- Disney characters
- Dickensian characters
- Neutral characters
- Holiday Figures
- The Muppet Christmas Carol characters
- Animated characters
- Elderly characters
- Live-action characters
- Donald Duck universe characters
- DuckTales characters
- TV Animation characters
- Magic Users
- Time travelers
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
- View history
- 1.1 Physical appearance
- 1.2 Personality
- 2 Role in the film
- 3.1 The Muppet Christmas Carol
- 3.2 DuckTales (2017)
Background [ ]
Physical appearance [ ].
In the original Charles Dickens novel, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is described as thus:
Much like the Ghost of Christmas Present, every iteration of Yet to Come retains the basic appearance of a dark hooded figure with virtually little to no changes between the versions. The 2009 version keeps his typical appearance, but is sometimes portrayed as a shadow against the wall or ground, The Muppet version's hands are more deathly blue looking hands, while the DuckTales version has a noticeable beak carcass-like mouth sticking out from his hood and, to reaffirm him as the image of Death, carries a scythe with him.
Personality [ ]
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come does not speak, resulting in his actions being interpreted by whoever is being confronted by him. He is the most direct of the spirits and does not waste time with showing Scrooge how his death will affect the people around him. It is possible that the spirit is sinister in his motives as he did threaten to take Scrooge away that very night if he did not mend his ways. The DuckTales version implies that his silence is due to the fact that he is shy, particularly around Bentina Beakley who clearly has a crush on him, which he reciprocates.
Role in the film [ ]
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is initially a dark shadow on a wall, but when he comes out of the walls, he looks like the Grim Reaper. Scrooge states to the ghost that he "fears him more than any specter he has seen". Unlike the other two ghosts, this one doesn't speak. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is also the most phantom-like of the ghosts.
Occasionally, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come rides a Phantom Hearse and chases Scrooge throughout London on it. One chase sequence sees Scrooge shrunk to the size of a rat after the ghost cracks his whip, creating a shockwave in doing so.
Appearances in Disney media [ ]
The muppet christmas carol [ ].
The Ghost is the final spirit and shows Scrooge a vision of his unmourned death in the near future, as well as the death of Tiny Tim . In this movie, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is a large, faceless wraith.
The specter scares Charles Dickens and Rizzo ; they exit the movie and don't appear again until after the Ghost is gone.
DuckTales (2017) [ ]
A version of the Ghost of Christmas Future appears in the 2017 reboot of DuckTales in the episode " Last Christmas! ". He is mostly silent with just a few occasional grunts and resembles a carcass more than a skeleton.
He, along with the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Future visit Scrooge McDuck every year just to hang out after accidentally visiting him instead of Ebenezer Scrooge. The group takes Scrooge to his first Christmas party held at McDuck Manor where Future ends up dancing with Bentina Beakley who seems to legitimately like him.
He later attends Scrooge McDuck's Christmas party back in the present where Beakley remembers her time dancing with him, causing him to blush.
Gallery [ ]
- Rutger Hauer was to play the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come in the Fox/Disney miniseries A Christmas Carol . But due to health reasons, Hauer was replaced by Jayson Flemyng, who played the role in 2019 .
- The Ghost of Yet to Come in the movie of the novel in 2009 was far more dangerous making as it toyed with Scrooge before showing the future.
See also [ ]
- Pete - Portrayed the role in Mickey's Christmas Carol .
- Spot Chicken - Portrayed the role in the 101 Dalmatians: The Series episode " A Christmas Cruella ".
- The Old Hag - Portrayed the role in An Adaptation of Dickens' Christmas Carol, Performed by The Walt Disney Players .
- Narrator - Portrayed the role in Winnie the Pooh: Springtime with Roo .
- 1 Once Upon a Studio
The Ghosts of Christmas Yet to Come, ranked by freakiness
From Mickey Mouse to Muppets to Scrooged, Spirited, and the great classics
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You probably all know the story of Charles Dickens’ endlessly adapted 1843 holiday story A Christmas Carol , even if you’ve never read it. Tight-fisted, mean old miser Ebenezer Scrooge falls asleep on Christmas Eve and is visited by three spirits: the Ghost of Christmas Past, a man in a sleeping cap; the Ghost of Christmas Present, a rotund, jolly fellow; and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, a harrowing, silent specter of death. These three ghosts convince our miserly man to change his ways, but the third one does the heavy lifting, showing Scrooge how soon he’ll be dead and buried, while nobody mourns his passing.
In the text, Dickens describes the ghost as “shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing of it visible save one outstretched hand.” This leaves a lot of leeway for adaptations to interpret, and A Christmas Carol is one of the most-adapted works of fiction of all time.
So in the holiday spirit, I decided to watch every film version and evaluate them on one single criteria: How scary do they make the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come? Don your sleeping cap and come with us on a journey into holiday horror.
60. A Sesame Street Christmas Carol (2006)
If you were going into this one expecting to be spooked, I don’t know what to tell you. Oscar the Grouch as Scrooge contends with a CGI floating robot with googly eyes as the Ghost of Christmas Future. We get it, you don’t want to terrify the preschoolers, but there’s a reason it’s lowest on the list.
59. A Christmas Carol (1954)
Fredric March stars as Scrooge in this, the first color televised version of the tale. Unfortunately, the only surviving version is a black and white kinescope. In a strange choice, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come doesn’t appear in human form at all. Instead, a myna bird caws Scrooge to the graveyard, where he finds not only his grave, but also Tiny Tim’s.
58. Christmas Cupid (2010)
Christina Milian is the Scrooge figure in this ABC Family holiday comedy, and the three ghosts are her ex-boyfriends. Depending on your relationship history, this might seem scarier than it is. The third ghost is her boss, who she is also dating, dressed up like Santa Claus. He tells her that in the terrible future to come, they get married, then divorced. Bummer. Fortunately, as part of amending her wicked ways after the ghostly visitation, she dumps him.
57. Ghosts of Girlfriends Past (2009)
It’s a stretch, but this Matthew McConaughey rom-com is based on the Dickens story, so it counts. The “Ghost of Girlfriends Future” that shows McConaughey’s womanizer protagonist Connor Mead the error of his ways is played by stunning Russian model Olga Maliouk, dressed in white rather than the traditional black cloak.
56. Rich Little’s Christmas Carol (1978)
It’s almost impossible to explain how popular comedic impersonator Rich Little was in the 1970s, but “HBO gave him a Christmas special in which he played every single role of A Christmas Carol as a different celebrity character” might do it. Scrooge is Rich Little as W.C. Fields, and the Ghost of Christmas Future is Little playing Peter Sellers as the Pink Panther movies’ Inspector Clouseau. So not scary, but extremely weird.
55. The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol (2011)
The real revelation here is that Grouchy Smurf (the Scrooge of the story) acts like a dick all the time because Papa Smurf gives him a hat every year for Christmas. The ghost is Hefty Smurf. Not scary unless you have a phobia of gym bros.
54. My Dad Is Scrooge (2014)
This is probably the only Christmas Carol where Scrooge gets headbutted by a llama. Our miser here is a farmer named EB, who is taught the magic of the season by a trio of talking animals. The third one is a dog that hypnotizes EB . This thing is so cheap and weird that when the animals talk, it’s sometimes just their lips moving over a still photograph. The dog doesn’t even dress up!
