Top 5 Childhood Christmas Specials based on “A Christmas Carol”

Written by Megan Alexander December 25, 2011

Well folks, it is that time a year again – time to hang up our stockings, decorating the tree, get drunk off eggnog and snuggle up on our couches to watch our favourite Christmas specials. I don’t know about you, but there is something about watching Christmas specials that brings me right back to my childhood, and no other story has been adapted more for Christmas specials then Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. So here is my gift to you this holiday season, my top 5 childhood adaptations of A Christmas Carol. I hope that these specials from Holidays Past will get all you Scrooges out there into the Christmas Spirit, if not, well Humbug to you!!!

5) Bugs Bunny’s Christmas Carol:

Who else but the Loony Tunes could bring us a hilarious interpretation of A Christmas Carol in less than 8 minutes. How you ask? Well basically they cut out the middlemen of the first two ghosts. Bugs Bunny disguises himself as a ghost to warn Scrooge (played by Yosemite Sam) that if he does not change his ways and bring the spirit of Christmas into his heart, he will have to pay a visit to the Man in Red (And no, not Santa Clause). I find this hilarious because the show is basically saying that Scrooge would have given into Christmas a lot faster if he knew from the beginning that he would have be sentenced to a life of internal damnation if he didn’t. It is a short and sweet interpretation of the story with a lot of jokes in between.

4) Mickey’s Christmas Carol:

You would have to have a heart as cold as Scrooge for you not to be a fan of Disney. This tale has all of the favourites from the Disney Gang – like Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Scrooge McDuck (from Duck Tales). In only a half an hour, this Disney gem covers the tale perfectly and I love that the Dim Witted Giant from Mickey and the Bean Stock plays the role of the Ghost of Christmas present. If you love classic Disney characters telling a classic Christmas story, then this is the special for you.

3) Alvin’s Christmas Carol:

Before the extremely bad live action movies were made, Alvin and the Chipmunks was a really good cartoon that played throughout the 80s and 90s. I loved Alvin and the Chipmunks as a kid and come Christmas time I would always look forward to its adaptation of A Christmas Carol. In this version, Alvin plays an allegorical Scrooge who is not greedy with money but with presents. While writing an essay on the true meaning of Christmas (which he has no clue of) he is visited by the three sprits (played by Dave, Theodore, and Simon). After seeing a past of humble beginnings and a future of him becoming a fat greedy slob, Alvin vows to change his ways. This special has a lot of laughs, a lot of charm and everybody’s favorite annoying Christmas song, “Christmas Don’t be late”.

2) A Flintstones Christmas Carol:

This is probably one of the earliest introductions to A Christmas Carol that I had ever seen as a child and it is one that I try to go back to every year. The Flintstones take a bit of a spin on this traditional story by having it being put on as a play in the cartoon, performed by the whole Bedrock Gang with Fred Flintstone cast as Scrooge. The first half of the special is Fred being bigheaded over the fact that he is the star of the show, which causes him to ignore his responsibilities (getting presents, picking up baby Pebbles) and his overly worked wife, Wilma. Wilma not only directs the play but also has to take on several roles due to the fact that much of the town has come down with the Bedrock bug. It is through performing as Scrooge that Fred comes to realize how selfish he has been. The play itself is a classic interpretation of the story that does Dickens proud. If you want a slightly different tune of the same Christmas carol I yab-a-doo recommend this special!

1) The Muppets Christmas Carol:

Why is this number one? Because of Michael Caine of course, who is hands down one of the best Scrooges ever portrayed on screen – oh yah and the Muppets are pretty awesome too. The way that Caine  acts with the Muppets is so wonderful that we forget that he is interacting with mere puppets (but that is the magic of the Muppets after all). The story stays true to the classic Dickens tale as narrated to us by the great Gonzo and much of the films dialogue is taken straight out of the book. The music is also really wonderful because it truly gets you into the Christmas spirit. The movie was dedicated to Jim Hanson, as the film was released right after his death, and it certainly did him and his work justice. I love this film and if you have not seen it, I highly recommend that you find it and make it part of your Christmas traditions.

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