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Western Animation / A Christmas Carol (1997)

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A Christmas Carol is an Animated Adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol produced by 20th Century Fox and DiC Entertainment, starring Tim Curry as Scrooge.

The adaptation is fairly straightforward and keeps in many smaller details from the book, while streamlining the main story. Scrooge was also given a bulldog pet named Debit for comic relief purposes. Other stars include Whoopi Goldberg as the Ghost of Christmas Present, Michael York as Bob Cratchit, Edward Asner as Jacob Marley, and Jodi Benson as Belle.


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This movie contains examples of:

  • Adapted Out: Ignorance and Want were left out of this adaptation.
  • Adaptation Distillation: In the future, Scrooge sees the people robbing his body while the crime's in progress, and instead of Scrooge going to Fred's party he invites Fred to bring the party to Bob Cratchit's house.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Scrooge's tavern dinner is expanded to include an entire musical number.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In this version Scrooge's father didn't relent, so Fan invited him home herself.
  • Anachronism Stew: Averted with Scrooge using steel pens, while most adaptations, even animated ones, use quill pens.
  • Berserk Button: Scrooge claiming Christmas is a selfish holiday to the Ghost of Christmas Present gets him dropped in the snow.
  • Big Fun: The Ghost of Christmas Present, who calls Scrooge "Mr. Grumpyface" and revels in wishing happiness to everything and everyone.
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  • Bully Bulldog: Scrooge keeps Debit around to chase off people he doesn't like, and tries to sic him on Marley.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Scrooge present Belle with something round, shiny and the key to their future—not a ring, but the profits from his first business venture.
  • Conspicuous CG: Lens flares and smoke are superimposed over the screen when magic happens.
  • Counterpoint Duet:
    • "Random Acts of Kindness" is about everyone in the tavern talking about how rewarding kindness is, while Scrooge feels kindness will come back to hurt you. Its reprise is about Mr. and Mrs. Cratchit arguing over whether to thank Scrooge or not.
    • "Cross This Bridge" is about Belle breaking up with Scrooge, outlining their different views of life via song.
  • Disneyfication: Debit was an animal added for comic relief, and Fred helps a tiny mouse to show his goodwill. Ignorance and Want are also left out.
  • Gender Flip: The Ghost of Christmas Present is a woman, played by Whoopi Goldberg. It's also a Race Lift to African-American.
  • Generation Xerox: Scrooge sees Tiny Tim reading Robinson Crusoe at the fire just like he did as a child.
  • Large Ham: The Ghost of Christmas Present, since Christmas itself is supposed to be an obviously joyful time.
  • Minor Character, Major Song: The tavern waitress leads "Random Acts of Kindness", emphasizing the differing philosophies between the patrons and Scrooge.
  • The Musical: The cartoon has 8 original songs.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Scrooge believes in this philosophy, outlining it in one of the songs and to the Ghost of Christmas Present, who he believes saved him from falling so she could annoy him further.
  • Pet the Dog: Literally. Scrooge pets Debit during the Past scenes, then catches himself doing it and stops.
  • Power Glows: The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come has a bright purple aura around it, while Jacob Marley has a green aura at first but it vanishes early on.
  • Rapid Aging: The Ghost of Christmas Present ages gradually during the final scenes, and at midnight she disappears in a red flash.
  • "Reading Is Cool" Aesop: Scrooge sees Tiny Tim reading Robinson Crusoe at the fire and implores him to keep reading, exulting over how exciting the story was.
  • The Scrooge: Yup. This version finds it hard to believe in something better than gold at first.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Debit stays at home for the Present and Future scenes.
  • Trilling Rs: The Ghost of Christmas Present uses these when speaking.
  • Truer to the Text: Scrooge remembering the storybook characters he loved in the Past sequence is usually left out for brevity's sake, with this version being one of the few that keeps it.
  • Void Between the Worlds: Scrooge meets the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in a dark, purple void.

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