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Christmas Carol: The Movie (2001)

The film begins with a live-action sequence set in Boston in 1857, the site of a live reading by renowned novelist Dickens. As he begins his 'story of ghosts' a woman in the audience ... See full summary »



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Belle (voice)
Marley (voice)
Bob Cratchit (voice)
Mrs. Cratchit / Mother Gimlet (voice)
Old Joe (voice)
Iain Jones ...
Fred (voice)
Fezziwig (voice)
Fan (voice)
Dr. Lambert (voice)
Mr. Leach / Undertaker (voice)
Joss Sanglier ...
Choir Master (voice)
Sarah Kayte Foster ...
Mouse (voice) (as Sarah Annison)


The film begins with a live-action sequence set in Boston in 1857, the site of a live reading by renowned novelist Dickens. As he begins his 'story of ghosts' a woman in the audience screams because she has seen a mouse and Dickens points out that this is appropriate since his story begins with a mouse. At this point the story turns into the animated version and Dickens explains that the mouse, named Gabriel, carries a glimmer of hope amidst the glaring co-existence of rich and poor in the streets of London. Throughout the subsequent unfolding of the well-known story Gabriel acts as a miniature Greek chorus, providing younger members of the audience with a point of entry into the story and, in the case of the potentially frightening elements (the Ghosts of Past, Present and Future), a place of refuge. Written by John Nickolaus

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Animation | Family

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for momentary language | See all certifications »





Release Date:

7 December 2001 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Um Conto de Natal  »

Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£171,576 (UK) (7 December 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ebenezer Scrooge: Cratchit, that slovenly, good for nothing... Even a tiny mouse is more tidy!
See more »


Version of O Velho Scrooge (1963) See more »


In Dulci Jubilo
German Traditional (13th/14th C)
Arranged by Julian Nott
Illuminated Films (Christmas Carol) Ltd 2001
2001 Illuminated Films (Christmas Carol) Ltd
Performed by Mathew Wmith, Nick Smith, William Nott, Carl Wayne, Stephen Lazell, Ben Pope,
Phillip Pope
See more »

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User Reviews

Two or three good things can't save this film from being so dull and lifeless
29 June 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I just want to start off saying I adore the story A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, it is timeless and alongside The Nutcracker it is for me the quintessential Christmas story. There are some good, great even, versions of this classic, the Alastair Sim film(up there with It's a Wonderful Life) as the ultimate Christmas film, the George C. Scott film and Muppet Christmas Carol.

I wish I could add this film to the list of great versions, but sadly, I can't. For me, this is the worst version. However, it is not a complete embarrassment. Simon Callow is good as Charles Dickens and as Ebeneezer Scrooge, and the live-action opening scene is one of two good scenes the other being the Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come sequence, Kate Winslet is charming and touching as Belle and of the soundtrack(which I quite liked) What If and the Charlotte Church song are the standouts.

I really wanted to like it, but I did wish Christmas Carol:The Movie- the ghastly, uninspired title alone is just one of the problems- wasn't so lifeless and dull. Two things especially made it so. One was the quality of the animation, the look of the film does look drab with flat colours, with the background art lacking fluidity and the character designs looking quite dated. The other is the storytelling despite the core of the story being there, the fact that there were changes didn't bother me actually, it's just that some especially the anthropomorphic mice were unnecessary, overly cute and interrupted the flow of the story far too much. The romantic subplot took too long to get going too, and the Walking in the air-like sequences are some of the film's better scenes visually but they too drag the story down to a lesser extent.

While there is the odd dialogue lifted from the book, most of it feels dumbed down and juvenile as if to appeal more to children or those who haven't read the story, which is what I felt similarly about most of the subplots. The voice cast Callow and Winslet aside are disappointing. They are talented but their dialogue is lacking. Jane Horrocks and Michael Gambon are fine actors and do fit into their roles well enough, it's just that the writing and storytelling disallows them into doing anything particularly special with them. The worst by far is Nicolas Cage, who doesn't work at all as Jacob Marley sounding very bored and monotone throughout.

In conclusion, two or three good things aren't enough to save this film. 3/10 Bethany Cox

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