53. A Christmas Carol: The Musical (2004)
This is a tough watch for numerous reasons, especially if you’re not a fan of Broadway musicals. Kelsey Grammer plays Scrooge, and he’s confronted by a white-clad Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come played by Geraldine Chaplin (Charlie Chaplin’s daughter, most recently seen in Netflix’s The Crown ). The costuming is pretty dire — she looks like she’s covered in damp toilet paper.
52. Chasing Christmas (2005)
Tom Arnold has tremendous divorced energy as the Scrooge figure in this mediocre comedy, where the Ghost of Christmas Past goes AWOL and leads him and the Ghost of Christmas Present through a series of scenes. Scrooge and the second spirit eventually make out, and there are a lot of cartoon sound effects. Yet to Come only shows up at the movie’s climax, and is just a sleazy-looking Euro guy in an ascot.
51. Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas (2006)
Here, the ghost is the Tasmanian Devil. He starts out the scene in the typical black shroud, but doffs it a minute or so later to engage in the usual Warner Bros. schtick.
50. Carry on Christmas (1969)
The long-running British slapstick film series tackled Dickens for a Christmas special at the end of the swinging ’60s, but the Ghost of Christmas Future is just actor Bernard Bresslaw playing an incredibly broad hippie impersonation. Oh, and Frankenstein and Dracula are also in this, for unexplained reasons.
49. It’s Christmas, Carol! (2012)
Carrie Fisher plays all three ghosts (and the Marley role to boot) in this Hallmark Channel take on A Christmas Carol set in the modern age. Emmanuelle Vaugier is the Scrooge figure, transformed into a hard-charging CEO with no time for Christmas. Not scary.
48. A Christmas Carol (2015)
This extremely cheap-looking Canadian musical production of the story was a labor of love (director Anthony D.P. Mann also plays Scrooge), for what that’s worth. The Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come talks and sings in this rendition. She’s just a lady with a white face in a big black hat. The whole thing has a community theater vibe.
47. Brer Rabbit’s Christmas Carol (1992)
The early ’90s were such a dire time for animation. This made-for-TV special — not produced by Disney, and with no connection to Disney’s Song of the South — is an ordeal to watch, and all the ghosts are just Brer Rabbit messing with Brer Fox through the use of household props and woodland actors. So the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come here is just a sheet on a mop with a jack-o’-lantern on top.
46. An American Christmas Carol (1979)
Henry Winkler — the Fonz himself — dons old-age makeup to portray Benedict Slade in this adaptation moved to Depression-era New England. The spirit who shows him the misery that awaits him after death is played with soulfulness by Dorian Harewood — the fill-in voice of Shredder from the Ninja Turtles cartoons!
45. A Christmas Carol (1969)
From a series of Australian animated adaptations called Famous Classic Tales , this is a pretty standard take on the story, complete with a third ghost that could pass for an unimaginative Scooby-Doo villain.
44. A Christmas Carol (2000)
This odd British TV adaptation moves the action to the present day, with Ross Kemp playing Scrooge as a council-estate loan shark despised by his clients and community. The third spirit that visits him on Christmas Eve is an eerily silent young boy who shows him the bad end that awaits, and in the film’s coda, we learn that the kid was his yet-to-be-born child. In theory this could be scary, but it’s executed so clumsily that it’s more laughable than chilling.
43. Skinflint: A Country Christmas Carol (1979)
David Bond plays the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in this honky-tonk musical adaptation of the Dickens story, with Gremlins ’ Hoyt Axton in the Scrooge role. This was only aired once, during the late-’70s peak of Grand Ole Opry country music. Bond eschews the hood in favor of what looks like dollar-store Dracula makeup and some deeply weird hand gestures.
42. A Christmas Carol (1910)
The oldest surviving film version of Dickens’ tale (except for the 1906 one, which didn’t have the three ghosts) is a 13-minute silent speedrun of the whole tale. The ghosts aren’t terribly scary, and as far as I can tell, the gimmick for the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is “big lady.”
41. A Flintstones Christmas Carol (1994)
This 70-minute animated take, featuring the usual Flintstones characters, depicts the ghost as a pretty generic hooded featureless figure. The one notable thing about this movie is that it actually shows Fred Flintstone’s corpse — or at least his massive, pale-white big toe sticking out from under a sheet.
40. The Stingiest Man in Town (1978)
A low-effort Rankin-Bass animated musical version of the classic story, with a hooded figure pointing a bony white arm at Scrooge’s tombstone. Perfectly competent, but nothing to write home about.
39. A Carol Christmas (2003)
This Hallmark movie had some serious stunt casting — Gary Coleman as the Ghost of Christmas Past! William Shatner as the Ghost of Christmas Present! Storied actor James Cromwell is the third and final ghost, and his expressive face does a lot to sell it, even though he’s just a mute limo driver. The bit where he closes Carol (Tori Spelling) into her coffin is a little freaky.
38. Old Scrooge (1913)
Ghosts in these early silent adaptations were always very tall. In this silent version of the tale, our future ghost is just a lanky fellow wrapped in some bedsheets. Marley is actually significantly scarier.
37. A Christmas Carol (1982)
I think this animated Australian version of the story is the baseline “solid C” for scariness. It’s not imaginative at all — if you’ve read this far, you’ve probably guessed that the ghost here is a big figure in a black cloak — but the rendering is fine, and the music really sells the scene. Perfectly decent but nothing to renounce your miserly ways over.
36. Scrooge & Marley (2012)
Chicago drag legend Jojo Baby plays the third ghost in this campy gay take on the tale, with Scrooge recast as a penny-pinching club owner visited by his deceased partner. Mr. Baby does a fine job, wrapped up in a mummy-like sheath of black fabric that casts a very glam silhouette.
35. Ebbie (1995)
A Lifetime original movie starring Susan Lucci as the first female Scrooge? Look for scares somewhere else, pal. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is played by busy Bill Croft, most notable for playing prison guards or convicts in shows like Airwolf and Viper . He’s just a quiet but imposing guy in a hat and a black trenchcoat.
34. A Christmas Carol (1997)
DIC was the go-to studio for affordable animation through much of the ’80s and ’90s, and this holiday special was as average as possible. Tim Curry plays Scrooge, and the adaptation gives him a bulldog named Debit because all cartoons must have a cute animal character. The ghost here is a glowing cloaked specter, nothing fancy or special, but it’s well designed.
33. A Diva’s Christmas Carol (2000)
Vanessa Williams plays “Ebony Scrooge” in this perplexing made-for-VH1 holiday movie, which also stars Duran Duran’s John Taylor and Chilli from TLC. The stunt casting could have gone any number of ways for the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, but for some reason, it’s a haunted television set showing an episode of Behind the Music where everybody talks about how much they hate Scrooge now that she’s dead. Then it sucks her in, Poltergeist -style. Extremely weird.
32. A Christmas Carol (1994)
Cheaply made animated special with the artwork done in Japan in a vaguely anime style. Our final ghost is a hooded figure wearing a rope as a belt. The whole enterprise is pretty artless and uninspired.
31. 2nd Chance for Christmas (2019)
Direct-to-DVD (and streaming) cornball starring Brittany Underwood as a spoiled pop star in the Scrooge role. Vivica A. Fox is mostly wasted as the third ghost, credited as “Death” — she enters the scene in cloak and bones, inspiring Underwood to ask whether she “died at Comic-Con.” But she plays through the flick just as her normal, fine self.
30. Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)
Disney animated projects are occasionally pretty scary — even the Mickey Mouse stories . But the Ghost here is just frequent Mickey nemesis Peg-Leg Pete, wearing a brown shroud and puffing a stogie. It’s a testament to how good the framing and animation is that he still feels threatening. The addition of a cigar does explain the billows of smoke around the spirit.
