Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Vox Media recalls the 1971 ABC-TV animated presentation of "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens
Vox Media has tweeted a story resurrecting the 1971 made-for-TV animated short (25 minutes) of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. The film, winning a best animated short Oscar in 1972, was produced for ABC television and was directed by Richard Williams, and is narrated by Michael Redgrave. The Vox story by Todd Van der Werff calls this the best adaptation of the Dickens novel ever made, with link here.
Most of us don’t think of this tale as a “ghost story”, but indeed it is. Ebenezer Scrooge is indeed a bit rather schizoid, and he uses his wealth to avoid discomforting connections to ordinary people. He says “there is nothing as hard as poverty so I pursue wealth.” The first ghost is made into a metaphor of indigestion, rather curious (and recalling my own finicky nature as a boy). That little ghost introduces the three main one, second of which (the present) wears a cape and has a rather bizarre paste-on toupe of chest hair. He doesn’t seem very real. Tiny Tim is presented as a kid who will not have another chance. But the biggest casualties are the other little boy (ignorance) and girl (need).
Perhaps this particular version of the Dickens story fits well with Vox’s frequent commentary on inequality.