Did you ever watch the cartoon version of A Christmas Carol? Of course you have, but the real question is which one? There are dozens. In fact, there are probably more adaptations of Charles Dickens’ masterpiece than any other story written.
Today we will be looking at just one branch of those adaptations, the animated ones. We will cover every single one and we will update the list every year to make sure it is complete.
These are not reviews, just a list of all the known Christmas Carol cartoons, a brief description of what they are, and any thoughts I have on the particular production.
But If you are here looking for recommendations I have a few. Here are my top picks.
- A Christmas Carol (1971)
- Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)
- A Christmas Carol (1997)
- Maxine’s Christmas Carol (2000)
- A Christmas Carol (2009)
You really can’t go wrong with the majority of entries on this list, even the ones that are 50 years old still hold up. In fact for the most part the older ones are better.
So whether you are looking for something new to watch with the kiddies or trying to recall an old classic from your childhood, this is
Every “A Christmas Carol” Cartoon Ever Made
Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol (1962)
We start this list with a face many will be familiar with. Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol holds the honor not only of being the first animated version of A Christmas Carol ever created, but also the first animated Christmas special made for TV.
You would not think Mister Magoo to be the Scrooge type, but they seamlessly explain this by having the whole special be a stage production that he is acting in.
It may be old, but this is actually one of the best on the list. It has great animation, voice acting, and some faces you might recognize.
A Christmas Carol (1969)
This Australian short directed by Zoran Janjic is another great early adaptation. It’s only 45 minutes long and uses a familiar animation style.
The depiction of Marley’s ghost as a scary skeleton-like spirit was a good change for the character. Ghosts are supposed to be scary after all.
A Christmas Carol (1971)
This is a special one because it stars the voice of Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge. Alister gave a stunning performance in a live-action version of the film in 1951, 20 years prior.
Even though this version started as a made for TV broadcast, it was so good that it saw its way to theaters a year later. It took home the Oscar for best animated short.
The Stingiest Man in Town (1978)
From the people who brought us classic specials such as Rudolph and Frosty comes this lesser-known Rankin/Bass production.
It sticks to traditional animation as opposed to the stop motion they are known for. It has a one-hour runtime and tells the story as narrated from the point of view of B. A. H. Humbug, Esq. Many believe this to be one of Rankin/Bass’s most underrated cartoons. I would have to agree.
Bugs Bunny’s Christmas Carol (1979)
How do you tell the story of A Christmas Carol in 8 minutes? With Bugs Bunny, that’s how.
This shortened version was introduced as part of the longer Bugs Bunny’s Looney Christmas Tales which included two other cartoons.
With Yosemite Sam as Scrooge, Porky Pig as Bob Cratchit, and Bugs Bunny as the “ghost”, everything is wrapped up tight using the traditional Looney Tunes formula of comedy.
A Christmas Carol (1982)
Another Australian version, this 75-minute cartoon was made for TV in 1982. It is a mediocre telling of the classic story, with nothing really special standing out. Worth a watch if you have a copy, but I wouldn’t go seeking it out.
Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)
Mickey’s Christmas Carol is probably one of the best Christmas movies of the 80s. At only 26 minutes long this is the version of A Christmas Carol that brings back the most memories for me as they used to play it in the auditorium of my school every year.
Disney knocked it out of the park with its cast of already famous characters. How can you go wrong with Scrooge McDuck in the lead role!
A Jetson Christmas Carol (1985)
This is the first in a long list of cartoon shows that decided to make their own version of the Dickens classic.
George is forced to work on Christmas and Mr. Spacely takes on the role of Scrooge which is only fitting. The Jetsons was (and still is) one of Hanna-Barbera’s most popular and beloved shows.
As with Mickey’s Christmas, it’s a cast of familiar faces, quick humor, and probably the only version to cast a dog as Tiny Tim makes this a fun watch for everyone.
The Real Ghostbusters (1986) “Xmas Marks The Spot”
The Ghostbusters’ take on A Christmas Carol is a little different than the others on this list so far. Rather than simply retelling the story, the Ghostbusters get zapped back in time and become intertwined in the actual events.
A brilliant idea to put the Ghostbusters right into a story that relies heavily on ghosts. Unfortunately, they end up busting said ghosts and the story takes a slight turn. Good fun.
Beverly Hills Teens (1987) “Miracle at The Teen Club”
Beverly Hills Teens was a short run Saturday morning cartoon show from the late 80s. It was not an overly popular series, especially up here in Canada.