29. An All Dogs Christmas Carol (1998)
The last film in the All Dogs Go to Heaven series has a convoluted plot about evil bulldog Carface scheming to hypnotize pets to steal Christmas presents. The good dogs dress up as the three spirits to change his ways, and the Ghost of Christmas Future starts off as an imposing hooded figure before whipping his cloak off to do a bizarre riff on Jim Carrey in The Mask . He does take Carface to literal hell, which is a little intense.
28. A Christmas Carol (1977)
Yet another BBC adaptation of the tale, with a perfectly acceptable shroud-clad spirit. He loses a few points because he doesn’t really seem to know what to do with his hands, leaving them hanging awkwardly while Scrooge monologues. But the massive hanging hood and creepy silence are both on point.
27. Una Meravigliosa Notte (1953)
I don’t speak Italian, so it’s difficult to evaluate how well the ghost comes off in this adaptation, which stars Paolo Stoppa as greedy Antonio Trabbi, visited by a trio of spirits who show him the error of his ways. This is the second film on this list where the ghost has no physical form, instead manifesting as an echoing voice-over. The cinematography does a lot to sell it, as Stoppa seems genuinely deranged and unsettled by the all-knowing voice in his head.
26. Ms. Scrooge (1997)
Cicely Tyson plays the Scrooge role in this gender-swapped version of the tale, in which the Ghost of Christmas Future warns her that the IRS will take all her money after she dies. He’s played by actor Julian Richings, who has a memorable face, but spends his whole part of the movie standing around expressionless in a suit. It’s just weird enough to be truly creepy.
25. A Christmas Carol (1938)
One of the more famous adaptations, this one is solid, but the ghost is just a guy in a black cloak. When he walks, he sometimes sticks both of his arms out in front of him like Frankenstein’s monster. Every once in a while, you can see his weird skinny hand.
24. John Grin’s Christmas (1986)
This all-Black TV adaptation of the story has Robert Guillaume as the Scrooge figure John Grin, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is played by Trinidadian dancer/actor Geoffrey Holder, probably best known as Baron Samedi in Live and Let Die . The costuming isn’t anything to write home about, but Holder’s expressive face and wild mannerisms definitely deliver.
23. Tales From Dickens: A Christmas Carol (1959)
Early television programming didn’t have much to offer in terms of special effects, so the Ghost in this Basil Rathbone-starring adaptation is a black cloak walking around in some studio fog. Some nice stiff-armed pointing and a commitment to stillness and silence makes it one of the better of its type.
22. Scrooge (1951)
Alastair Sim is one of cinema’s most famous Scrooges, and he puts his whole back into cowering in fear of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. It’s another shrouded figure, but its introduction is pretty good — a pale white hand held in the foreground of a shot for more than a minute as Scrooge freaks out. The best thing about this one is his implacability: None of Scrooge’s pleas move him in the slightest.
21. A Christmas Carol (1914)
Another silent flim, this one running a little over 20 minutes. The ghost is a big guy in a black hood and cloak, played by the awesomely named and completely stone-faced H. Ashton Tonge. Charles Rock is an overacting machine as Scrooge, chewing scenery like it was a Christmas goose.
20. A Christmas Carol: Scrooge’s Ghostly Tale (2006)
This direct-to-video CGI animated film casts anthropomorphic animals in the lead roles. You will never in a million years guess what kind of animal the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is, so I’ll just spoil it for you: It’s a walrus with one broken tusk, crackling with some sort of eldritch electricity. It’s so inexplicable that it wraps around to being scary.
19. Scrooge (1922)
This is, chronologically, the first film that depicts the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come with its face fully shrouded, and it’s effective, even though the ghost is barely on screen for a minute in this silent short.
18. Ebenezer (1998)
Jack Palance as Ebenezer Scrooge in a version of the tale set in the Old West? Incredible, and the legendary actor goes wild as a card-cheating swindler who hates Christmas. The ghost here is a shrouded figure with some wisps of gray hair coming out from the cloak, and at the end of his scene, he reveals his face as Scrooge’s dead partner, Jacob Marlowe.
17. Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol (1962)
The hapless blind codger has been cast as Ebenezer Scrooge in a theatrical adaptation of the Dickens story, possibly for insurance-fraud reasons. The third spirit is the stereotypical silent hooded shadowy figure, but animated in the classic UPA style, so it looks pretty cool and imposing. The original songs written for the movie and sung by Magoo kind of undercut the drama, though.
16. Scrooge (1935)
The first feature-length Christmas Carol film with sound takes a pretty interesting approach with our third ghost, portraying him as an amorphous shadow that sometimes enfolds Scrooge, and at other times appears as a pointing finger cast on the snowy ground. Not super scary, but cool.
15. A Christmas Carol (1923)
Another shadowy cloaked figure in this silent adaptation, but Russell Thorndike’s Scrooge sells the hell out of it well enough to bump it up a few spots.
14. A Christmas Carol (2012)
This relatively obscure adaptation directed by Jason Figgis does some odd things with the source material, deliberately removing some scenes to make the narrative bleaker. It’s pretty low-budget and obviously shot on video with the actors in different rooms, overlaid with cheap digital effects, but it manages to work OK. The ghost has a red cloak and some gross zombie makeup on his outstretched hand, earning points for being different.
13. A Christmas Carol (2018)
The introduction of the final spirit in this Scotland-set version is straight out of a horror movie, all ominous whooshing noises and creaking violins. But in a departure from the norm, we never actually see it. Instead, it speaks in one-word pronouncements in a gravelly voice as Scrooge reacts to it. Points for originality and solid sound design, but the actor playing Scrooge doesn’t sell it as well as he could.
12. Spirited (2022)
Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds mug it up in this comedy holiday musical made for Apple TV. It’s got good production values, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, played by former Raptors power forward Loren Woods (but voiced by Tracy Morgan), makes the most of its few minutes on screen.
11. A Christmas Carol (1984)
George C. Scott stars as Scrooge in one of the all-time best versions of the story, and the ghost is really solid — tattered, shadowy, silent, and imposing. Nothing particularly innovative about this rendition, but expertly executed.
10. Christmas Carol: The Movie (2001)
In general, this animated version of the story is pretty low-quality, even though the celebrity voice cast includes Kate Winslet and Nicolas Cage. But the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is handled pretty marvelously. Its depiction eschews realism: It’s drawn with sloppy brushstrokes outlining a cadaverous figure. It’s one of the few animated versions that really takes advantage of the medium, even if it’s just for a short time.
9. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
Michael Caine in a world full of Muppets is disconcerting enough, but this one takes a turn for the eerie when Scrooge runs into the third spirit — a huge figure clad in black robes, with an infinite, featureless void where its face should be. Not a lot of time on screen, but a really strong design.
8. Scrooge (1970)
For the first part of the ghost’s appearance in this musical (with Albert Finney as Scrooge), he’s the usual black-cloaked figure. But when Scrooge realizes he’s looking at his own grave, the Ghost reveals a skeletal face and hands that are simultaneously corny and disconcerting.
7. A Christmas Carol (2019)
Guy Pearce starred as Scrooge in this series, one of the darkest adaptations of Dickens ever. There’s even a sexual-abuse subplot to Scrooge’s childhood, along with several other adult themes. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is well played by British actor Jason Flemyng, who appears as a pallid man in a black suit and top hat with his mouth crudely sewn shut.
