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A Christmas Carol

Ebenezer Scrooge
Directed by Richard Williams
Written by Charles Dickens
Narrated by Michael Redgrave
Starring Alastair Sim
Michael Hordern
Melvyn Hayes
Joan Sims
Release date(s) December 21, 1971 (1971-12-21)
Running time 25 minutes
Country United States
Language English

A Christmas Carol is a 1971 animated film adaptation of Charles Dickens' venerable novella which was a made-for-television production originally shown on ABC television in the United States.

Contents

Production

A Christmas Carol was directed by Richard Williams and its visual style is also largely due to Ken Harris, credited as "Master Animator". It starred Alastair Sim as the voice of Ebenezer Scrooge — a role Sim had previously performed in the 1951 live-action film Scrooge. Michael Hordern likewise reprised his 1951 performance as Marley's Ghost in the same film. Michael Redgrave narrated the story and veteran animator Chuck Jones served as executive producer. Williams' son Alexander Williams, then aged four, provided the voice for Tiny Tim. [1]

Visual style

This adaptation of A Christmas Carol has a distinctive look, created by multiple pans and zooms and by innovative, unexpected scene transitions. The visual style, which is unusually powerful, is inspired by 19th century engraved illustrations of the original story by John Leech and the pen and ink renderings by illustrator Milo Winter that graced 1930s editions of the book. The intended audience does not include young children and some regard the film's bleak mood, including the scene from the book when the Ghost of Christmas Present reveals the horrid embodiments of Want and Ignorance, and emphasis on darkness and shadows as making it the most frightening of the many dramatizations of the Dickens classic.[2]

Academy Award

Originally produced as a 1971 television special, A Christmas Carol was considered so well done, that it was subsequently released theatrically (thereby rendering it eligible for Oscar consideration). The film did in fact win the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for 1972 and to this day remains the only film adaptation of the story to be so honored. However, some industry insiders were unhappy that a short originally shown on TV was awarded the Academy Award, which led to the Academy subsequently changing its policy, disqualifying any shorts that were shown on television first.

See also

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References

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