After getting snowed in on Christmas Eve, the characters from the show act out Charles Dickens’s story in this two-part episode that was in fact the last two episodes of the series (65 total).
Camp Candy (1989) “Christmas in July”
John Candy is a comedic legend, and in the late 80s, he had his very own TV show. It would seem like a bit of a stretch to squeeze A Christmas Carol into a show about summer camp, but when you have a “Christmas in July” anything goes.
If you ever watched the show, there’s a good chance you saw this episode since only 13 were made before it was canceled. Like Beverly Hills Teens, this episode also acted as the series finale.
The Chipmunks (1989) “Merry Christmas, Mr. Carroll”
Alvin and the Chipmunks were big in the 80s and I distinctly remember this episode of the show.
While a bit young to play Ebenezer Scrouge, Alvin does have that “only cares about himself” attitude. Concerned only about what Santa will be bringing him this year, he is tasked with writing a report on the true meaning of Christmas.
Once he falls asleep after a long day, he is visited by the ghost of Dave, and the story begins.
Brer Rabbit’s Christmas Carol (1992)
In this TV version of the story, Brer Rabbit finds out that Brer Fox is going to evict Brer Bear and they decide to give Fox some of his own Bah Humbug!
They trick Fox into believing the ghost of his old friend Wolf has returned and they proceed to give him the visions of Christmas past, present, and future.
I do love the spin they put on it. Having the cast take it upon themselves to try to better the “Scrooge” character instead of the ghost-induced self-realization was actually a good idea even if the execution was not the greatest.
Animaniacs (1993) “A Christmas Plotz”
If you are Scrooge, what could be worse than a visit from three ghosts? A visit from three Warners of course.
The Animaniacs was a masterpiece in so many ways, and this Christmas episode is another example of just how great the writing in this show was.
My only complaint is just how short the story is. But I guess the quick “Bam-Bam” humor is one of the things that made the show so great.
It’s worth noting that the second part of this episode tells the story of another holiday classic with “Little Drummer Warners”, which is also another one worth watching.
Avenger Penguins (1994) “A Christmas Carol”
Avenger Penguins is a show I was not familiar with, perhaps it never left the UK? Or at least did not make it here as far as I know. It is an interesting cartoon about a gang of rag-tag penguins, not unlike the newer “Penguins of Madagascar”
In this particular episode Doom (the villain) blackouts the entire city With a little help, he comes to the realization that he must restore power.
A Flintstones Christmas Carol (1994)
It was surprising to find out that the Flintstones version was not created until 1994. Everyone I speak to remembers watching it growing up in the 80s. Could it be the Mandella effect?
More likely just a case of mistaken identity as there were several Christmas themed episodes and specials of the Flintstones.
This 70 minutes special is a welcome return for the modern stone-age family and a fun version you should add to your watchlist.
A Christmas Carol (1994)
This 1994 version of A Christmas Carol created by Jetlag Productions is the version no one asked for or needed
The animation is mediocre, the acting is mediocre, the songs are mediocre, and the story is just a plain straight forward telling with nothing added to make it their own. There is nothing bad about it per se, but there is also nothing that sticks out to make this a memorable adaptation.
Beavis and Butt-head, (1995) “Huh-Huh-Humbug”
As expected, this is probably the oddest interpretation of Dickens’ work. Definitely not one for the kids as it has some more adult themes I don’t even want to bring up here.
It is classic Beavis and Butt-head. If you like the show, you will like the episode, if you are not a fan, stay clear.
A Christmas Carol (1997)
How could you go wrong with the legendary Tim Curry as Ebeneezer Scrooge? Back him up by other stars such as Edward Asner and Whoopi Goldberg and you have a hit.
This 70-minute cartoon was created by the most important studio to Saturday morning nostalgia, DIC Productions. With recognizable animation and actors we love, this is probably the best animated adaptation of the 1990s.
Did I mention it’s a musical?
101 Dalmatians: The Series (1997) “A Christmas Cruella”
If there was ever a character that was the embodiment of Ebenezer Scrooge, it would be Cruella DeVil. The ghosts are played by some of the dogs, and when Cruella wakes up, she puts aside her evil ways. At least until the next episode.
Like most of the TV show adaptations, if you liked the show, you will like this episode, if not you might want to skip this one.
An All Dogs Christmas Carol (1998)
All Dogs Go To Heaven is a wonderful 80s classic. If you really loved the original film, you may find something in this movie, but to me, this is nothing more than a cash grab.
