Friday, November 21, 2008

A Christmas Carol [Animated - 1971]

Image obtained courtesy IMBd.

I've not seen this **Oscar-winning** animated version of A Christmas Carol in years, but it's never been forgotten and I've always hoped it'd be aired again. It's brooding, very dark, scary [parents' comments recommend is TOO frightening for small children], Gothic; absolutely UNIQUE. Will try to hunt down a DVD copy. [unable to link directly via post, sorry]

Some -User Comments- which couldn't have said it better than I:

"Like a painting in motion: This little gem is something I saw on ABC, waaaaay back around '71 or '72...This version miraculously managed to squeeze the entire story into 30 minutes and was out and out scary. The animation looked like an old etching, come to life with lines moving everywhere to indicate shadow and form. London became a creepy, Gormenghast-like city with spires, and arches, all sort of in this weird forced perspective. I remember the gap-mouthed Marley with his jaw dropping down to the middle of his chest as he screamed at Scrooge, and the eerie candle-headed Ghost of Christmas Past whom he forced back into a large cone that one would put candles out with in those days(but smaller). Creepy stuff even for it's time. Worth finding."


"Best animated version of a Dickens classic Xmas tale: This is the best animated version of the hoary old Dickens tale ever brought to the screen. This is no assembly-line cartoon; this is a Victorian lithograph brought to life. Splendid artwork, dizzying camera angles, magnificent and painstaking animation at its best. There are master craftsmen at work here; no shortcuts or sloppy work. The only criticism I could make of it is that it's too short. I sure wish that Santa had given them an unlimited budget to work with. Probably not suitable for younger children, as some of the images are a little terrifying (the children under the robe of the second spirit send chills up my spine every time I see it). I first saw it on PBS back in 1972, I think, and it has haunted me ever since..."

Haunted is a good word for it -- and no pun intended. It gets 10 stars on a scale of 1 - 5. ;-P

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