TIme for a few more under-the-radar versions of A Christmas Carol. First off is the 1970 version that was first televised on Christmas Day on England’s Anglia Television. Paul Honeyman (who also produced) narrates, or rather, reads aloud from his personally edited version of the Dickens classic while all we see on-screen are a series of beautiful watercolor paintings by John Worsley depicting scenes from the story to match the narration. This version is 58 minutes long and is a nice change of pace for Carol-A-Thon people like me.
Next would be the Australian cartoon version of A Christmas Carol first broadcast there in 1969. (There was also an Australian cartoon version done in the 1980’s but I’ll cover that one some other time) This one features a scene of Scrooge at Marley’s funeral and its depiction of Marley’s Ghost is especially inventive: his head appears as a blazing fire with visible facial features. The overall effect is like his head is a candle’s flame. I know some purists may say that effect should have been saved for The Ghost Of Christmas Past but what the heck? There’s one odd but very short song and overall this one is fun but far from classic. It clocks in at 46 minutes so what’s the harm?
And now I’ll throw in one to avoid: Scrooge’s Rock And Roll Christmas from 1983. It’s not really an adaptation of A Christmas Carol, it’s just a kid (who thinks she’s in a record store for some reason) teaching Scrooge (played by Jack Elam) about “the spirit of rock” by showing him a series of taped music videos with old-timers (even back then) like Three Dog Night, Paul Revere and the Raiders, The Association, Mike Love from the Beach Boys, Dean Torrence from Jan And Dean and many others singing songs like Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree, Jingle Bell Rock, etc. Most of these videos are frequently available for enjoyment on Youtube (off and on of course, as uploaders and Youtube play the “copyright violation” game) and they’re the only parts of this version worth watching.