A Christmas Carol (2009) was a great movie to watch, although, it does have some differences from the book. Though many differences there are similarities as well. As we re-visit the greatest Christmas story of all time, we will discover the differences, similarities, and changes made to this story in previous years. In the film we witness an old man named Ebenezer Scrooge who is awakened on Christmas Eve and visited by spirits. They remind him of the terrible life he has been living and the opportunities he wasted growing up.
Ebenezer is also faced with the decision to either change his ways or to continue living the miserable life he has been living. This will determine whether or not Scrooge will face death or redemption. The novel is also the same plot structure as the film, yet there are many differences between the book and the film. Here are some places when the film differs. In the book we are introduced to The Ghost of Christmas Present. A difference that occurs here is that when The Ghost of Christmas Present “dies” in the book, it just disappears.
In the movie we witness the actual death of The Ghost of Christmas Present. Unlike the book, the whole chasing scene when Scrooge is being chased by the horses and is shrinking only occurs in the film. Scrooge also falls into his own grave during this scene which is not included in the book either. Old Joe does not make an appearance in the novel, but in the film he is seen chasing shrunken Scrooge with a fire poker. At the end of The Ghost of Christmas Past sequence Scrooge rids the spirit out with his own cap, but in to film the spirit is “jetted” towards the sky.
In the book it is also written that Scrooge encounters a ghost riding a phantom hearse right before he visits Jacob Marley. In the movie, it is clear to see that this scene is moved to the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come’s scene. In the movie it is not shown when Belle is with her family, but in the book there is a section about this event. More differences can be shown with the changes of technology. In the book there is obviously the use of older language, but when the Disney film was written in 2009 they used language more “up to date” that children would be able to understand when watching the movie.
Also a difference occurs in the Disney remake of this film/novel because it is animated. This is unlike any other version of A Christmas Carol ever made. Having films be remade over time can definitely cause for some changes in the story line. Sometimes directors try to make the film more modern and have it apply to the lives of everyday people. It is absolutely a true statement when people say “a movie can never be as good as the book”. In my opinion, I find this to be a super accurate saying because books such as Harry Potter, are very, very long and you do not want to be watching a 6 hour movie.
With that being said, directors often cut out parts of the novel to have enough space in the film for what they want. Sadly, directors usually take out the most important parts of the novel when making the film, causing it to be completely different. I personally like to read the book before I see a movie just because of things like this. It is way easier to compare the movie and book if you know both sides of the story. It is also good to do things like this so you can see how well the film follows the book.
Rarely, I have come across films that follow the book very well. One example would be The Book Thief. Not only did the film follow the book very well, but it also showed you what it would be like living in the character’s position during that terrible time in history. Films can be a complete hit with the crowds in terms of following the book, or they can be an absolute miss. A major similarity that can be seen is the meanness and personality of Ebenezer Scrooge. The book is where we first witness the terrible Christmas Spirit of Scrooge.
He is obviously not a huge fan of Christmas because of his lonely life as child, the loss of his wife Belle, and the death of his business partner Jacob Marley. I think Scrooge feels as if there is nothing good to celebrate because everything has been taken away from him, so people shouldn’t deserve what they get. After watching the film, it is easy to see the personality of Scrooge shine. He can be very mean, but there were also many times in the film where you could see the softness and kindness he had deep inside him. Scrooge was always known as the “tough guy” and didn’t want to show even the smallest amount of kindness he may have had.
The character Ebenezer Scrooge made such an impact with his meanness and selfishness the word “scrooge” is now used today. The film and the book has helped us truly understand his personality, but it is the film that helps it come to life. As you can see, making a film an exact match to a novel is never the case. There will always be differences and even similarities that occur in either the film or the novel. Changes are always going to be made and before we know it A Christmas Carol might be a completely different story years from now.
That is why reading the book is always the best so that you can understand the true story. Though there are many different versions of the film, there is only one amazing novel by Charles Dickens. No film is ever as good as the original novel. This is a reason why I truly hope that amazing stories like these are being made as I get older and for future generations to come. It is always nice to bring out a good book, sit down, and read it, even if it is one you have read over one thousand times. This book is one book that is never going to get old to me.