I mentioned in the last of the Retro Radio Memories Podcasts – I love A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens 1843 novella really gets to me. I’ve as a matter of fact have pretty much loved all adaptations of the classic tale. Just a few of my favorites include 1951’s Scrooge, 1983’s Mickey’s Christmas Carol, 1984’s overlooked made for TV version featuring George C. Scott and of course 1970’s version of Scrooge!
It most certainly has a bit to do with the supernatural elements…I mean I AM a monster kid. But more than that is the message that a person can be saved from a destructive path, they can better themselves. The act of redemption of course is what keeps me coming back to A Christmas Carol again and again.
Now having said all of that. There appears to be a version of the story that I’ve not seen before. An 1971 animated special that aired on ABC on December 21. But proved so popular that it was later given a theatrical release. Then secured an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1972!
Which by the way the Academy changed the rules right after that win – so a made for TV short film cannot be eligible. A bit of humbug with that, right?
While the stunning animation style was based on the illustrations provided by John Leech and Milo Winter. Who in fact provided the artwork for the 1930’s version of Dickens’ novella. The short film also had legendary Chuck Jones as a producer with direction by Richard Williams.
Another key point to remember about this adaptation of A Christmas Carol is the sometimes frightening images. Whether it be the likes of Jacob Marley – shocking Ebenezer to keep him silent.
Or the Ghost of Christmas Present’s charges Ignorance and Want. Memorable and visually striking to say the least.
Another feature in the short film’s cap is the vocal talent they secured. For example you have Michael Redgrave as the narrator, Michael Hordren as Jacob Marley, Joan Sims as Mrs. Cratchit, and Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge. Yes, it is true that Sim reprises the role he played in 1951’s film adaption!
So sit back and Toon In for 1971’s A Christmas Carol – and from all of us at The Retroist have a Happy Holiday!
A Christmas Carol might be the most well known story of the Holiday season. Charles Dickens found himself with an immediate success on his hand upon it’s first publication in 1843. There have been no less than 20 film adaptations of A Christmas Carol starting in 1901 with Scrooge, or, Marley’s Ghost.
If I am being honest though, one of my favorites besides 1970’s Scrooge is 1983’s Mickey’s Christmas Carol. On the other hand even as a small child I felt it should have another title. Uncle Scrooge’s Christmas Carol. After all the part of Ebenezer is played by Scrooge McDuck , right?
Now for our latest episode of Retro Radio Memories we have something special. The 1939 adapation of A Christmas Carol on the Campbell Playhouse. Yes, that is indeed the radio program sponsored by Campbell’s Soup. Furthermore it boasts that talents of both Orson Welles as the narrator of the story and Lionel Barrymore as Scrooge.
So why not pour yourself a generous cup of eggnog and join us on Retro Radio Memories with A Christmas Carol?
If you have any comments or feedback for the show you can e-mail them to at VicSage@Retroist.com. You can also reach me on Twitter and of course on Facebook.
In this gem from the early 80s we seen Ebeneezer Scrooge, miser of misers, counting up his cash and figuring out a way to chisel all Bob Cratchet. If anyone knows a deal its Scrooge right? What does he suggest you get to make your penny go the furthest? KFC of course. Only the Colonel has the valuable golden brown fried bird to make Ol’ Ebeneezer part with his cash.
“You boy! What day is this?”
“Why its Christmas sir!”
“Oh great then I have not missed it, that White suited Ghost was something else. He did it all in just one night! One night! Now here take this $20 and fetch the largest bucket of fried bird.”
“But sir, a twenty is too much.”
“Well then be quick about it and you may keep the change!”
Enjoy the commercial — only 4 more days till Christmas.