Christmas Carol—The Movie (2001)

christmas carol the movie poster 2001 animated
3.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 2/10

Good cast, different story choices

Poor animation, poor execution

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Christmas Carol—The Movie

Studio:  Pathé Pictures

Genre(s):  Animated/Seasonal/Family

Release Date(s):  September 12, 2001 (Toronto Film Festival)/December 7, 2001 (UK)

MPAA Rating:  PG


Scrooge…you’re kind of a turd

Ebenezer Scrooge is an angry and bitter old man.  Sending people to debtors’ prison, even during the holidays, doesn’t faze Scrooge nor does throwing cold water on carolers.  When Scrooge shuts down a hospital that tends to the poor, it prompts a visit from his old partner Jacob Marley…unfortunately, Marley has been dead for seven years.  Now Scrooge is about to take a voyage into his own past, see the damage he is doing, and witness how his actions have greater consequences, all in the hopes that Scrooge can change his ways before it is too late.

Directed by Jimmy T. Murakami, Christmas Carol—The Movie is an animate adaptation of the classic story by Charles Dickens which was first published in 1843.  The movie made its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in 2001 and later was released in the United Kingdom for the holidays.  It was not available in the U.S. until 2003 when it received a DVD release.


You gonna leave this food here?

A Christmas Carol has been done over and over again.  It has been straight adaptation, reworked with cartoons, and even worked into sitcoms.  Here, the movie takes a fairly straight forward approach, but does manage to change a few aspects of the story.

Christmas Carol:  The Movie attempts to tie aspects of the story together more.  Here, the movie makes events a bit more urgent than some of the other versions of the story.  Scrooge has shut down a hospital where his former love Belle is a nurse.  The hospital also tends to Tiny Tim who has just been released but sick once again after Scrooge threw freezing water on him as he caroled.  With these connections, it makes for some interesting changes while still keeping the basic themes of the story…unfortunately, other factors keep this from being a good picture (and they also felt the need to throw in a couple of animated mice).


Animated mice!!! With no personality!!!

Surprisingly, the movie does a have a strong cast of voice actors.  Simon Callow takes up the role of Scrooge with Kate Winslet playing his love Belle (Winslet also performs the theme “What If” for the movie).  Marley is voiced by Nicolas Cage, and Bob Cratchit is Rhys Ifans (who probably would make a great Cratchit in a live action version).  Absolutely Fabulous’ Jane Horrocks is the Ghost of Christmas Past and Michael Gambon takes on the role of the Ghost of Christmas Present.  For the original release, Simon Callow also did an intro and outro as Charles Dickens…it isn’t always available on the DVD.


Hey, I’m Nick Cage…yeah…Marley

Despite the strong cast, the animation for Christmas Carol:  The Movie is quite weak.  It looks like it could have come from the late ’60s or ’70s, but not the charming style of animation from that time.  It looks cheap and is cheap.

Christmas Carol:  The Movie presents one of the most filmed stories since movies started being made.  With so many versions of A Christmas Carol floating around, this is one of the weaker ones and probably should just be skipped if you are looking for holiday films.  The strong cast is let down by poor production values.

Related Links:

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol (1938)

A Christmas Carol (Scrooge) (1951)

Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol (1962)

Scrooge (1970)

An American Christmas Carol (1979)

Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)

A Christmas Carol (1984)

Scrooged (1988)

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

A Flintstones Christmas Carol (1994)

A Christmas Carol (1999)

A Christmas Carol:  The Musical (2004)

Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas (2006)

Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009)

Batman:  Noel

Zombies Christmas Carol

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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