– Charles Dickens
In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a bit of a purist. If you’re going to take something as good as Shakespeare or Austen or Saturday morning cartoons, don’t mess ’em up! Tweak it, adapt it, reinterpret it to your heart’s content, but don’t make something good into something unwatchable or unreadable, or just plain bad. This worldview is doubly stringent around Christmas time when, let’s face it, the world conspires to turn charming tradition into commercialism with fanatical efficiency.
Thus, I have very decided ideas about Christmas entertainment!
Honestly, next to the version with Patrick Stewart, this may be my favorite version of the holiday tale. Lots of humor with the storyline well preserved, what’s not to like? (Well, I may get in trouble for this, but I never liked the random song Scrooge’s fiancee uses to break up with him, but other than that, thumbs up).
And speaking of, A Christmas Carol with Patrick Stewart is fan-bloody-tastic! Jacob Marley’s haunting is nice and spooky, Patrick Stewart is appropriately grouchy and reformed (there is a hilarious moment when he wakes up, realizes he’s not dead, and tries to laugh – something he hasn’t done in decades and has forgotten how to do).
There are lots of versions, but these are the two that make me the happiest. I watch them repeatedly during Advent, usually with a cup of hot chocolate with a candy cane to stir it with.