Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Christmas Carol

If you make a Christmas movies list and you don't include this one, then I think your list has lost all validity. The tale of Scrooge and the three ghosts is a timeless one and it only gets better as time goes on. There have been many different versions that have been made over the years, and I think they are all good to a certain degree. Even the one with Jim Carrey was okay, even if there were a few things that I found a bit annoying. This is one of those stories that is so classic and beloved that no matter how you make it, animated, real life or with freaking puppets, the message will always get through and it will always be just as enjoyable. My favorite one has to be the Patrick Stewart version that was aired on TNT. Purely because that was the version that had the most scenes that I remember in the book but didn't see in other versions. That and it's always fun to see Professor X (or Captain Picard, take your pick) yelling at little kids. I never got to see him do that in X-Men. He's a better man than me because I definitely would have snapped and told Storm to stop using that bogus accent. But I digress. The runner up (I know this will sound ridiculous) is The Muppets version. The humor and musical numbers that they added in were very funny and Michael Caine makes a great Scrooge. Caine is one of those actors that can pull off both warm and fuzzy as well as cold and mean-spirited. The only problem is that I can't look at him without thinking "Were you ever that big of a jerk to Bruce Wayne when he was a kid?". But I digress.

It's also interesting to see how each of the spirits is portrayed. Each one is different when it comes to the ghost of Christmas Past and Future (slightly). Sometimes Past is portrayed as a small child, as an older woman, as an older man, or as an older feminine looking man. They also differ on whether or not they have the cap or not. This is a smaller detail, but it's nice to see when versions include it. Future varies slightly from version to version, but it is essentially the same: A tall guy in a black hood and cloak to represent the uneasiness that we feel of events yet to come. This is a character that can be really creepy, but is sometimes dialed down depending on how kid-friendly they want this version to be. To be honest with you, making the character creepy was one of the things that I thought the Jim Carrey version actually accomplished. At times he wasn't even a person, he was just a shadow, and that was scary as crap!

Like I said, no matter which version you look at, there is always something to like in each of them. This is a story that is just impossible to get wrong, you would have to really try to mess this one up. No matter how you execute it, this is one story that will remain perfect through every generation.

Yours truly,

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