Recently, maybe about the beginning of the summer (of 2015, for you future readers. Get off your damn hoverboards and get back to work.) Charlotte started showing an interest in reading some of the untouched books in her collections. Hand-me-downs from me or my brother, or other books from that era I picked up years ago, before she could read. One of these books was “Mickey’s Christmas Carol”. She loved it.
“Timeless” gets thrown around a lot, but I don’t think it’s an overexaggeration to use it when describing “A Christmas Carol”. As a kid, I don’t think I appreciated it as much as I do now. I liked the story well enough, but if you watched cartoons or sitcoms in the 80s, “A Christmas Carol” adaptations were a dime a dozen. Even at that early age it was becoming tiresome.
Even still, one of the best adaptations of it has to be “Mickey’s Christmas Carol”. Over 30 years since its release, it holds up as well as any other Disney short film.
When a kid’s book is an adaptation of an adaptation, it has a long way to go to prove itself. Especially if both its predecessors have become classics. This particular version is fr one of those 9×6 hardcover Book Club editions that they didn’t even credit authors or illustrators for. It’s a shame, and you know they likely just churned these bad-boys out to meet their monthly deadlins. However, like surprisingly so many other books in that book club series, I think that this book holds its own nicely.
I can still remember flipping through this book to look at the gorgeous art when I was a kid. It’s absolutely spot on, fantastic. Scrooge emotes on almost every page. There are subtle changes in shading and style on some pages that really make those pages stand out.
Charlotte even picked up on these differences herself without realizing it. She’d point out these pictures–like Scrooge seated by the fire, looking over his shoulder–and say they were special, or pretty, or some other well meaning adjective.
Reading the book out loud is a bit of a chore. There are 44 pages, and there is a good amount of text on most of them. We currently have a rule that “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” counts as 3 books if we’re going to read it.
There are a lot of characters with dialogue as well. If you try to imitate the real voices of all the characters, it can be a bit tiresome. I can do a passable to decent impersonations of Mickey, Scrooge & Jiminy Cricket, as well as Goofy and Billy Gilbert (Even though he had passed and Will Ryan took on the sneezing giant’s role by this time). My Donald is terrible, though, and I had to stop trying because it sounded awful and just… hurt… my throat, ears, and pride.
Regardless, it’s been a summer full of Christmas Eve nights this year, with no sign of stopping any time soon. With winter soon on its way, I’m sure Scrooge and his ghosts will keep visiting most every night.