‘A Christmas Carol’ has been remade many times since 1843, see these versions of Charles Dickens’ story


“A Christmas Carol” started off as a novella by Charles Dickens. Dickens was the creator of the classic story that included one of the most popular Christmas characters, Ebenezer Scrooge. Many actors have played the wealthy, greedy and grumpy old man in adaptations of the original story. 

The original book was published in 1843. Shortly after, the story found a home on the stage and later in a number of films. The film adaptations of “A Christmas Carol” have all put a unique twist on the original story, while keeping classic elements the same. The basis of the story follows an elderly man (Scrooge) unknowingly in need of guidance. 

He is visited by his dead business partner, Jacob Marley, who shares that Scrooge will be visited by three Christmas spirits — past, present and yet to come — who end up enlightening the bitter Scrooge. This plot has stuck around for well over a century, with the newest versions coming out in 2022.

Below is a list of 11 film versions of “A Christmas Carol” that have been released over the years.


  1. “A Christmas Carol,” 1938
  2. “A Christmas Carol,” 1951
  3. “Scrooge,” 1970
  4. “A Christmas Carol,” 1984
  5. “Scrooged,” 1988
  6. “Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” 1983
  7. “The Muppet Christmas Carol,” 1992
  8. “A Christmas Carol,” 1999
  9. “A Christmas Carol,” 2009
  10. “Ghost of Girlfriends Past,” 2009
  11. “Scrooge: A Christmas Carol,” 2022
  12. “Spirited,” 2022

1. “A Christmas Carol,” 1938

The 1938 version of “A Christmas Carol” was one of the first movies to hit the big screen. It stars Reginald Owen as Scrooge and Gene Lockhart as Bob Cratchit. 

This version is considered a family-friendly remake of the classic tale and mainly follows the plot line of Dickens’ book. 

2. “A Christmas Carol,” 1951

In the 1951 rendition, it is actor Alastair Sim who is visited by three Christmas spirits in the film. This movie includes classic characters introduced in the book, like Bob Cratchit, Mrs. Emily Cratchit, Jacob Marley and, of course, Scrooge.

This version is widely considered the best of all the versions. 

Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge in "A Christmas Carol"


3. “Scrooge,” 1970

This musical adaptation of the story features Albert Finney as Scrooge. 

The film earned many accolades, including four Oscar nominations, including an award for the popular song, “Thank You Very Much.”

4. “A Christmas Carol,” 1984

This version of “A Christmas Carol” aired on CBS in 1984 with George C. Scott as Scrooge. Scott was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for the leading role in this television special.


George Scott and Edward Woodward in "A Christmas Carol"

5. “Scrooged,” 1988

“Scrooged” is considered one of the most comedic of all the “Christmas Carol” adaptations. Bill Murray is the star of the movie directed by Richard Donner. 

In this movie, Murray plays Frank Cross, a television executive who is a representative of the Scrooge character. Even though the characters differ, Cross is still visited by three Christmas spirits as in the original story.

6. “Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” 1983

While this isn’t a feature film, the animated short of the story is still considered a widely loved rendition. In just 26 minutes, the classic story is told, using Disney characters everyone knows and loves. 

In this short, Scrooge McDuck, uncle to Donald Duck, plays Scrooge, with Mickey Mouse as Bob Cratchit and Goofy as the ghost of Jacob Marley. 

“Mickey’s Christmas Carol” isn’t the only Christmas movie starring the mouse. There’s also “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas” released in 1999. This movie features three mini-stories starring the Disney characters. The sequel, “Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas” features five animated shorts. 

7. “The Muppet Christmas Carol,” 1992

“The Muppet Christmas Carol” is a fan favorite when it comes to versions of the film. This movie stars Michael Caine as a moody Scrooge, a perfect contrast to the upbeat lovable Muppet characters he is surrounded by throughout the film. 

All the Muppets play different characters, all vital to the story. The Great Gonzo and Rizzo the Rat narrate the story, with Kermit playing Bob Cratchit, Robin the Frog as Tiny Tim and Miss Piggy as Emily Cratchit. 


Michael Caine

8. “A Christmas Carol,” 1999

In 1999, a new version of “A Christmas Carol” aired on TNT starring Patrick Stewart as Scrooge. 

Stewart was familiar with Scrooge and other characters from the Christmas classic before appearing in this movie. Prior to playing Scrooge in the film, Stewart was the star of “A Christmas Carol” one-man show on Broadway and in London. 

9. “A Christmas Carol,” 2009

Jim Carrey followed a similar approach to Tom Hanks in “The Polar Express” for “A Christmas Carol” in 2009. In the 2004 Christmas classic, Hanks voiced multiple characters in the movie, and Carrey did the same in “A Christmas Carol.”


Jim Carrey at the premiere of "A Christmas Carol"

In “A Christmas Carol,” Carrey makes up most of the main cast, voicing Scrooge at different ages and the three ghosts he is visited by. 

Carrey isn’t the only actor who took on various roles for this film. Gary Oldman plays Bob Cratchit as well as Jacob Marley and Tiny Tim. Colin Firth is also in the film and plays Scrooge’s relative, Fred. This Disney version of the movie is often considered a frightening take on the classic through the “performance capture” technique used to shoot the movie. This technique makes the animation extremely realistic. 

This wasn’t Carey’s first rodeo in the Christmas movie genre. In fact, he played a character who shares many traits with Scrooge in 2000 when he played the Grinch in the live-action remake of Dr. Seuss’ story. 

10. “Ghost of Girlfriends Past,” 2009

This film stars a number of Hollywood A-listers including Matthew McConaughey, Michael Douglas, Jennifer Garner and Emma Stone.

In this modification of “A Christmas Carol,” McConaughey, with a likeness to Scrooge, is an addicted-to-work, refuses-to-love celebrity photographer. He dates many women at the start of the film, but runs into his first love later. McConaughey’s character is met by ghosts of ex-girlfriends throughout the film as he is guided through the “what-ifs” of his life by his dead uncle, Douglas, who plays the adaptation of Jacob Marley.

11. “Scrooge: A Christmas Carol,” 2022

This animated movie released by Netflix is one of the newest of the bunch. In this musical version, Luke Evans is the voice of Scrooge with some extra science fiction elements woven into the film. 

12. “Spirited,” 2022

Will Ferrell spread Christmas cheer once again, but this time not as the lovable Buddy the Elf, but as the ghost of Christmas present in “Spirited.” Ryan Reynolds also stars in the film as CEO Clint Briggs. 

Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell at "Spirited" premiere

While the characters differ slightly in this 2022 film, the root of the story stays the same. This movie is a musical version of the story with many comedic elements sprinkled throughout. 

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