A Christmas Carol (1971 film)

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A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol (1971 film).jpg
Ebenezer Scrooge
Directed by Richard Williams
Produced by Richard Williams
Chuck Jones
Written by Charles Dickens
Based on A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens
Starring Alastair Sim
Michael Hordern
Diana Quick
Joan Sims
Narrated by Michael Redgrave
Music by Tristram Cary
Distributed by American Broadcasting Company
Release date
  • December 21, 1971 (1971-12-21)
Running time
25 minutes
Country United States
Language English

A Christmas Carol (1971) is an Academy Award-winning animated adaptation of Charles Dickens's 1843 venerable novella. It was a television film originally broadcast on ABC in the United States, but it was subsequently released theatrically.

Cast (voices)[edit]


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[edit]

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 the film's bleak mood and emphasis on darkness and shadows lead some to consider it the most frightening of the many dramatizations of the Dickens classic.[2]

Academy Award[edit]

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 Dickens' story to receive an Academy Award of any sort. Some industry insiders, in fact, were so unhappy that a short originally shown on television was given the award, that the Academy changed its policy, disqualifying any future works initially shown on television. (This restriction is fairly easily circumvented if planned in advance; ESPN Films, for example, routinely issues some of its documentaries, such as 30 for 30 episodes, for a limited theatrical release before airing them on television. This loophole allowed ESPN's O.J.: Made in America miniseries to qualify, and ultimately win, the Academy's Best Documentary award in 2017.)

See also[edit]


External links[edit]