I love A Christmas Carol, it’s a great novel and has made for some fantastic adaptations on stage and screen. But as you can imagine, the key word is “adaptation”. When anything is adapted from one medium to another, changes are inevitably made. Things are kept, others dropped, and some things expanded on. For better and for worst. For instance did you know that the house Scrooge lives in was Marley’s? Or that he has a cold? These are details that just aren’t important enough to be adapted over. Other times stuff will be added to fill out the story. Some changes seem so obvious that it amazes me that they aren’t in the book!
So here are ten changes from book to adaptions, some changes for the better and others not so much. I am going over several of these versions but of course I can;t possibly mention all of them. Thank you YouTube! Just to be clear, by “Disney” version I am referring to the Jim Carey one from a few years ago.
Of course this was a novel, or novella, so there is no music in the book except for maybe the singing in teh church. And the Fezziwig scene of course. That doesn’t stop people from making it into a musical, and sometimes this helps. Sometimes not so much. For instance every musical version adds a song to the scene where Belle and Scrooge break up, making it go for an eternity! All the musical versions have songs in the opening which kinda hurts the mood (though The Muppets isn’t the worst). In the Albert Finney version a song makes Scooge’s walk home take forever, and he runs into all kinds of people he’ll encounter again in the finale. The Kelsey Grammar version one up’s that by having the ghosts foreshadowed when Scrooge runs into them in human form. A cute but unnecessary touch. The big difference between the Grammar version and the Finney version is that the songs in the Grammar version take the place of dialogue from the book. Give the Finney version credit, the songs don’t intrude on the dialogue! And these have big musical finale’s which I always think are to much, Scrooge is supposed to be happy but having him dancing down the street is hard to buy. Albert Finney’s finale is especially wayyyyyyyy to much. The best? Michael Cain in the Muppet Christmas Carol handles it a lot of class and that final act is my favorite.