29 June 2011 | TheLittleSongbird
Charming and worthwhile
This is not the best Christmas Carol I've seen, The Alastair Sim, George C.Scott and Muppet versions are versions I prefer. But this 1997 animated film is much better than the 2001 film which was also animated and had Simon Callow and Kate Winslet, that would have been decent had it not been so dull.
This Christmas Carol is not perfect. There are parts of the film that drag, especially the first 15 minutes or so. Also while I have seen much worse animation as some of the colours and backgrounds are better than expected, there are some shortcuts with the occasionally awkward character design and the frames are quite simplistic.
Flaws aside, this film I think is charming, worthwhile and underrated. The incidental music is absolutely beautiful, while I quite liked the songs actually particularly Santa's Sooty Suit and the very touching duet between Belle and young Ebeneezer. This version is not the most faithful, there are some changes, specifically the character Debit who I was in two minds of whether he was really that necessary to the story and the fact the ghost of Christmas Present ages throughout.
There are some changes though that I think worked, particularly the bit where Robinson Crusoe appears as a spirit and the part where Tiny Tim is reading the same book and Scrooge is reading along which really quite touched me. Even with the changes though, the spirit of the classic story is there. The crucial scenes are there, you do empathise with Scrooge throughout, the ending is marvellous being very heartwarming and as well as some added dialogue(the Mr Grumpy Face line is very funny) some of the film's writing is lifted from the text of the book as you can see in the scene in the beginning with Fred and the ending at Bob Cratchit's house.
The voice cast is top notch. Edward Asner is a good Jacob Marley, Michael York is very spirited and Jodi Benson is also touching. Support wise, the best for me was Whoopi Golberg who embodies her character very well and seems to be having a great deal of fun. Best of all is Tim Curry in the title role, right from the voice to the delivery of the lines, he is just wonderful.
Overall, while it is not the best or most perfect version there is, I enjoyed it a lot. 8/10 Bethany Cox