6. A Christmas Carol (2020)
This ambitious dance film features celebrity voices and professional dancers. It’s one of the more visually compelling takes on the story, with some dynamic sets and beautiful motion. Both Bob Cratchit and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come are played by dancer Brekke Fagerlund Karl, who is magnificently threatening with his spare movements.
5. A Christmas Carol (1971)
Legendary animator Richard Williams won an Oscar for this brilliant adaptation, which is just tremendous from start to finish. The ghost is a hooded figure, as per normal, but the incredible fluidity of the drawings here gives it an uncanny hyperrealism. Coupled with some unsettling camera movement, the design gives us a very high placer.
4. A Christmas Carol (1999)
The Patrick Stewart-led Christmas Carol was the first Scrooge story to use digital special effects. Our Ghost here is played by British actor Tim Potter, but we don’t really see him. Instead, it’s a baleful black shroud with two unsettling amber eyes buried within. Sometimes the primitive VFX of this period could be really effective, and this is a great example.
3. A Christmas Carol (2009)
I’m not the biggest fan of Robert Zemeckis’ motion-capture animated films, as they always veer a little too far into the uncanny valley for comfort. But you can’t deny that the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in his holiday effort is effective. CGI lets the spirit be a creature of pure shadow, changing size at will for some truly impressive effects.
2. Scrooged (1988)
Bill Murray meeting the hulking Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come in the elevator is one of many great scenes in this classic ’80s dram-com. Then the ghost opens the front of his cloak to reveal tormented souls trapped in his ribcage, and forces Bill Murray to experience his own cremation. A great fusion of the traditional and the contemporary, and it’s definitely scary!
1. A Carol for Another Christmas (1964)
Leave it to Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling to max out the scare factor. This adaptation stars Sterling Hayden as industrialist Daniel Grudge, who is visited by three ghosts attempting to argue him out of his isolationist policies. The third ghost is played by Robert Shaw, who isn’t that scary on his own — until you realize that the “future” he’s showing Grudge is a world ravaged by nuclear armageddon and senseless, murderous violence. Shadowy figures and impending death are typically scary enough to turn a Scrooge around, but the threat of global thermonuclear war? That’s enough to save a whole lifetime of Christmases.
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‘christmas’ comes early for carrey with disney pic.
Jim Carrey will star in a Robert Zemeckis adaptation of "A Christmas Carol," playing Scrooge, the ghost of Christmas past, the ghost of Christmas present and the ghost of Christmas future. The film will be produced by Walt Disney Pictures and ImageMovers Digital.
By Borys Kit , Carolyn Giardina July 7, 2007 5:00am
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Jim Carrey will star in a Robert Zemeckis adaptation of “A Christmas Carol,” playing Scrooge, the ghost of Christmas past, the ghost of Christmas present and the ghost of Christmas future. The film will be produced by Walt Disney Pictures and ImageMovers Digital, which inked a deal with Disney this year.
Zemeckis wrote the screenplay for Carrey and will direct the film, which will be made for a 3-D stereoscopic release. Producing are Zemeckis and his ImageMovers partners Steve Starkey and Jack Rapke.
Production will incorporate performance capture, and blend live action and CG, building on techniques used for Zemeckis’ “The Polar Express” and upcoming “Beowulf,” as well as “Monster House,” which the director executive produced.
A release date for “Christmas Carol” has not been set.
Several Web sites have reported that Bob Hoskins — who worked with Zemeckis on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” — might play Mr. Fezziwig in the film, but Disney said no official dealmaking has commenced with the actor.
Carrey’s upcoming projects include “Ripley’s Believe It or Not,” and providing the voice of Horton for the animated film “Horton Hears a Who.” His more recent credits include “The Number 23,” “Fun With Dick and Jane,” “Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” and “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.”
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Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
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Original illustration by John Leech showing the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come pointing to Scrooge's grave.
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come or Ghost of Christmas Future is a character in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. He shows Scrooge his final fate if he decided to not be generous to humanity and support their lives. The visions in this segment include bystanders, Old Joe (along with a laundress, a charwoman, and an undertaker), Scrooge's shrouded corpse, and Bob Cratchit 's family mourning for Tiny Tim . The final scene is Scrooge's headstone in a cemetery.
Most film and stage adaptations omit the scene of Caroline and her husband.
Gallery [ ]
- 1 Bob Cratchit
- 2 Ebenezer Scrooge
- Cast & crew
- User reviews
A Christmas Carol
An animated retelling of Charles Dickens' classic novel about a Victorian-era miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions. An animated retelling of Charles Dickens' classic novel about a Victorian-era miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions. An animated retelling of Charles Dickens' classic novel about a Victorian-era miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions.
- Robert Zemeckis
- Charles Dickens
- Gary Oldman
- Colin Firth
- 377 User reviews
- 252 Critic reviews
- 55 Metascore
- See more at IMDbPro
- 3 wins & 5 nominations
- Bob Cratchit …
- Funerary Undertaker …
- Undertaker's Apprentice …
- Tattered Caroler
- Tattered Caroler …
- (as Sammi Hanratty)
- Portly Gentleman #1 …
- (as Robin Wright Penn)
- Mrs. Fezziwig …
- Mrs. Cratchit
- Belinda Cratchit
- (as Molly Quinn)
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- Trivia In the Cratchit home, there is a portrait of the story's author, Charles Dickens , hanging by the fireplace.
- Goofs Marley tells Scrooge that one spirit will visit him at 1:00 am for the next three nights, but they all appear to him in the same night. This is repeated verbatim from the book, in which, following all the visits, Scrooge calls them "clever spirits" for doing it all in one night.
Ebenezer Scrooge : What do you want with me?
Jacob Marley : You will be haunted by three spirits.
Ebenezer Scrooge : I'd rather not.
- Connections Featured in The Jay Leno Show: Episode #1.30 (2009)
- Soundtracks God Bless Us Everyone Written and Produced by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri Performed by Andrea Bocelli Courtesy of Sugar s.r.l.
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- November 6, 2009 (United States)
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- A Christmas Carol: An IMAX 3D Experience
- New York City, New York, USA
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- $200,000,000 (estimated)
- Nov 8, 2009
- Runtime 1 hour 36 minutes
- Dolby Digital
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A Christmas Carol
November 6, 2009
Animation, Drama, Fantasy, Holiday
From Walt Disney Pictures comes the magical retelling of Charles Dickens’ beloved tale — Disney’s A Christmas Carol, the high-flying, heartwarming adventure for the whole family, starring Jim Carrey. When three ghosts take penny-pinching Scrooge on an eye-opening journey, he discovers the true meaning of Christmas -- but he must act on it before it’s too late. Complete with spirited bonus features, this exhilarating and touching Disney classic is destined to be part of your holiday tradition, adding sparkle and heart to all your Christmases yet to come.
Rated: PG Release Date: November 6, 2009
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Discover Thomson Reuters
Jim Carrey to play Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol"
By Steve Gorman
Actor Jim Carrey and girlfriend Jenny McCarthy pose for photographers during the premiere of ''The Number 23'' in Los Angeles, in this file photo from February 13, 2007. In a new big-screen version of Charles Dickiens' "A Christmas Carol," Carrey will play Scrooge, the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas Future. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Jim Carrey, who brought Dr. Seuss’ Grinch to life on the big screen, will soon play another holiday curmudgeon, Ebenezer Scrooge, and three ghosts who haunt him, in a computerized remake of “A Christmas Carol,” the Walt Disney Co. said on Friday.
Oscar winner Robert Zemeckis will direct the movie from his own script, based on the Charles Dickens classic novel, a Disney spokeswoman said.
