Advent Calendar 2017! - Day 12


Version: A Christmas Carol (1969, dir. Zoran Janjic)

We have now analysed enough versions of the Scrooge/urchin scene from A Christmas Carol to get a sense for the major tropes and variations. At this point I want to start filling in the gaps in our study so that we can start to form a more coherent discourse around the way in which these scenes are adapted from page to screen. With that in mind, I wanted today's entry to tick two boxes: I wanted to study a version from the 1960s, which up to now we have neglected to do, and I wanted to study another animated version, which we haven't seen nearly enough of. To that end, here's 1969's A Christmas Carol; a 45-minute animated children's special.

This is the earliest animated version we've looked at so far, and it's interesting to note that the need to give Scrooge an animated animal companion clearly arose between this version in 1969 and the Stan Philips animated version in 1997. This rendition of the scene lacks an animal for Scrooge; in fact it lacks any sort of added bells or whistles other than having the urchin run off down the street to get the turkey before coming back when he realises he doesn't have any money. I quite like this addition. It's a fun moment and I like the way he leaves frame right, you here his footsteps leaving, then you hear his footsteps coming back. The biggest thing this adds though is the sense that the urchin was going to do this for Scrooge anyway regardless of whether he was paid to do it. Obviously in real life a street urchin should expect some form of payment when strange old men from upper floor windows ask them to buy prized turkeys, but the fact that our fictional urchin didn't ask for money immediately makes thematic sense with this being a story about selflessness over selfishness (not that expecting to be paid for a job is selfish but whatever, it's Christmas).

Other than that, this version follows the formula beat for beat, note for note, but it hits those notes perfectly. The window is at a perfect height during the one wide shot we get, the urchin's cap is perfectly huge and floppy and ridiculous, and both voice actors do a good job with the material. This is a textbook adaptation of the Scrooge/urchin scene.

Framing 6 out of 10.
Scrooge's Reaction To The Date 8 out of 10.
Urchin Accent 7 out of 10.
Window Height 10 out of 10.
Scrooge Nightgown Quality 6 out of 10.
Urchin Cap Quality 10 out of 10.
Final Score 7.8 out of 10. This version doesn't really innovate in any particularly interesting ways but it replicates the standard formula perfectly.