Charles Dickens is one of the most inspired writers to have lived. Over the years, his pieces have amassed massive influence. One need only think of Oliver Twist and a Tale of Two Cities. Yet, these are only two of the beloved works of Dickens, an author of a different age with a penchant for transcribing narratives reaching beyond borders and time. That gift is fully displayed in perhaps his most well-known work, a holiday narrative. Astoundingly, Charles Dickens, a man who formerly strolled the streets of England, is also known for gifting readers and global audiences with the unforgettable yuletide tale A Christmas Carol.
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A Christmas Carol was once a simple manuscript with a powerful message. Dickens had no idea that his words would strike a match bright enough to lift a country out of perpetual gloom at its penning. Nevertheless, it was this literary gift that brought the light of hope to a people submerged in years of stoicism. According to Town & Country:
“It wasn’t until 1843 when a Christmas Carol was published in a slim leather-brown volume with gilt pages and color illustrations that the jollification of the season took over.”
Remarkably, his work continues to spark a glimmer of hope hundreds of years later. A Christmas Carol is a narrative that never ages and continues to be retold, re-crafted, and re-imagined. According to Film Inquiry:
“A Christmas Carol stands among the most frequently adapted stories in the history of film and television, ranking alongside Sherlock Holmes, Robin Hood, The Three Musketeers, and Frankenstein.”
Despite the variety of retellings, the message remains untouched; it is goodwill that reinvigorates the spirit and makes life anew. As written in Town & Country:
“A Christmas Carol is a tool for rediscovering one’s own humanity and purpose.”
So no matter if it has been told 1001 ways, there seems always to be room for one more adaption. This upcoming yuletide season will mark yet another re-mastering of the classic story with Scrooge A Christmas Carol. Netflix’s version will be re-envisioned through the creative imaginations of director Stephen Donnelly and a cast and crew eager to carry on the legacy of Dickens. So waiting audiences will be once more reminded of the spirit undergirding the festive holiday and to always keep Christmas in their hearts.
Scrooge: The Plot
Hodder and Stoughton
Director Stephen Donnelly promises the story will stick to its origins with a few adaptations. Ebenezer and the transformational experience which will forever change his life remain the centerpiece. However, the filmmaker teases something a little different, telling Variety:
“There are more than enough psychedelic, time-traveling, and musical surprises to keep those familiar with the story on the edge of their seats while the authentic essence of Dickens has been maintained.”
Scrooge: A Christmas Carol promises to offer something of appeal to those hearing the story afresh without altering the significance of Dickens’s message for those who adore an old classic. A traditional tale with a new spin is the perfect frame for this new offering.
Scrooge: The Cast and Crew
Netflix, the streaming behemoth, will be the home to the newest reworking of Dickens’s Christmas Carol. The film will find its direction under the helm of Stephen Donnelly, credited for his direction of Monster High Welcome to Monster High. Like many of this film’s predecessors, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Magoo’s Christmas Carol, and Christmas Carol starring Jim Carrey, the newest rendition of the Christmas account is also animated.
To help Donnelly infuse new life into a recognizable work is a top-tier talent. While fans may not immediately recognize the all-star performers, they will discover the extensive capabilities of some of their favorites through voice-overs. Olivia Colman, Luke Evans. Jonathan Pryce and Jessie Buckley are a few of the assembled talent behind the most beloved characters.
Olivia Colman voices the Ghost of Christmas Past. Many may remember Colman’s roles in Joy Ride or Les Misérables (tv series). However, she is no stranger to voice-over work, as she has also voiced characters on Thomas and Friends and The Simpsons. So this project is in her wheelhouse. Luke Evans, who has fulfilled roles in Dracula Untold and The Hobbit Battle of Five Armies, is the voice of the titular character Ebeneezer Scrooge. Johnathan Pryce, another veteran actor, voices Jacob Marley’s deceased friend and partner to Scrooge. Pryce is known for his roles in G.I Joe and Game of Thrones, which will soon get a prequel House of the Dragon. And Jessie Buckley, who can be seen in Fargo, Chornobyl, and I’m Thinking of Ending Things, will voice the character of Ebenezer’s beloved Isabel Fezziwig.
The new interpretation will carry the title Scrooge: A Christmas Carol. Not only is the feature animated, but it is a narrative set to music. Of note are the pieces underscoring the feature. The modernized adaptation will consist of pieces from Leslie Bricusse. This is notable as Bricusse was a force de jour in the movie industry.
Interestingly, Bricusse is credited with creating a 1970 musical rendition of Christmas Carol entitled Scrooge, upon which this adaptation is based. However, for those unfamiliar with Bricusse’s other work, his filmography speaks for itself. Bricusse’s projects have included classic film favorites such as Home Alone, Peter Pan, Babes in Toyland, and Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory, which will get a prequel Wonka which began filming last year.
Not only will Scrooge: A Christmas Carol join the likes of the variable tales told but the ranks of those waiting to be told, such as Apple TV+ upcoming seasonal release Spirited. So, for those who can’t wait to relive the holiday magic through a musical odyssey, Donnelly’s feature is poised to stream in December of this year, right in time for the holiday season.