The movie will blend live action with 3-D digital animation and a computer-graphics style called “performance capture,” which Zemeckis used in his 2004 holiday adventure “The Polar Express” and his upcoming film “Beowulf,” the spokeswoman said.
Zemeckis, the Academy Award-winning director of Tom Hanks’ 1994 hit drama “Forrest Gump,” wrote his “Christmas Carol” screenplay specifically for Carrey, who will portray the miserly Scrooge through various periods of his life. Carrey also will play the ghosts of Christmases past, present and future who visit Scrooge.
The movie will be produced through Zemeckis’ production company, ImageMovers Digital, and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. No release date has been set.
Several Internet sites have reported that Bob Hoskins, who starred in Zemeckis’ 1988 live-action/animated comedy “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” also has been cast in “A Christmas Carol” but Disney said no such deal is in place.
Carrey, 45, is no stranger to playing holiday-season heavies, having starred seven years ago as the title character in the Ron Howard-directed “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” based on the popular Dr. Seuss story.
“Grinch” was a huge box-office hit, but in recent years Carrey has suffered through a string of flops such as “Fun with Dick and Jane” and “The Number 23.”
Dickens’ classic tale of a bitter, old merchant given a Christmas Eve chance at redemption has been adapted many times for TV and the movies, including two Hollywood versions -- 1938’s “A Christmas Carol” starring Reginald Owen as Scrooge and 1951’s “Scrooge,” with Alastair Sim in the title role.
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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Disney's A Christmas Carol
2009, Kids & family/Holiday, 1h 35m
What to know
Robert Zemeckis' 3-D animated take on the Dickens classic tries hard, but its dazzling special effects distract from an array of fine performances from Jim Carrey and Gary Oldman. Read critic reviews
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Though London awaits the joyful arrival of Christmas, miserly Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey) thinks it's all humbug, berating his faithful clerk and cheerful nephew for their view. Later, Scrooge encounters the ghost of his late business partner, who warns that three spirits will visit him this night. The ghosts take Scrooge on a journey through his past, present and future in the hope of transforming his bitterness.
Rating: PG (Scary Sequences|Scary Images)
Genre: Kids & family, Holiday, Fantasy, Drama, Animation
Original Language: English
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Producer: Steve Starkey , Robert Zemeckis , Jack Rapke
Writer: Robert Zemeckis
Release Date (Theaters): Nov 6, 2009 wide
Release Date (Streaming): Jan 1, 2014
Box Office (Gross USA): $137.9M
Runtime: 1h 35m
Distributor: Walt Disney
Production Co: Walt Disney Pictures, Imagemovers Digital
Sound Mix: SDDS, Dolby Digital, DTS
Cast & Crew
Ebenezer Scrooge, Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present, Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come Voice
Belle, Fan Voice
Bob Cratchit, Marley, Tiny Tim Voice
Fezziwig, Old Joe Voice
Portly Gentleman 1, Dick Wilkins, Mad Fiddler, Guest 2, Businessman 1, Voice
Mrs. Dilber Voice
Mrs. Cratchit Voice
Caroline, Martha Cratchit Voice
Caroline's Husband Voice
Caroline's Child Voice
Peter Cratchit, Undertaker's Apprentice, Caroler, Beggar Boy Voice
Mrs. Fezziwig Voice
Molly C. Quinn
Belinda Cratchit Voice
Supervising Art Direction
News & Interviews for Disney's A Christmas Carol
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Critics Consensus: A Christmas Carol Dazzles But Disappoints
Ho-ho-horror! 10 Scary Christmas Movies
Critic Reviews for Disney's A Christmas Carol
Audience reviews for disney's a christmas carol.
Much better than I anticipated. I appreciate Zemeckis leaning into the gothic horror and Carrey gives some really strong performances.
Though it's one of the most adapted literary works, Disney's A Christmas Carol delivers a uniquely daring and bold vision that emphasizes the darker aspects of the story. Yet even with the darker take, the film stays remarkably faithful to the novel; especial in regards to the dialog. In fact, this adaption includes several aspects of Dickens' tale that are often overlooked; such as the religious undertones. However, the animation style doesn't really work, and is inconstant in the level of depth and detail in the art design. But despite the production shortcomings, Disney's A Christmas Carol still manages to be an incredibly compelling and imaginative telling of Charles Dickens' immoral classic.
While Christmas is a lovely time to watch films that suit that time of the year, I feel that Robert Zemeckis' A Christmas Carol shouldn't be missed. It may not be the most iconic or essential Chrismas movie, however, it definitely one of the better adaptations of Charles Dickens classic, as well as being a personal favourite. With some superb multi roles from Jim Carrey, who is Scrooge and the 3 ghosts of Christmas, whereas Gary Oldman is Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim. These superb leads receive Colin Firth, Bob Hoskins and Robin Wright as perfect supporting roles. Ultimately, the visuals were astounding, particularly of how the motion capture makes the characters more human than previously seen in animation. Although I'm aware there are those who aren't fond of the visuals, at least the characters don't look as creepy as those seen in Zemeckis' previous animated work 'The Polar Express'. Overall, I have been watching this every Christmas season because I feel it fits perfectly for such a time of the year. An unmissable Christmas treat that is perfect for the family.
"A Christmas Carol". When I was little, I remember watching the rehash of the classic story, Muppets style. Wow, freaking hated it. For someone that doesn't follow up with traditional stories very well, "A Christmas Carol" was a surprising and delightful view on the Christian faith through secular eyes. This ain't a movie for kids; I'd be scared to death by some of these scenes if I were young. The animation: Top-notch. The script: Sharp and fitting. It's not the overall package that had me convinced -- it was the message behind the movie. Good and entertaining time, but just don't think kids will enjoy this for its dialogue and character-driven.
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- Cast & Crew
Disney's A Christmas Carol
- 55 Metascore
- 1 hr 36 mins
- Drama, Fantasy, Family, Kids
This beautifully wrought adaptation of Charles Dickens' holiday classic features Jim Carrey in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, as well as the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, who visit the miser on Christmas Eve in hopes of teaching him the value of generosity before it's too late. Directed by Robert Zemeckis.
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2:21 Disney's A Christmas Carol: Perfect Partnership Behind The Scenes Featurette
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Disney's a christmas carol, common sense media reviewers.
3-D adaptation of classic holiday tale may scare young kids.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The movie educates younger viewers (in a "sca
Dickens' classic tale is full of important, re
Although Ebenezer Scrooge is clearly a negative ro
Several frightening images of skeletons, corpses,
A young Ebenezer dances and exchanges longing look
Some British slang like "bugger" and &qu
Adults make Christmas toasts with what is presumab
Parents need to know that, unlike The Polar Express, this Robert Zemeckis adaptation of a classic holiday tale is too intense both visually and in content for families with very young children. At its heart, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is a ghost story, and not only are the many spirits
The movie educates younger viewers (in a "scared straight" kind of way) on the importance of being kind and selfless, rather than greedy and selfish like Scrooge.
Dickens' classic tale is full of important, relevant messages: Even in economically difficult times, there is hope and happiness; money isn't the most necessary ingredient to live a happy, successful life; those lucky enough to have money should be generous toward those who are less fortunate; everyone should be kind and charitable, no matter how rich they are; and family and friendship are far more fulfilling than work.