This all-dog performance does have some lovable characters and some good songs, but the story does drag on a bit, and the end is awful. Don’t know how you could mess up a story that has been done well 100 times before.
Pepper Ann (2000) “A Valentine’s Day Tune”
Valentine’s Day, on a Christmas list? Yes. I really like it when studios take the idea and try to make it their own because it usually works out pretty well and gives us something different.
Pepper Ann was a “tweeny” Disney cartoon from the late 90s. It’s one of those cartoons that most people forget unless reminded and even then it may take a bit of digging to bring back a recollection.
In this episode, Pepper Ann is visited by three Valentine’s Day ghosts to help rekindle her love for the holiday.
Adventures from the Book of Virtues (2000) A Christmas Carol
This is another TV series that was somehow off my radar. In each episode of Adventures from the Book of Virtues they animate adaptations of Bible stories, old folk stories, and fairy tales from around the world.
This is a basic two-part telling of the story using the cast from the show. It’s interesting because in the first part we see greedy Annie with several Scrooge-like dreams then in the second part she mentions the dreams to Plato and he reads us A Christmas Carol. So you get a twofer.
Sadly this is another one on the list that ended with a Christmas bang. This 2 part episode was the last of a four year run for the series that had many big names working on it.
Maxine’s Christmas Carol (2000)
If you are looking for something completely different, this is it. Maxine was a comic that is based around a crabby (but funny) old lady. She was used by Hallmark to add humor to greeting cards of all kinds.
This special takes that humor to the screen and it works! With everything from valley girls, to gurus, to aliens, we take a wild trip into the life of Maxine and it’s fantastic!
This short was released on the 12th of September 2000 and from what I can tell, that makes this the very first Christmas special ever produced by Hallmark.
Christmas Carol: The Movie (2001)
When you read the cast list, this has all the ingredients to be a hit. But even with the talents of Simon Callow, Kate Winslet, and Nicolas Cage this rendition still falls flat.
Mediocre animation and some changes to the story make for a longer than needed drag. Unless you are a huge fan of one of the aforementioned actors, find another one on this list.
A Christmas Carol (2002)
I have no information about this one other than it exists.
It was included as a special feature in the DVD release of the 2002 docudrama biography on Charles Dickens.
If I get my hands on a copy, I will make sure to hop back on here and update the post.
Veggie Tales: “An Easter Carol” (2004)
Taking a page out of Pepper Ann’s book, Veggie Tales takes the Dickens story and applies it to another holiday, Easter.
Join everyone’s favorite Christian vegetables and watch Mr. Nezzer learn the true meaning of Chris…err Easter.
It’s classic Veggietales. If you are into that, you will enjoy this rendition. It is nice to see them making such big changes. Easter doesn’t get enough love.
A Christmas Carol: Scrooge’s Ghostly Tale (2006)
A CGI attempt at the Christmas classic with an all-animal cast. The voice acting is ok but the animation is crude considering it was 2006.
Most previous attempts to cast animals was done with characters we already knew and loved. The characters here are all new and most do not get enough screen time to build up any sort of relationship with.
Some little children might enjoy the talking animals and the basic animation style, but there are better choices on this list.
Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas (2006)
Surprisingly it took Warner Brothers almost 30 years to make a second attempt to cash in on this. Luckily they bumped the runtime up to 46 minutes and recast all the roles.
Daffy Duck takes the lead as Scrooge in a more modern tycoon version of the character. Porky Pig plays a perfect Bob Cratchit, and there are some surprising (and welcome) cameos by lesser used characters from the Looney Tunes universe.
The animation is clean and crisp. Maybe too good. In a way, I wish this movie came out a decade or two earlier so we could have had the more traditional Looney Tunes animation style we all grew up with.
While not the best movie here, it is nice to see a full-length version with characters I know and love.
Wayside (2007) “Wayside Christmas”
Why the Kids are in school on Christmas Day is a question left unanswered but it sets the backdrop for this wacky cartoon.
After Myron knocks his head he runs into some classmates dressed up for the holidays. Believing them to be the ghost of Christmas past, present, and future.
This episode is not a direct telling of Charles Dickens’ story but the underlying themes are there. Not really worth your time unless you are a fan of the show.
Barbie in a Christmas Carol (2008)
Every other franchise has already jumped on the bandwagon, why not Barbie? She would make a great Ebenezer, right?
While some changes were made to squeeze her into the story, in the end, it actually turned out much better than you would think.
