Sunday, 11 December 2011

Christmas Countdown: Film #6 - The Snowman & Film #7 - A Christmas Carol

A bit of bad weather this week (read: hurricane force winds) disrupted our viewing schedule somewhat this week. I'd hoped to update my blog earlier in the week, but when I had access to an internet connection, the weather decided we'd have more fun without electricity so I've fallen a bit behind.

We watched The Snowman which I don't think I've seen in years. I've probably seen it on TV around Christmastime, but I honestly can't remember actually sitting down to watch it. We've certainly never had it on DVD before.
I clearly remember watching it at infant school, because I was one of the older kids, we were allowed to sit on benches at the very back of the hall. I also had the board game of the film or book as well. I loved the little model snowmen that you played with and always liked to be the green one because that looked most like the real one.

It's not a long film, so it slotted into our schedule quite nicely considering we were starting to fall behind. I think it's more of a children's film than any of the other 'family films' that we've watched so far this year. The way it's animated makes it seem magical and kind of childlike anyway. Although I do wonder if some children, especially nowadays, might be bored by the lack of dialogue in the film.
It's one that I'm looking forward to watching again in the future, and I kind of want to find a copy of that board game again. It reminded me of being much younger. And I kind of want to get my colouring pencils out as well and copy some of the pictures from the film.

The second film that we watched was A Christmas Carol - the version from 1984 starring George C. Scott. The cover of our version looks nothing like this:
We got ours from HMV when we decided to splurge on a bunch of DVDs during a trip to Glasgow. It wasn't one that I'd heard of before, it one of those stories that has been turned into TV and film versions so many times that it's kind of tricky to keep track of them all - we've got about seven different versions of one sort or another in our collection alone.

I enjoyed this a lot more than I was expecting to. I hadn't recognised the name of the actor playing Scrooge, and our DVD cover doesn't show anyone else, so I had the impression it would be a bunch of unknowns. Instead I ended up spending most of the film playing 'what-do-I-know-them-from?'
I think this is one of the closest versions to the book that I've seen (I'd just finished reading the book before we watched it so I suppose I picked up on things that I wouldn't have otherwise noticed). There were some little changes, but on the whole I felt as though they fitted in very well, the 'similies' game that Fred's nephew played at his Christmas party helped to add to Scrooge's 'I'm as light as a feather, I'm as happy as an angel, I'm as merry as a schoolboy'.

Watching all the versions of A Christmas Carol so close together has also made me notice how similar they all are visually. You could almost take the actors from this version and put them into the same sets as the one made fourteen years earlier and nobody would look out of place. I suppose that's what helps to add to the story's timelessness.

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