Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Watch A Christmas Carol (1971)

Twenty years after he portrayed the definitive Scrooge on screen, Alastair Sim returned to the role, albeit in voice only, for this animated version of A Christmas Carol. Michael Hordern also returned, as the ghost of Jacob Marley.

The short TV film, which runs for 25 minutes, was directed by Canadian animator Richard Williams and shown in the US on ABC on Tuesday, December 21, 1971. It was given a theatrical release the following year and received the 1972 Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. I believe it's the only version of Dickens's book to win an Oscar, although the British musical Scrooge (1970) was nominated in four categories.

The film is a delight, condensing the story perfectly, so as to retain the absolutely essential elements, including a very sinister atmosphere and a keen sense of the social injustices that concerned Dickens. Compare it with the somewhat disappointing 1954 TV version of A Christmas Carol, starring Basil Rathbone, which has a similar length, to see what a difference this makes.

Chuck Jones, the late animator most fondly remembered for the Warner Bros Loony Tunes cartoons, produced the film, and a few well-known British thesps round out the cast of voices, including Sir Michael Redgrave (Narrator), Diana Quick (Ghost of Christmas Past) and Carry On actress Joan Sims (Mrs Cratchit).

Watch A Christmas Carol (1971) below:


  1. This is on dvd at these sites listed below



  2. Great Show