Positive Role Models
Although Ebenezer Scrooge is clearly a negative role model at first, he redeems himself and becomes a positive one. By abandoning his greedy ways, he realizes the importance of generosity, selflessness, altruism, family, and the spirit of Christmas. Secondary characters like Scrooge's nephew Fred, Bob Cratchit, and Tiny Tim are all admirable for their exemplary loyalty, faith, and sincerity.
Violence & Scariness
Several frightening images of skeletons, corpses, and ghosts, from the very first scene of a dead Jacob Marley lying in a coffin to an open grave in scenes from Christmas future. The ghost of Marley -- along with the three spirits of Christmas, especially the Grim Reaper-esque Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (and his stampeding, red-eyed horses) -- can be disturbing, as can the hissing, threatening figures of Ignorance and Want. Some of the 3-D scenes are also intense and startling, and there are several sad scenes, particularly one in which a family mourns a young child.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A young Ebenezer dances and exchanges longing looks with a woman, and it's later clear that they were engaged.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.
Some British slang like "bugger" and "blast." The words "hell" and "ass" are used, too, but not as curses. One character says "oh my God."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adults make Christmas toasts with what is presumably wine.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, unlike The Polar Express , this Robert Zemeckis adaptation of a classic holiday tale is too intense both visually and in content for families with very young children. At its heart, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is a ghost story, and not only are the many spirits very creepy at times, but the 3-D technology makes certain scenes -- as when the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come's red-eyed black stallions jump out at the audience -- all the scarier. And the realistic nature of the motion capture technology often makes the movie seem more like live action (and thus more intense) than animation. But on the other hand, the language is mild (British slang like "bugger" and "blast") and the drinking limited to Christmas toasts. And the messages are all quite positive, as Ebenezer Scrooge's ( Jim Carrey ) transformation is one of literature's ultimate stories of redemption and hope, even in the bleakest of times. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails .
Where to Watch
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- Parents say (110)
- Kids say (111)
Based on 110 parent reviews
Terrifying and Disturbing
Great movie but not for kids, what's the story.
Charles Dickens ' 19th-century classic comes to life again in this 3-D adaptation, which faithfully follows the original tale. Seven Christmas Eves after the death of his business partner, Jacob Marley (voiced by Gary Oldman ), miserly money lender Ebenezer Scrooge ( Jim Carrey ) spends the day complaining about the town's holiday cheer ("Bah, humbug!"), terrorizing his put-upon clerk Bob Cratchit (also Oldman), and refusing his nephew Fred's ( Colin Firth ) invitation to Christmas supper. That night, Scrooge is visited by Marley's ghost, who informs him that three spirits will appear to him to offer one last chance to change his life before it's too late. Scrooge is then summoned by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come (all played by Carrey), each of whom gives the crotchety old man a peek at defining moments in his life and possible future -- as well as the life of poor-but-happy Cratchit, whose crippled son Tiny Tim (Oldman again) is sickly but still filled with holiday cheer.
Is It Any Good?
Director Robert Zemeckis continues to perfect the motion-capture animation he revolutionized with The Polar Express , and the result is quite breathtaking in A CHRISTMAS CAROL. From the pimples on an adolescent's face to the coins on a corpse's eyes, the technology accounts for a remarkable degree of detail. The 3-D, in particular, is fantastic -- albeit occasionally frightening (a few shots may cause audiences to jump from their seats). With a rubber-faced actor like Carrey as the star, it's no wonder that the characters' expressions and gestures are so startlingly realistic. Of course, the downside to all of the realism is that the ghost scenes are actually quite frightening -- not Beowulf terrifying, but downright scary nonetheless. The spook factor is unfortunate for parents who will naturally assume that animation plus holiday classic equals cinematic fun for the whole family.
For those with harder-to-rattle clans, this is a touching and haunting adaptation of a story most of us know by heart in one form or the other. Carrey's genius at physical comedy is evident throughout the film in small moments like when Scrooge does a jig, sings along with carolers, or slides down a railing. While there aren't many huge laughs, there's enough levity to break through the otherwise somber nature of Scrooge's time-traveling, life-changing visits to Christmases past, present, and future. Oldman and Firth are, as always, fine supporting players, and Robin Wright Penn (a Beowulf alum) adds a wistful, feminine vulnerability to the only woman Scrooge ever loved. With the current economic doom and gloom, this is a well-timed holiday narrative about hope, redemption, and love.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the lessons that Scrooge learns. How does he change throughout the movie? What is the story trying to teach us about not just Christmas, but about human behavior in general?
How are the themes of A Christmas Carol still relevant more than 200 years after it was originally written? Kids: How can you act generously during the holidays and year round?
Do you think the 3-D technology enhances the movie, or would it have been as good/better without it?
- In theaters : November 6, 2009
- On DVD or streaming : November 16, 2010
- Cast : Colin Firth , Gary Oldman , Jim Carrey , Robin Wright
- Director : Robert Zemeckis
- Inclusion Information : Female actors
- Studio : Walt Disney Pictures
- Genre : Family and Kids
- Topics : Magic and Fantasy , Book Characters , Holidays , Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Run time : 96 minutes
- MPAA rating : PG
- MPAA explanation : scary sequences and images
- Last updated : June 20, 2023
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Disney's A Christmas Carol
Three Christmas spirits take miserly Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey) on an eye-opening journey.
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Though London awaits the joyful arrival of Christmas, miserly Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey) thinks it's all humbug, berating his faithful clerk and cheerful nephew for their view. Later, Scrooge encounters the ghost of his late business partner, who warns that three spirits will visit him this night. The ghosts take Scrooge on a journey through his past, present and future in the hope of transforming his bitterness.
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- DVD & Streaming
A Christmas Carol
- Animation , Drama , Kids
- November 6, 2009
- Voices of Jim Carrey as Scrooge, Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present and Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come; Gary Oldman as Bob Cratchit, Marley and Tiny Tim; Colin Firth as Fred; Robin Wright Penn as Belle; Bob Hoskins as Mr. Fezziwig
Home Release Date
- November 16, 2010
- Robert Zemeckis
- Walt Disney
After hundreds of adaptations and contemporary revisions on radio, the stage and screens large and small, most everyone who’s lived through more than four or five Christmases knows Ebenezer Scrooge’s tale. A miserly husk of humanity, Scrooge is a sour spirit whose withering glance gives chills to the warmest of souls. And even after his business partner, Marley, shuffles off this mortal coil, the long-in-the-tooth but short-in-the-heart Scrooge keeps up his penny pinching precepts.
Why, he even lifts the twopence from his former partner’s forever-closed eyes!
In Polar Express engineer Robert Zemeckis’ animated take, the now ghostly and gruesome Marley reappears on a dark winter’s eve to offer Scrooge another two cents. The spirit laments his lost and squandered life, and he warns his old friend—in none too friendly terms—that unless he changes his ways, he too will be cursed to endlessly wander the spiritual plain carrying an imponderably long and heavy chain of woes.
Scrooge is dubious, of course. So Marley offers his hunched and wiry partner one more chance at redemption: He promises enlightening visits from three spirits—the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.
Books could be written (and have been) about the depth and breadth of Charles Dickens’ most famous of yarns. I will condense its beneficial offerings to a few meager paragraphs:
Using Scrooge’s dour and often dark journey to full effect, A Christmas Carol regularly reminds us of the joys and redeeming grace that mankind celebrates at Christmas—and we start getting that message long before Mr. Miserable Moneybags makes his big turnaround. Passersby sing Christmas carols recounting and celebrating Jesus’ birth (“Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” “Joy to the World,” etc.). Several characters—including Scrooge’s nephew Fred and his former boss Fezziwig—speak of heaven’s grace and God’s blessings even in times of sorrow and trial.
