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A Christmas Carol (2001)

Christmas Carol: The Movie (original title)
Old bitter miser Ebenezer Scrooge (Simon Callow) who makes excuses for his uncaring nature learns real compassion when three ghosts visit him on Christmas Eve.


Jimmy T. Murakami


Piet Kroon (screenplay), Robert Llewellyn (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Simon Callow ... Scrooge / Charles Dickens (voice)
Kate Winslet ... Belle (voice)
Nicolas Cage ... Marley (voice)
Jane Horrocks ... Ghost of Christmas Past (voice)
Michael Gambon ... Ghost of Christmas Present (voice)
Rhys Ifans ... Bob Cratchit (voice)
Juliet Stevenson ... Mrs. Cratchit / Mother Gimlet (voice)
Robert Llewellyn ... Old Joe (voice)
Iain Jones Iain Jones ... Fred (voice)
Colin McFarlane ... Fezziwig (voice)
Beth Winslet ... Fan (voice)
Arthur Cox ... Dr. Lambert (voice)
Keith Wickham ... Mr. Leach / Undertaker (voice)
Joss Sanglier Joss Sanglier ... Choir Master (voice)
Sarah Kayte Foster Sarah Kayte Foster ... Mouse (voice) (as Sarah Annison)


This movie begins with a live-action sequence set in Boston in 1857, the site of a live reading by renowned novelist Dickens (Simon Callow). 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 (Jane Horrocks), Present (Sir Michael Gambon), 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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



UK | Germany



Release Date:

7 December 2001 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Um Conto de Natal See more »


Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Michael Gambon (Ghost of Christmas Present) also played Scrooge in the 2010 Doctor Who (2005) Christmas special Doctor Who: A Christmas Carol (2010). See more »


Bob Cratchit: I'll make it up to you, Sir!
Ebenezer Scrooge: No, Mr Cratchit! I'll make it up to you!
See more »

Alternate Versions

Some DVD versions omit the live action theatrical opening and ending featuring Simon Callow as Charles Dickens. R1 DVD has both scenes as a supplement in the extra features. See more »


Version of Christmas Carol (1984) See more »


Quis Est Deus
Performed by Charlotte Church and the Monks of Glenstal
Composed by Bill Whelan
Charlotte Church by kind permisson of Sony Music Entertainment (UK) Ltd
Produced by Bill Whelan
Engineered by Philip Begley and Matt Howe
Recorded at The Fort, Ireland & Air Lyndhurst, London
Orchestrated & Conducted by David Downes
2001 Sony Music Entertainment (UK) Ltd. Used under licence.
Illuminated films (Christmas Carol) Ltd/McGuinness Whelan Music Publishing Ltd 2001
See more »

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User Reviews

17 December 2012 | by smerphSee all my reviews

Christmas Carol adaptations are ten-a-penny (or a "dime-a-dozen" since most are from the US) but it would be a challenge to find one as awful as this one. Only the Kelsey Grammar TV Movie is arguably worse.

In addition to the lifeless, uninteresting animation, we have a bunch of pointless additions to the story that do nothing except detract from the original ideas of the novel.

The film has a leisurely pace that will bore children (presumably the intended audience). It takes 30 minutes before the Ghost of Christmas Past turns up, the opening half-hour given to setting up characters such as Old Joe and a, frankly baffling, subplot about Scrooge's lost love Belle.

Yes, Belle (voiced by Kate Winslet) plays a much larger role in this film than other adaptation. Whereas it's assumed in other adaptations that Belle moved on from Scrooge, here she seemingly became a spinster and never really got over him; emphasised in the "What If" song, which appears, jarringly, towards the end of film.

It's a baffling decision, clearly made so as to give Scrooge a "reward" for his redemption (as if that isn't a reward in itself). It robs the story of the theme of "years wasted", to have Scrooge be given a second- chance at love with Belle.

Also strange, is how the visitation from Marley happens before Scrooge retires to his sleeping quarters. This also occurs before he's visited by the two gentlemen collecting money for the poor. This creates a odd sense that Scrooge isn't even perturbed by the visitation and is able to carry on his working day, despite having just been haunted!

However, perhaps the stupidest, most ill-judged part of this film, is when Scrooge throws a bucket of water over Tiny Tim, causing him to contract pneumonia again...leading, presumably, to his death. So in this version, Scrooge is *directly* responsible for the boy's passing. This film has the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

Oh, and I haven't mentioned the mice! There's two anthropomorphic mice in this who Scrooge takes a shining too. And that's the pre-redemption Scrooge, by the way. The, supposedly, nasty man is perfectly civil to the vermin long before he's "scrooged".

Positives? Well, perhaps it's worth mentioning that Scrooge finds it incredibly difficult to change his ways on Christmas morning. It's perhaps a little jarring to see an adaptation take this route, but I guess it's realistic that, after a lifetime of miserly ways, Scrooge isn't going to turn into Santa Claus instantly (a mistake that the Albert Finney adaptation was guilty of).

But that's all I can say that is good about this. I'm at a loss as to how this insipid thing attracted so many star names to lend their vocals. While I can accept that Nicolas Cage (as Marley) will appear in anything these days, I can't really explain the presence of Callow or Winslet.

Incidentally, the film now seems to be doing the rounds with the live- action sequences removed. While these are, essentially, irrelevant to the story, the removal of them means that both the start and end of the film is amateurishly abrupt. If you really must watch this, ensure it's the "full" version.

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