Advent Calendar 2017! - Day 21



Version: Barbie in A Christmas Carol (2008, dir. William Lau)

Day 21 of our analysis of shot-reverse-shot Scrooge/urchin dialogue scenes from cinematic adaptations of A Christmas Carol brings us to a 2008 3D animated version with Barbie. Like yesterday's scene, this isn't really an urchin scene. It serves the narrative and structural purposes of an urchin scene, but it's lacking in one key aspect: no urchin. However, unlike It's Christmas, Carol!, we actually get something closer to the way it's supposed to be here; Scrooge wakes up after her visit from the final spirit, she opens the window, and learns what day it is. Rather than having an urchin tell her what date it is though, she instead overhears people in the street wishing each other a Merry Christmas. That seems like an unreliable way to tell what day it is given people generally refer to the period around Christmas as being Christmas too, but whatever. It seems to be a trend that more recent versions of A Christmas Carol just have no patience for the Scrooge/urchin scene, deleting it from the plot while leaving a big hole in the structure of the thing where it'd obviously fit.

The framing in this scene is okay. I'm a big fan of symmetry so the shot of Scrooge opening the windows is nice, but rather than have the music swell when we see a beautiful shot of the outdoors, it instead swells when she pulls back the curtains, and then we don't get to see what she sees out of the window for a good few seconds. When we do eventually see out of the window with her, the scene is kinda bland and not as epic as the crescendo would have us believe. All this is meaningless of course; the scene lost me the moment I didn't see an urchin.

Framing 7 out of 10.
Scrooge's Reaction To The Date 6 out of 10.
Urchin Accent 0 out of 10.
Window Height 9 out of 10.
Scrooge Nightgown Quality 8 out of 10.
Urchin Cap Quality 0 out of 10.
Final Score 5 out of 10. It's more of an urchin scene than the last one but crucially it still lacks an urchin.