AVAHS – A Christmas Carol (1971) Review


Plot: It’s A Christmas Carol….I told you guys before that people who haven’t seen anything based on A Christmas Carol don’t exist. Stop trying to trick me.

Breakdown: It wouldn’t be AVAHS without at least one animated version of A Christmas Carol. Today, we’re looking at the 1971 version produced by none other than Looney Tunes’ own Chuck Jones. The special has a very unique and engaging style in its art and animation that I really loved. The art is inspired by 19th century wood carving illustrations, and the animation is directed in such a way to really bring the viewer on a ride with Scrooge – kinda like Disney’s adaptation of the story only without the clear peddling of the 3D gimmick. The music is fitting, but I most like the sections where they completely omit sound. It could be due to budgetary constraints, but I like how there’s no big spectacle made when shifts and transitions occur. The silence helps keep me in the moment.

If I had any real gripe against it, I’d say that it’s a bit too light on the exploration of Scrooge’s past, and some of the acting doesn’t really have that much emotional oomph to it. It’s a pretty fast rendition of the story, and the ending feels a little abrupt.

Other than that, it’s a pretty loyal and creative adaptation. I especially like their rendition of the Ghost of Christmas Past. It has a surreal design and a haunting manner of speaking.

This short even won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short in 1972, but it caused some controversy because it aired on TV before being shown in theaters. As a result, the rules of the awards were changed to disqualify any feature that aired on TV before appearing in theaters.

If you feel like checking out another version of A Christmas Carol and enjoy some gritty classic art and animation, this is a pretty solid entry.

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