Saturday, November 24, 2012
'Merry Christmas, Uncle!'
A couple of years ago, I started a second blog to take an in-depth look at everyone's favorite Christmas/ghost story, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, with the goal of paying attention to the way Scrooge's story has been interpreted and adapted to other media over the years.
Last year though, I changed my mind about making it a separate blog and brought it back here. The way it works is that I’ve broken the story down into scenes (or sometimes parts of scenes) in order to look at their translation to 19 different films, TV shows, and comics:
• A Christmas Carol (1910) starring Marc McDermott
• Scrooge (1935) starring Seymour Hicks
• A Christmas Carol (1938) starring Reginald Owen
• Scrooge (1951) starring Alastair Sim
• "A Christmas Carol" episode of Shower of Stars (1954) starring Fredric March
• Teen Titans #13 (DC; 1968)
• Scrooge (1970) starring Albert Finney
• A Christmas Carol cartoon (1971) starring Alastair Sim
• The Stingiest Man in Town (1978) starring Walter Matthau
• Classics Illustrated #53 (1978)
• Marvel Classics Comics #36 (Marvel; 1978)
• Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983) starring Scrooge McDuck
• A Christmas Carol (1984) starring George C. Scott
• The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) starring Michael Caine
• A Christmas Carol (1999) starring Patrick Stewart
• A Christmas Carol: The Graphic Novel (Classical Comics; 2008)
• A Christmas Carol (2009) starring Jim Carrey
• A Christmas Carol (Campfire; 2010)
• "A Christmas Carol" in Graphic Classics, Vol. 19: Christmas Classics (Eureka; 2010)
Obviously this isn’t an exhaustive list. I started with my favorites, added some that people have recommended to me over the years, and then threw in some others that just caught my curiosity. We can talk about the ones I left out, but I will say that Mr Magoo’s Christmas Carol isn’t here because I hate it with a passion. It’s neither a good Christmas Carol nor a good Mister Magoo cartoon. There’s also no Scrooged or An American Christmas Carol or Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. When I first started this, I tried to stick to more-or-less faithful adaptations, but even though I've since added Teen Titans to the list, I'd rather that be a fun exception and not have to figure out where I'm going to draw the line.
This is going to take years. Every December I'll talk about one scene; starting with Dickens' version, then looking at the adaptations of that scene in the days leading up to Christmas. Last year, we let Dickens introduce the miserable old sinner and his poor clerk. This year - starting Monday - we'll meet Scrooge's nephew.