And while most people hate or fear Scrooge, his underpaid and underappreciated employee, Bob Cratchit, chooses to dedicate his family’s Christmas meal to his boss and lift praise for the (meager though they may be) morsels he has made possible. Fred longs to see his uncle break free from his self-imposed isolation and come join the rest of his family for Christmas dinner. And though Fred finds himself rebuffed as usual, his heart is big enough that when Scrooge’s heart softens, Fred and his family rejoice.
As Scrooge takes his journey with the Christmas spirits he is reminded of the many kind, gentle and loving people who passed through his life and who he tossed aside. He begins to appreciate the gift that life is. And he—as you already full well know—ultimately sees the egregious error and foolhardiness of his cantankerous and greedy ways.
Then, with feeling, but for the very first time, he reaches out to the Cratchit family. He becomes a “second father” to Tiny Tim. He embraces his nephew and his family. And he opens his purse to give to charity and the poor.
As much as Scrooge’s story may be of a man finding a new redemptive beginning, it is also very much a ghost story. And from ghostly visitors to red-eyed shadow horses to the hooded Specter of Death, this version of it plays those latter elements up about as much as I’ve ever seen them played. Audiences are regularly immersed in its spiritual happenings—some of them dark.
More benevolent are images of rejoicing carolers and praying families. Bob Cratchit reports that his sick and hobbled son wanted people at a Christmas Eve service to notice that he was a cripple so that they might remember “who makes the blind man see and the cripple walk.” People cry out such phrases as, “The Lord is king,” “God bless,” “The Lord bless you” and “God save you!”
Elsewhere, Scrooge’s only love laments that he has replaced his affection for her with an obsession for the “idol” of wealth. A street vendor performs the shell and pea game, calling the three shells the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. A spirit expresses disdain for the clergy.
A number of festive females wear dresses that reveal cleavage. The two starving children (named Ignorance and Want) cowering beneath the robes of the Ghost of Christmas Present grow to adulthood in mere moments—and the girl briefly assumes the wanton look and provocative gestures of a prostitute.
Scrooge takes many a thumping tumble during his journeys with the Christmas spirits. Face-first falls and tumbling chases through cobblestone streets abound. He smashes through huge icicles as he slides down a hill.
In spite of his initial arthritic hunch, though, the old fella turns out to be pretty spry and never appears to be worse for wear or in danger of being hurt.
That’s not to say there aren’t violently frightening moments. For instance, when Marley comes to visit Scrooge, lugging crashing ghostly weights and lashing chains, he becomes so agitated that the entire of his lower jaw snaps off. Scrooge looks out on a courtyard at one point and sees dozens of spirits tortured and tormented by the thumping, crushing weight of their sins.
When the clock strikes 12, the Ghost of Christmas Present crumbles before our eyes in chortling death throes. He eventually is reduced to bone and ash. And during an elongated chase, Scrooge tries to escape the (quite creepy) Specter of Death and his hurtling, wall-shattering hearse. Scrooge later falls into an open grave that appears to be excavated down to the bowels of hell itself.
Crude or Profane Language
“Blast” and “balderdash” are the harshest of Scrooge’s exclamations. But game players at a party slyly invoke the double meaning of “ass” while playing a “guess the animal” game. “Oh my god” is blurted out in surprise.
Drug and Alcohol Content
Partygoers drink tankards of wassail or mead and glasses of wine. A few men are seen with pipes
As much as almost any other classic, this towering tale never seems to grow old. It’s a redemptive story that never fails to leave a tear in my eye or renew my commitment to treat friends, neighbors and even irritating relatives a little nicer.
I’ve personally seen dozens of performances of A Christmas Carol . I’ve even played the cranky old tightwad Scrooge myself a few times in my acting days. And I can readily say I’ve never seen a better overall performance of it than this animated adaptation by Messrs. Zemeckis and Carrey.
The vocal talent is terrific. Jim Carrey’s half-dozen characters are unique, controlled and inviting. He sets aside his typical rubber-faced, goofy pratfalls and ponies up a very thoughtful, enjoyable and at times moving performance. And he’s not alone; the whole cast shines.
The screenplay sticks closely to Charles Dickens’ original. And the brilliant special effects—from motion-capture technology to sweeping camera angles to 3-D twists and turns—dazzle in every scene. Audiences, in fact, will be ducking everything from Christmas wreaths to errant snowflakes.
But that’s not all they’ll be ducking from. Because this is, without question, the most intensely frightening Christmas Carol I’ve ever seen, as well. It’s a pretty dark ghost story and the excellent CGI enhances the shivers with ghastly gusto. Starting with a decomposing Marley and his shattered jaw and lolling tongue, many a young viewer will quickly find themselves scared out of their Christmas candy cane socks.
(I took my teenage daughter with me to the press screening, and after the film her first words were, “That was really scary!”)
That family-oriented warning duly noted, though, I’m compelled to return to the power of Scrooge’s salvation. Because that grim ghostly fare I’ve mentioned—especially since it’s confined to PG-rated boundaries—makes the salient case for jerking ourselves sharply away from our own greedy, selfish, heartless instincts. (While most of us aren’t so shameful as to deprive a good man his holiday pay, we are at least occasionally tempted to stockpile our worldly goods at others’ expense.) When Scrooge is spared from the pains of hell and turns away from the fire that has begun to consume him, the common need for redemption is made plain. And when the ghost of Christmas Present pulls back his robe to reveal those starving, rapidly morphing children, we get the poignant point—right between the eyes—that ignorance and want can lead to crime and sin and destruction.
In this 21st century A.D., computers can create grand cinema, but they can’t negate need. So Dickens’ Victorian warnings ring ever true.
After spending more than two decades touring, directing, writing and producing for Christian theater and radio (most recently for Adventures in Odyssey, which he still contributes to), Bob joined the Plugged In staff to help us focus more heavily on video games. He is also one of our primary movie reviewers.
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How to Watch 'Spirited' Starring Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell
This 'Christmas Carol' reimagining is Reynolds' first ever movie musical.
Legendary author Charles Dickens likely didn't realize how his merry masterpiece known to all as A Christmas Carol would become the prolific classic that it is in the world of entertainment today. We all know the story of how a greedy miser's hatred of Christmas turned into unconditional love after being visited by a quartet of specters, and the reason we're all so familiar with it is likely due to how many adaptations there are of the story. You have your classical and faithful takes like the stunning (yet horrifying) Robert Zemeckis animated film starring Jim Carrey ( The Mask ), and there are the more family-friendly comedic takes like The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) , and who could forget the present-day meta cult favorite that is Scrooged (1988) ? The latter example would probably be the best one to compare to the latest adaptation of Dickens's beloved tale, Spirited (2022) , starring Ryan Reynolds ( Deadpool ), Will Ferrell ( Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy ), and Octavia Spencer ( Hidden Figures ).
Not only is this new version of Ebenezer Scrooge's story set in the modern day, but it's also going to be a full-blown musical extravaganza, the first that Reynolds has been a part of in his career. Reynolds is also set to play Scrooge in the film (or at least will be the Scrooge archetype), as he meets the various ghostly figures representing the past, present, and future of Christmas, one of which is Will Ferrell as the Ghost of Christmas Present. Spirited will also be the subject of a unique release plan, so to find out exactly how to watch the new Christmas film, simply read below to find out.
Related: 'Spirited' Promo Reveals Ryan Reynolds' Biggest Fears for the Musical Feature
Is Spirited on Streaming or in Theaters?
