The Greatest Carol

I believe fervently that the greatest film version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is an animated one first aired in 1971, directed by Richard Williams and executive produced by Chuck Jones. It is a truly terrifying, no holds barred rendition of the tale, and a beautiful work of art to boot, based on Victorian-era illustrations. I can distinctly remember being traumatized at a young age by several scenes in the holiday special, most especially when Jacob Marley removed his head scarf, letting his jaw drop to his chest (left), and when the Ghost of Christmas Present lifted his cloak to reveal the groveling figures of Ignorance and Want beneath (right). Not surprisingly, I guess, this particular version of the story seems to have fallen off the list of favored Christmas classics fairly quickly, and it doesn’t even appear to be available officially on DVD or VHS. I did, however, find a complete version of it online, here: A Christmas Carol (1971). Watch it while you can.

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