Books at the Box Office: A Christmas Carol

Next Friday, Christmas, is the last Friday of the year, and I have a special “Books at the Box Office” blog planned before I announce the 2021 Friday theme, so I wanted to take today to get festive and look at A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens which has been adapted in various ways a million ways, but specifically I want to look at the OG novel and the 2009 animated film.

First, the book, which you really should read if you haven’t–it’s not too long, Dickens-wise. You can also find it often bound with Dickens’ other Christmas stories.

A Christmas Carol is a novella by Charles Dickens, first published in London by Chapman & Hall on 19 December 1843. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. Carol tells the story of a bitter old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation into a gentler, kindlier man after visitations by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come.The book was written at a time when the British were examining and exploring Christmas traditions from the past as well as new customs such as Christmas cards and Christmas trees. Carol singing took a new lease on life during this time. Dickens’ sources for the tale appear to be many and varied, but are, principally, the humiliating experiences of his childhood, his sympathy for the poor, and various Christmas stories and fairy tales.Dickens’ Carol was one of the greatest influences in rejuvenating the old Christmas traditions of England, but, while it brings to the reader images of light, joy, warmth and life, it also brings strong and unforgettable images of darkness, despair, coldness, sadness, and death. Scrooge himself is the embodiment of winter, and, just as winter is followed by spring and the renewal of life, so too is Scrooge’s cold, pinched heart restored to the innocent goodwill he had known in his childhood and youth. A Christmas Carol remains popular—having never been out of print—and has been adapted many times to film, stage, opera, and other media.

You don’t need my thoughts on this.It’s A Christmas Carol, come on.

Now, the 2009 film:


Now I’ll be the first to admit the animation on this is a little scary sometimes. It’s from the same guy who did Polar Express, which I think is super obvious. Jim Carrey plays Scrooge and all three ghosts, LOL, and has a good voice cast! Gary Oldman as Bob Cratchit, Colin Firth as Fred (which is..weird to me since Fred is always played so young on the stage, but okay), Robin Wright Penn as Fan, and it’s a cute Christmas film. One of those family-friendly ones that everyone will enjoy. Nothing too special to become a lifelong favorite, but it’ll do the trick. It’s got a 52% on Rotten Tomatoes, which isn’t shabby for a holiday flick.

You can stream it on Hulu.


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