Scrooge: A Christmas Carol Parent Guide
The visual design is excellent, but this adaptation brings nothing new to a crowded field.
Parent Movie Review
Miserly Ebeneezer Scrooge (voiced by Luke Evans) hates Christmas and does his best to share the misery. As a money lender, he shows no mercy to anyone who owes him even a shilling, and he regularly stiffs his one employee, Bob Cratchit (Johnny Flynn) on his wages. But one Christmas Eve, Ebeneezer is visited by the ghost of his late business partner, Jacob Marley (Jonathan Pryce) who warns him of the terrible fate that awaits the greedy after death. Scrooge is then visited by three more ghosts, who show him how his greed has affected both himself and those around him and give him one last chance to change his ways before it’s too late.
Everyone knows the story of A Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens’s classic novella has been adapted for countless stage and screen performances. With such an overabundance of adaptations, it takes a lot to stand out and unfortunately, Netflix’s animated version fails to do that.
On the positive side, this production has some fantastic visuals, especially during the ghostly visits. The ghosts are creatively portrayed and there’s more creativity in the ways that Scrooge interacts with their presentations of his life. The movie’s pacing and editing are also tight and well-timed, allowing the emotional moments to breathe, while also moving the story along at a brisk pace. The voice work is fantastic, especially Olivia Colman (though that’s no surprise!).
Even distinctive visuals and good pacing aren’t enough to uplift a generic and unoriginal adaptation. There are very few changes from the original novella, except for the addition of some forgettable and cheesy musical numbers. This film has nothing new to say, and so it immediately drowns in the ocean of other Christmas Carols. Note to Netflix: just because it’s in the public domain doesn’t mean you have to make a movie of it.
Though lacking in negative content, the film does have some frightening visuals and dark moments, which may be too scary for very young audiences. Older children might enjoy themselves, but the over-the-top musical numbers and cheesy moments could prove to be too much even for them. Although the positive messages are important, there are a million other versions to choose from, some much better than this one, that will be a better fit for the whole family while still conveying the same uplifting themes. There’s no topping The Muppet Christmas Caroland frankly I don’t know why anyone even tries.Directed by Stephen Donnelly. Starring Jessie Buckley, Jonathan Pryce, Luke Evans. Running time: 96 minutes. Theatrical release December 2, 2022. Updated December 2, 2022
Watch the trailer for Scrooge: A Christmas Carol
Scrooge: A Christmas Carol
Rating & Content Info
Why is Scrooge: A Christmas Carol rated TV-Y7? Scrooge: A Christmas Carol is rated TV-Y7 by the MPAA for fear.
Violence: A character smacks another in the face. A character is electrocuted. Some potentially frightening imagery includes a ghost who transforms into a huge, hooded figure with red eyes and claws. A scary ghost has coins for eyes. Ghosts loom over a frightened man, wrap him in chains, and pull him screaming into his own grave.
Sexual Content: None.
Profanity: Some mild name calling. One use of a term of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: A brief mention of wine. Adult characters toast with wine glasses.
Page last updated December 2, 2022
Scrooge: A Christmas Carol Parents' Guide
What did Scrooge focus on as a young man and how did that affect him and the people around him? How does he change and how does it change the people he interacts with?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens can be read online for free at Project Gutenberg.
If you’re looking for visually appealing versions of A Christmas Carol you can try the 2006 version illustrated by P.J. Lynch. Michael Foreman has also illustrated the story, in a striking black and white version published by the Folio Society. In the hands of Brett Helquist, the story transforms into a meticulously detailed picture book, published in 2009. Author Tony Milton retells the story in rhyming verse and Mike Redman illustrates it in their 2020 version. Retold for young readers, Adam McKeown’s adaptation is illustrated by Gerald Kelley.
Related home video titles:
Our critics all agree that the greatest film adaption of Dickens’ classic work is The Muppet Christmas Carol. Michael Caine plays it straight as Ebenezer Scrooge, interacting with everyone’s favorite zany muppets.
Disney’s world famous mouse stars in Mickey’s Christmas Carol. This animated tale is low in scares and is suitable for most young viewers.
If you want to learn more about Charles Dickens, author of A Christmas Carol, you can watch The Man Who Invented Christmas. This fictional story uses details from Dickens’ life and the characters in his book to tell the story of the months in which he wrote the novella.