Welcome to Balladeer’s Blog’s Third Annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon! I have several dozen video versions of the Charles Dickens classic and for years now I have filled the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas watching umpteen different adaptations of this epic myth of the Industrial Age. The 2012 edition of this Carol-A-Thon begins with the 1969 Australian cartoon version as a shoutout to the KiwiAussie herself, Jo “Buckshot” Bryant and her blog Chronicles of Illusion.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1969) – Air Programs International produced this fun animated version. There are books out there whose reviewers trash this version of A Christmas Carol but their reviews are so loaded with factual errors about this cartoon that I can’t help but wonder when the last time was that they actually watched it.

This 46 minute long adaptation begins with a scene at Jacob Marley’s funeral as Scrooge negotiates the “hard bargain” that the novel refers to. From there it’s on to the memorable Christmas Eve visit from Scrooge’s nephew Fred, and the Australian accents instead of the usual British accents provide a nice novelty all by themselves. Fred sings a very brief and very odd song, but don’t be alarmed if you hate musical versions of this tale – Joy to the World is the only other song featured and it isn’t sung until the end.  

The artwork in this version of the familiar tale is excellent and really conveys a sense of the cold, grey London winters. The boldest departure in the spirits comes in the depiction of Marley’s Ghost, which is depicted with a head fully encased in a flame that flickers like a candle instead of with the usual faint stirrings of Marley’s hair “as from hot breath or fire” as Dickens wrote.

The remaining ghosts are presented as fairly bland and almost indistinguishable, unfortunately, and the story unfolds in a fun but not classic way. One of the catchy bits involves a running gag with Scrooge starting to sneeze, but being unable to attain relief as the sneezes are constantly stifled. After his Christmas Morning conversion, however, he at last achieves orga -uh, sneeze relief. 

No version of A Christmas Carol can really be bad when it stays as faithful to the source material as this one does, so ignore the naysayers and give this one a try.


© Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Edward Wozniak and Balladeer’s Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.




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  2. Excellent! Can’t wait for more Christmas Carols.

  3. Amazing! I Never knew this Christmas Carol was made!

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  5. Nice look at this! I saw this when I was little I think.

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  7. I always thought there was something off about the accents in this. Never knew they were Australian.

  8. Your comments about these different versions of a christmas carol are very interesting.

  9. We Aussie know how to make good TV !!! Thanks for the shout out Ed.

  10. Ted

    Awesome! Nice holiday post!

  11. Australian cartoons? U dig up such interesting stuff!

  12. Wonderful post! This cartoon sounds fun!

  13. Tiffany

    Great to learn about all these versions! Cool!

  14. GO Kentucky State! That is one sweet name and helmet!

  15. Rare version of this classic tale! Good job!

  16. Pingback: A Christmas Carol « Xingu, Volume 2

  17. fifeb

    I love this version and used to own some actual cells used in its making – wish I still had them.

  18. fifeb

    As a child in the mid – late sixties, I was fascinated by API’s Arthur and the Square Knights of the Round Table. This more than likely stemmed from idyllic childhood holidays spent in Cornwall and visiting what was, allegedly, King Arthur’s castle in Tintagel.

    In my young mind, watching Arthur somehow made me feel closer to this dreamy, faraway place.

    I wrote a letter to the TV company that broadcasted the series and they kindly wrote a nice letter back giving API’s address in Australia. I excitedly wrote off to them and months later, long after my letter had been forgotten I got the most wonderful surprise in the post. A lovely letter – I think – from a lady called Angela Devereux (it was a long time ago!). She explained how Arthur was made and although, there wasn’t any cells from Arthur available, she sent me a series of cells from A Christmas Carol to demonstrate the process. I was ecstatic with joy. The whole thing was just magical.

    In the eighties I watched the film with my children and was able to show them the cells from what they had just watched. In this day and age of the computer and Internet it doesn’t sound that remarkable but way back then…oh happy days.

    Sorry about the ramble.

  19. Ah, the “Ghost Rider Marley” version.

    This may have been the same Australian studio that did LOTS of other animated versions of classics. HBO ran quite a few of their animated Dickens adaptations. But the ones I remember most are the Sherlock Holmes adaptations (with Peter O’Toole voicing Holmes) that got me into the stories.

  20. Wes

    Forgive my stupidity, but I can not for the life of me come across your sites rss feeds. Mind directing me to it? Many thanks.

  21. Kaitlynn

    Wonderful article! I love this Christmas story!

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