Movie Review by Debbie Winkler
Starring: Henry Corden, Jean Vander Pyl, Frank Welker, B.J. Ward, Russi Taylor
Director: Joanna Romersa
Series: a Flintstones special
Release Date: 21 November 1994
Length: 69 minutes
Movie Rating: Not Rated
View Format: TV
My Rating: 4/5 stars
“There’s just one shopping day until Christmas! Fred is so wrapped up in his acting debut as Scrooge in the Bedrock production of “A Christmas Carol” that he’s completely forgotten to buy any gifts. And worse, he’s left baby Pebbles stranded at Cave Care Center! But wife Wilma and a few familiar ghosts perform a true Christmas miracle, helping hubby Fred remember the true meaning of the season. Join Barney, Betty, Bam Bam, and Dino in this hilarious stone-age version of the magical holiday classic.” — DVD back cover
This is a charming, unique adaptation of the classic Christmas Carol production. I confess that I love watching all of the Christmas Carol versions around the holidays and this was the first year that I saw this one and I really enjoyed it. Firstly, it is unique in that Fred is playing Scrooge in a Christmas play and is not visited by real ghosts or anything like that. He does start to act like Scrooge, however, and, by the time he realizes it, he doesn’t have a lot of time left to make it up to his wife, Wilma, and his daughter, Pebbles. The writing crew go out of their way to change everything in the Scrooge story and the background story into prehistoric words, which is clever and shows a nice attention to detail that I appreciated as an adult (though it will probably go right over younger viewers’ heads). There are also many, less-beloved aspects of the Christmas holiday that are showcased including: difficulty getting time off from work, a nasty flu virus going around town, mall stores running out of the hot new item, a really long line for gift wrap, etc. so adults will find plenty to laugh about. However, I think that where this movie really shines is in introducing the Christmas Carol story to a younger group of viewers. This version is very accessible to them and, because it is combined with regular Christmas activities and the Christmas Carol is a play contained within the movie, I think that it will keep their attention better than the traditional period-piece based drama. With plenty of little laughs and a heartwarming family-centric message, this is a Christmas special that I will look forward to seeing again next year!
This movie is appropriate for viewers of all ages.