don’t remember any mention of an abusive fairy in Charles Dickens’ original tale, but I fully support veering away from the material if it includes a pixie whacking Bill Murray in the face with a toaster. I want to be this woman. (This part was written by Lara, not David, by the way).
Most Terrifying Ghost of Christmas Future: Pete (voiced by Will Ryan) from Mickey’s Christmas Carol.
While making the Ghost of Christmas Future completely hidden and anonymous is eerie, having him be played by Pete who smokes a cigar and sends Uncle Scrooge into a burning grave is the stuff of nightmares.
Most Adorable Tiny Tim: Calvin Cooley (played by Nicholas Phillips) from Scrooged
(Sadly no picture to be found).
Mute and cute. His “God bless us, every one” has more weight than any other. I cried. And it was only partially because he looks like my kindergarten boyfriend. (Once again, written by Lara).
Handsomest Nephew Fred: Dominic West from A Christmas Carol (1999 TV version)
I’ve shown the picture. I need say no more.
Most Hilarious Marley(s): Statler and Waldorf from The Muppet Christmas Carol
Statler and Waldorf are dead. And that makes them even more funny and crotchety than usual.
Best Representation of 19th Century London: A Christmas Carol (1984 TV Version)
We realized we hadn’t given any love to the George C. Scott edition, which, while being sort of boring, has its own merits. Perhaps its due to the fact that it looks older because it’s from the early 1980s, but for whatever reason we’ve decided it is the best shows meager, industrial London.
Version most likely to make Charles Dickens roll over in his grave: the mall production by Zach Morris and friends from Saved by the Bell.
Awful English accents, product placement, and Slater as Tiny Tim; altogether the gang failed at getting across the message that Charles Dickens intended, but they did look good. And Screech as Scrooge = even more superbly irritating than usual.