The Top 10 Christmas Carols
#10 – Barbie In A Christmas Carol
You can guarantee that, if something’s worth doing, Barbie’s already done it. That shrewd little blonde is actually quite an astute businesswoman, after all. If you’re wondering which role she’s going to be taking, it’s the main one (obviously!); meet Eden Starling, the sexy female version of Ebenezer Scrooge. She’s a singing diva (read: dick) in Victorian London and is planning to make everyone rehearse on Christmas Day. What a SELFISH act! Thank goodness those three famous ghosts rock in and show her the error of her ways.
Okay, so it’s awful. Awful awful. But fantasy, self-centred tantrums and toys are what Christmas is all about, aren’t they?
#9 – The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol
I don’t even want to talk about this one. Pretend you didn’t see it…
#8 – Mickey’s Christmas Carol
Mickey Mouse? As Scrooge? You’ve GOT to be bloody joking… oh wait, he’s not. He’s Bob Cratchit. How very out of character for him. And Scrooge McDuck is Ebenezer Scrooge. It’s nice to see that the Disney crew are mad about stretching their acting sensibilities, isn’t it? Bloody hell.
#7 – Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past
Why stop at Christmas when you can apply the three ghost rule to dating? Matthew McConaughey is a ladies-man-commitment-phobic-borderline-alcoholic-sex-maniac and, on the night of his brother’s wedding, is visited by the ghost of Michael Douglas. Weird? Sure, it’s a little bit weird, but it gets odder when he is then HAUNTED by the ghosts of girlfriends past, present and future. Jennifer Garner gets involved as a bashfully blinking love interest. She does love blinking, doesn’t she? Anyway, it’s actually quite funny and an interesting twist on the old formula.
Well, it’s definitely better than Barbie anyway.
#6 – A Christmas Carol (1938)
Apparently this film is “Greater than David Copperfield!” Always good to know. That’s pretty much how I go about judging the high-quality of my film-book adaptations to be honest. “Is it better than David Copperfield? No? Well, get it the Dickens outta here then!” Ahem. Needless to say, this is a pretty true-to-book account of the story AND it’s in black and white, so you can watch it and feel intellectual. As Charlie Sheen would say, A Christmas Carol (1938) is WINNING!
#5 – Christmas Carol: The Movie
This is actually quite a fun version of the Dickensian classic; first of all, we have the additional character of Gabriel, a little mouse, which obviously entertains us beyond our wildest dreams. Secondly, we split between live action and animation (keeping us on our toes!). Thirdly, Scrooge isn’t just a mean old miser, he’s a viable culprit in the death of Tiny Tim – he throws a bucket of freezing water over the poor little guy and causes him to fall prey to pneumonia. Monstrous.
Finally, Kate Winslet is in it. Kate “I’m a bloody firebraving hero” Winslet. AND SHE SINGS TOO! It’s a gift that just keeps on giving…
#4 – A Christmas Carol (2009)
You know what would make A Christmas Carol even better? If Jim Carrey played every single character or, at the very least, most of the characters. And maybe if Gary Oldman was there somewhere. Ooh and Colin Firth. Which is why A Christmas Carol (2009) is the best version of the film ever… wait, it’s motion capture animation? Back to Number 4 you go, Carrey!
#3 – Scrooged
How can we update an old classic? With Bill Murray as a cynically selfish TV executive, that’s how! Oh, he still gets haunted by three spirits bearing lessons. He still does it on Christmas Eve. However, his name is no longer Ebenezer; it’s Frank. Frank gives his family bath towels at Christmas. Every year. Bloody Dick(ens). He’ll get his comeuppance, don’t you worry… in fact, he gets Scrooged. Hence the title. Clever, huh?
#2 – Scrooge (1951)
“If I could work my will, every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips should be boiled in his own pudding and buried with a stake of holly through his heart”.
What’s that? The most famous line of the book has been OMITTED from the script? Insanity. And that is why I’ve placed the film widely regarded as the best film adaptation of the story at number 2… I’m giddy with power!
#1 – The Muppet Christmas Carol
Muppets! Michael Caine! Muppets! Music! EVEN MORE MUPPETS!!! It’s whimsical, we learn our lessons, jellybeans take on a newfound vital importance, Gonzo is Charles Dickens and the Ghost of Christmas Future looks just like a Dementor. A short and clumsy Dementor. IT CAN ONLY BE THE MUPPET CHRISTMAS CAROL!!!
Even Muppet-haters (and there are some out there, believe it or not) have conceded that this is an excellent festive film; heartwarming, hilarious and generally wonderful, life-affirming film. Screw all the others, just watch this one. Although I offer one warning; do not go marching into English Literature for your lesson on the Dickens classic and proudly proclaim you know everything there is to know… only to mention that there are two Marleys. There aren’t, okay? You’ll just look stupid. Trust me!