Plot: Fred has gotten the lead part in the community theater production of A Christmas Carol, and he’s been obsessed with the role for months. Full of himself instead of the holiday spirit, Fred starts acting like a real Scrooge to those around him right before Christmas. As the play goes on, Fred finds himself in the character of Scrooge and starts to see the error of his ways.
Breakdown: Krystallina of Daiyamanga reminded me of this special last year, and I never got around to reviewing it for that year’s A Very Animated Holiday Special. It’s a good thing I got around to it this year, because what is Christmas without a good adaptation of A Christmas Carol?
This version of the story has a very interesting spin to it. See, most adaptations of A Christmas Carol that aren’t outright original versions usually just have the characters from a movie or TV series taking the place of the characters from the novel. The characters aren’t themselves, but their personalities remain to bring a different view to the original characters from the novel.
Either that, or they try to make their own version of A Christmas Carol by allocating certain characters as proxies of the characters from the novel with one being made the ‘Scrooge’ and actually experiencing the ghosts themselves.
In this version, we get the best of both worlds. Fred and the other citizens of Bedrock are putting on A Christmas Carol as a play, and in the main world of the show, a similar tale is going on with Fred. Ever since he was cast as Scrooge, Fred has been acting like a total diva; saying he’s the only real star of the play, believing he’ll hit the big time in show business with this role and completely ignoring his family and job for the sake of overly rehearsing his lines.
Both the main Flintstone world story and the actual A Christmas Carol story are well-written and directed. I absolutely love how they don’t leave the A Christmas Carol part as play structure all of the time. It’s much better to have it as a movie-like format most of the time to allow for more immersion in both stories. Granted, they still have leaks into the play as it goes on like Fred sometimes calling characters by their real names and cutting away to the director when they go off script, but that’s fine. We shouldn’t completely forget that they’re in a play while it’s happening.
Granted, we still have to deal with the eye-roll worthy rock puns (Cave-care (daycare), Bloomingshales, Cragit (Cratchit), Marbley (Marley) and so on and so forth) but since the bulk of the film is A Christmas Carol, they don’t leak in too much to bother terribly.
They also put an interesting twist in here. Since several of the actors are coming down with stomach flu known as the Bedrock Bug, Wilma is forced to take over some of the roles in the play such as The Ghost of Christmas Past, Belle and a charity worker. Because of this, we see how much Fred’s behavior has weighed on Wilma in her anger, disappointment and sadness.
It’s also good that, despite him changing over the course of the movie, the other characters aren’t instantly accepting of his changed ways. They really believe, to some degree, that he’s still just immersed in the Scrooge character and since he changed Fred probably feels like he should act like he changed too. He has to earn it in the end, and even gets some comeuppance in him getting the Bedrock Bug, but it’s still a happy ending for all.
The parts that were A Christmas Carol were pretty damn spot on in characters, story and even dialogue. Of course, some of the darker aspects were toned down to be more family friendly. For example, I feel like they had a fairly close view of the dead body in the Christmas Yet to Come segment, but they zoom in oddly on the body’s colorless toe for several seconds as dialogue goes on behind it. I just feel like that was changed at the last minute to kinda censor it. That may be the first ever censor job done by a corpse toe…..
In the end, this is a great adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Even if you’re not a big fan of The Flintstones, I still believe you’d find a lot of entertainment and Christmas spirit here. There are even some lines that are pretty funny to this day. Don’t be such a Scrooge, and go watch it. 😛
Recommended Audience: It’s The Flintstones…..well, of course there are mentions of death and one frightening corpse toe closeup. E for everyone!