If you have a Barbie fan in the home, this one is a winner. If Barbies are not your thing, it should be obvious this one is not for you.
A Christmas Carol (2009)
Probably the most popular version of A Christmas Carol in recent years is this 2009 Disney movie starring Jim Carrey.
Disney manages to stay true to the story. The animation is phenomenal. Carrey plays one of the best Scrooges ever, and to top it off, he voices several other of the characters in the film.
If you have not seen this one since it has been released, put it on your list this year.
Interestingly the film had criticism that it is too scary for some kids. This is a good thing. The scary parts are supposed to be scary. The movie holds a PG-13 rating. I guess some people see the Disney logo and think it’s all rainbows and ponies. Well, not this time.
The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol (2011)
If ever there was a cartoon that should have had its own Christmas Carol, it is The Smurfs, and now we have one. Kind of.
I was worried when this one started off with the new CG style Smurf. It’s not that they are bad, they just aren’t my Smurfs, if you know what I mean. Luckily when the story starts we switch over to a more traditional animation closer to what we love.
Grouchy takes the lead here which is the obvious choice. It’s everything you would expect it to be, I just wish it was a bit longer with a little more cartoon and a little less CGI.
Jake and the Never Land Pirates (2014): “Captain Scrooge”
I’m sorry, my kids are older now and I am not going to punish myself with this one just to write this brief synopsis. If your kids watch the show, you’ve probably already seen this one.
From what I know, it is a basic telling of A Christmas Carol done with pirates! This sounds cool but it is made for three-year-olds. When they make an adult version of A Christmas Carol with pirates, I’ll be there.
Thomas & Friends (2016): “Diesel’s Ghostly Christmas”
Now, Thomas the Tank Engine is a children’s show I do have some experience with. It is a 2 part episode with Diesel as the Scrooge.
This is another one where there are no actual ghosts, and it is the friends of the antagonist that are pulling all the strings to make Diesel change his ways.
If you have a little one that is not familiar with the series, you may want to find a different way to introduce them to the land of Sodor, as this one could be a bit scary.
My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (2016) “A Hearth’s Warming Tail”
There is no Christmas in Equestria, only Hearth Warming. And there are no people, only ponies. And there are no ghosts, only spirits. It’s amazing how easily you can squeeze this classic into just about any shoe and it fits.
A Hearth’s Warming Tail is actually one of the highest-rated episodes of the series that has been going strong for 10 years. If you think you might like this one, check it out because there is a good chance you will.
The Powerpuff Girls (2017) “You’re A Good Man, Mojo Jojo!”
Ok, so I’m going to admit, I had no idea Powerpuff girls were still around in 2017. Judging by the reviews, it is not the same Powerpuff Girls I knew and loved.
This one scored a 3/10 on IMDB. I’m not going to waste my time or yours.
Family Guy (2017) “Don’t Be A Dickens at Christmas”
Family Guy’s take on A Christmas Carol is everything you would expect it to be. Lois asks Peter to participate in the merry festivities and when he says no, she leaves him home alone.
He is then visited by the ghost of Partick Swayze, who takes him on a tour of Quahog’s past, present, and future.
If you are looking for a laugh, this one is easily the funniest on the list and a must-watch.
Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! (2017) “Scroogey Doo”
Another great mash-up happens when Scooby and the gang run into Scrooge who tells them of his ghost problem and it is up to them to solve the mystery.
Scooby-doo has a long history of crossing over with other franchises and stories and it is surprising that this one did not come earlier. Not a big fan of the “Be Cool” animation but this is one of the better episodes and it is worth a watch.
Ducktales, (2018) “Last Christmas!”
Not exactly a telling of A Christmas Carol but the story is interwound quite interestingly.
One year The ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future mistook Scrooge McDuck for another person named Scrooge.
They hit it off, now every year they come back to party for the holidays. Not just any old party, these are time-traveling ghosts so they hit up all the best parties of the past.
Some twists and turns and they all learn the true meaning of Christmas. Also, Why didn’t anyone tell me the new Scrooge McDuck is played by David Frickn Tennant!
The Loud House (2020) “A Flipmas Carol”
It’s Flips turn to have a late-night visit from the ghosts of Christmas. Cashing in on all the last-minute shoppers on Christmas Eve, he lets his greed get the best of him.
Although it is one of the better episodes, I think only fans of the show would find this entertaining. Most of the humor was a little too flat for me, perhaps it is for a younger audience.
So that’s it. Every animated version of A Chrismas Carol. At least until next year.
Which is your favorite?