Spirited is being produced by Apple, so many would likely assume that the film would be premiering on Apple TV+ . It is, but for those who wanted to watch Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell sing and dance on the big screen, Spirited also received a theatrical release. This comes at a time when many streaming companies are releasing some of their most high-profile works into theaters, partially so they'll be able to take advantage of some extra box office revenue, but most likely so the films will qualify for some accolades like the Academy Awards , which are once again requiring eligible films to be released in theaters to be considered for awards. A special sing-along version of the film was also recently released in theaters.
For those who would rather watch Spirited at home but aren't currently subscribed to Apple TV+, there are a couple of options available. For one, if you happen to have just purchased an Apple device, Apple TV+ is free for the first three months. The standard subscription price is only $4.99 per month, giving access to the service's full library and content. For those who find themselves wanting to regularly take advantage of other Apple services, the Apple One bundle is a great option. Not only does Apple One include Apple TV+, but it also provides full access to Apple Music, Apple Arcade, iCloud+, Apple News+, and Apple Fitness+ for $14.95 per month.
Watch on Apple TV+
Find Showtimes for Spirited?
Spirited was released in theaters on November 11, 2022, before premiering on Apple TV+ a week later on November 18.
That being said the film is actually still playing in some theaters, you can check out the link below to find out if there are showtimes near you for the musical Christmas comedy.
Watch the Trailer for Spirited
The reveal trailer for Spirited gets things started right away by showcasing Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell showing off their tap dancing moves. Ferrell seems to be getting a good chunk of screen time in the film, as he introduces himself to Reynolds and takes him on his time-bending Christmas journey. Similar to Scrooged , Reynolds doesn't seem to literally be playing Ebenezer Scrooge but is instead playing a grumpy businessman who exists in a world where A Christmas Carol is a known story. It's even possible that the events of A Christmas Carol happened in the film's continuity, as the Ghost of Christmas Present implies he once saved a young boy who's clearly supposed to be Tiny Tim from the story. The rest of the trailer consists of visuals one would expect from A Christmas Carol , with glimpses at the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Future, as well as one that bares an uncanny resemblance to that of Ebenezer Scrooge's late remorseful partner, Jacob Marley.
Related: 'Tis (Almost) the Season to Watch the Restored 'Muppet Christmas Carol' On Disney+
Other Versions of A Christmas Carol That You Can Watch Now
In case those other adaptations of A Christmas Carol mentioned above caught your attention, and you'd like to give them a watch, here's where and how you can check them out.
A Christmas Carol (2009): Zemeckis clearly didn't have enough of scaring people with animated Christmas movies after the puppet scene in The Polar Express (2004), and that's clear in his version of A Christmas Story . It's arguably one of the most faithful renditions of the original Dickens story, really detailing the sense of misery and despair that was rampant throughout England's industrial revolution and how moments of levity like Christmas offer an escape from that. It's great as far as adaptations go, but younger audiences might want to steer clear of this one. Robert Zemeckis's A Christmas Carol is available to stream on Disney+.
Watch on Disney+
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992): Thankfully, Disney+ does have a version of A Christmas Carol that families with younger ones are sure to enjoy, mainly because this one has a whole lot of Muppets in it. Starring Michael Caine ( The Prestige ) as Mr. Scrooge, the movie is exactly what one would expect from A Christmas Carol starring the Muppets, packed to the brim with fourth-wall-breaking commentary and an on-the-nose sense of humor. Despite the update, The Muppet Christmas Carol still successfully captures the spirit of the original story and is one of the most beloved versions of the tale. And like we said already, The Muppet Christmas Carol is also available to stream on Disney+.
Scrooged (1988): Richard Donner 's ( Lethal Weapon ) modern version of A Christmas Carol wasn't too well-received upon release but has since earned a dedicated following. Here, Bill Murray ( Ghostbusters ) is a greedy, selfish, antagonistic television executive whose station is putting on a live version of the Dickens story that entirely misses the point of the tale. The rest of the story goes how you would expect, complete with some laugh-out-loud moments and fantastic direction from Donner. Scrooged is available for streaming on Prime Video and Paramount+.
Watch on Prime Video
A Christmas Carol
Cast & crew.
Peter Cratchit/Undertaker's Apprentice/Caroler/Beggar Boy
- KIDS & FAMILY
3-D adaptation of classic holiday tale may scare young kids.
- Average 5.9
- Reviews 201
© 2009 Disney
Copyright © 2023 Apple Inc. All rights reserved.
A Christmas Carol (2009 film)
A Christmas Carol is a 2009 film about a Victorian-era miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions.
- 1 Ebenezer Scrooge
- 2 Jacob Marley
- 3 The Ghost of Christmas Past
- 4 The Ghost of Christmas Present
- 6 About A Christmas Carol (2009 film)
- 8 External Links
Ebenezer Scrooge [ edit ]
- Bah! Humbug!
- What do you want with me?
- Let me hear one word out of you, Cratchit, and you can keep Christmas by losing your situation!
- There is nothing on this Earth more terrifying to me than a life doomed to poverty.
- I've, uh....come to dinner. (pause) If you'll have me.
Jacob Marley [ edit ]
- You will be haunted by three spirits.
- Expect the first tomorrow when the bell tolls one.
- Look to see me no more.
The Ghost of Christmas Past [ edit ]
- I am the Ghost of Christmas Past.
- Rise and walk with me.
The Ghost of Christmas Present [ edit ]
- Enter, Scrooge.
- You have never seen the likes of me before?
- Peace on Earth. Good will to all men.
- This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both.
Dialogue [ edit ]
About a christmas carol (2009 film) [ edit ].
- Well yeah, my ambition was to stay true to the original piece, and I think horror is a dangerous word to use these days because it conjures up images of horror movies.
- Robert Zemeckis 
Cast [ edit ]
- Jim Carrey - Ebenezer Scrooge and the 3 Christmas Spirits
- Gary Oldman - Bob Cratchit, Jacob Marley, and Tiny Tim
- Colin Firth - Fred
- Bob Hoskins - Mr. Fezziwig and Old Joe
- Robin Wright Penn - Belle, Fan Scrooge
- Cary Elwes - Dick Wilkins, Mad Fiddler, Businessman #1, Guest #2, Portly Gentleman #1, and Destitute Man #2
- Steve Valentine - Undertaker, Topper
- Julene Renee-Preciado - Adult Want
- Fionnula Flanagan - Mrs. Dilber
- Kerry Hoyt - Adult Ignorance
- Molly C. Quinn - Belinda Cratchit.
- Ryan Ochoa - Tattered Caroler, Beggar Boy, Young Cratchit Boy, Ignorance Boy, Young Boy with Sleigh
- Daryl Sabara - Undertaker's Apprentice, Tattered Caroler, Beggar Boy, Young Cratchit Girl, Want Girl
- Lesley Manville - Bob Cratchit's wife.
- Fay Masterson - Martha Cratchit, Guest #1, Caroline
- Ron Bottitta - Tattered Caroler, Well-Dressed Caroler
- Jacquie Barnbrook - Mrs. Fezziwig, Fred's Sister-in-Law, Well-Dressed Caroler
- Paul Blackthorn - Guest #3, Businessman #2
- Julian Holloway - Fat Cook, Portly Gentleman #2, Businessman #3
- Michael Hyland - Guest #4
- Leslie Zemeckis - Fred's Wife
External Links [ edit ]
- A Christmas Carol (2009 film) quotes at the Internet Movie Database