A Christmas Carol (1999)
Reviewer: Hannah P.


Charles Dickens has written some of the best-loved stories of all time. A Christmas Carol is without a doubt one of his best-known works, and has been adapted for the screen many times. I believe that this wonderful version, A Christmas Carol: The Musical has spoiled me in regards to any other adaption, and it is something that I enjoy watching year ‘round.


(Since the story of A Christmas Carol is so widely known, I’ll just give a brief summary.)


Ebenezer Scrooge (Kelsey Grammar) hates Christmas. He hates merriment, Christmas cheer, goodwill and the Christmas spirit. All he wants is to be left alone in his counting house with his bags of gold and silver. His spiteful, unkind way of dealing with people earns him a terrible reputation and makes him despised all over London. So on the night before Christmas he is visited by three ghosts, the Ghost of Christmas Past (Jane Krakowski), the Ghost of Christmas Present (Jesse L. Martin) and the Ghost of Christmas Yet-To-Be (Geraldine Chaplin). These three ghosts take him on journeys to his past, around London in the present, and show him a glimpse of what may lay ahead in the future if Scrooge doesn’t change his ways and become a better man.

This TV movie is as well made as any film made for the movie theater. It has an incredible score by Alan Menken (well known for scoring films such as Enchanted, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and a host of other popular Disney movies) and the film contains some of the most uplifting songs that I have ever heard. All of the actors gave wonderful performances, including Jennifer Love Hewitt as Emily (I didn’t know that she could sing so well!), Ebenezer’s former fiancée and Jason Alexander as Jacob Marley. Also, the dance numbers were spectacular, reminiscent of the dance numbers in a Broadway play. The costumes and sets were equally fantastic, making for some spectacular visuals. The CGI effects were not as realistic as some special effects that I have seen, but that would be my only complaint.

There is no objectionable content to speak of, at least nothing to deter older viewers from enjoying this film. There are a few scenes that might be frightening to younger children, such as the scene where Jacob Marley’s ghost visits Ebenezer. There are a few ghostly people who make a creepy appearance (coming through walls and the floor) and one of them apparently met his end through beheading because he carries his head in his arms (at one point he tosses the head to Ebenezer who promptly tosses it back). And the scenes in the future are somewhat dark and spooky, taking place in a graveyard. But there is no violence, sexual content or bad language.

With the holiday season coming up, I would encourage anyone looking for a clean and enjoyable movie to check this one out. It’s filled with inspiring messages of hope, redemption and Christmas spirit, and is something that the whole family can enjoy.  

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