A Christmas Carol, also known as 'A Christmas Carol: The Musical', is a 2004 television film based on a 1994 stage musical of the same name, with songs written by Alan Menken (music) and Lynn Ahrens (lyrics). The musical is based on Charles Dickens' famous 1843 novella of the same name, produced by Hallmark Entertainment for NBC.
The film opens at the London Exchange on Christmas Eve in 1843 where everybody is looking forward to Christmas Day except for the crabby and greedy miser Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge who hates Christmas shows his cold attitude to others by refusing to show mercy to a father and his daughter who are in debt, supporting the prisons and workhouses for the poor and refusing to dine with his nephew Fred. That night though as Scrooge dines alone before going to bed the ghost of his seven year dead partner Jacob Marley appears. He tells Scrooge to repent or suffer the same as him by wearing a chain as Marley wears the one he forged from his own greed. Other ghosts also haunt Scrooge who too wear chains implying they were selfish and cold-hearted when they were alive. Marley tells Scrooge he will be haunted by three spirits and the first will call at One.
The first of the three spirits the Ghost of Christmas Past arrives after the bell chimes One. The scene then changes to Scrooge's father who is sent to prison for not paying debts. He tells his son a young Ebenezer to make his fortune and keep it. Scrooge and his sister Fan as a result are forced to go their own ways after their mother died. Scrooge is then shown working at a boot factory as a boy before working for Fezziwig. However the young Scrooge and Marley who also worked under Fezziwig set up their own business and begin their money-lending career. However Scrooge and Marley refuse to lend a loan to Fezziwig after his business had gone bust and presumably dies in poverty with his wife. Knowing Scrooge is a changed man Scrooge's fiancée Emily breaks her engagement with him. Years later an older Jacob Marley dies seven years before the events of the film.
At the stroke of Two the Ghost of Christmas Present haunts Scrooge and shows him how others keep Christmas. Scrooge first watches and later takes part in a Christmas pageant. Scrooge is then shown the home and family of his faithful clerk Bob Cratchit. Because the family are so poor the ghost implies the youngest child Tiny Tim will die of his unknown illness. The spirit finally shows him two children Ignorance and Want before vanishing.
The Ghost of Christmas yet to Come (who is an old hag instead of a figure dressed in black robes) shows Scrooge what lies in store in the future if he doesn't change. The whole future which is set in song shows Scrooge on his deathbed being robbed of both his clothes and processions. Tiny Tim has died with his family mourning him. After seeing his grave Scrooge is surrounded by the Cratchits, the debt-ridden little girl and the spirits of his beloved mother and sister.
Finally Scrooge returns home as the opposite of what he was. He orders a young boy to buy him a turkey and to keep the change. He then tells the little girl's father he is no longer in debt and gives him and his daughter money to spend. He then bumps into the three people he met the day before, a candle-lighter, a barker and an old blind woman and thanks them heavily implying that unlike the book and other films Scrooge simply dreamed them up as the three sprits. Scrooge gives Bob and his family the turkey and increases Bob's wages. The film ends with Scrooge visiting Fred for dinner and the whole cast sing "Christmas together" in reprise.
- "The Years Are Passing By" – Gravedigger
- "Jolly, Rich and Fat (A Jolly Good Time)" – Ensemble
- "Nothing to Do With Me" – Scrooge, Cratchit
- "Street Song"("Nothing To Do With Me") – Scrooge, Cratchit, Fred, Jonathan, Sandwich Board Man, Lamplighter, Blind Old Hag, Ensemble
- "You Mean More To Me" - Cratchit, Tiny Tim
- "Link By Link" – Ghost of Jacob Marley, Ensemble
- "The Lights of Long Ago" (Part 1) – Ghost of Christmas Past, Scrooge Family
- "God Bless Us, Everyone" – Scrooge's Mother, Fan (aged 6), Scrooge (aged 8)
- "A Place Called Home" – Scrooge at 18, Emily, Scrooge
- "Mr. Fezziwig's Annual Christmas Ball" – Fezziwig, Mrs. Fezziwig, Scrooge, Ghost of Christmas Past, Ensemble
- "The Lights of Long Ago" (Part 2) – Scrooge (aged 18), Marley as a Young Man, Emily, People from Scrooge's Past
- "Abundance And Charity" – Ghost of Christmas Present, Ensemble
- "Christmas Together" – Tiny Tim, Ghost of Christmas Present, Cratchit Family, Fred, Ensemble
- "Dancing On Your Grave" – Scrooge, Mrs. Mops, Ensemble
- "Yesterday, Tomorrow And Today" – Scrooge
- "The Years Are Passing By" (reprise) - Jonathan
- "Nothing to Do With Me" (reprise) - Scrooge
- "Christmas Together" (reprise) – Company
- "God Bless Us Everyone" – Company
- Kelsey Grammer as Ebenezer Scrooge
- Jane Krakowski as Ghost of Christmas Past/Lamplighter
- Jesse L. Martin as Ghost of Christmas Present/Sandwich Board Man
- Geraldine Chaplin as Ghost of Christmas Future/Blind Old Hag
- Jason Alexander as Jacob Marley's Ghost
- Edward Gower as Bob Cratchit
- Linzi Hateley as Mrs. Cratchit
- Jacob Collier as Tiny Tim
- Julian Ovenden as Fred Anderson
- Julie Alannagh-Brighten as Sally Anderson
- Ruthie Henshall as Mrs. Scrooge (Scrooge's mother)
- Jennifer Love Hewitt as Emily
- Steven Miller as Young Ebenezer Scrooge
- Brian Bedford as Mr. Fezziwig