At some point in your life you’ve been exposed to A Christmas Carol, Dickens’ story of a Libertarian man who believes in self-sufficiency and desperately tries to keep his uneducated entitled workers from sucking him dry, but has a series of nightmares one night and goes completely insane, flinging money away like the free market wouldn’t take care of the poor already if they were deserving and completely forgetting that helping people won’t teach them the importance of bootstrapping. It’s been made and remade approximately half a million times, and you’re sure to find someone’s version playing on TV in the month of December–one year, I recall falling asleep in front of the television with the Lifetime channel on (shut up) and woke up to no fewer than three different versions, my own version of three mediocre made-for-TV spirits which immediately made me regret the mistake I’d made: paying for cable.
For all of the existing versions, Disney realized there was a hole in the market: no version existed that was so definitively creepy that it would haunt your very soul…especially not one made for children, and they’re not one to leave a cash cow unmilked. Today, I’m recapping this version for you. Merry Christmas.
A Christmas Carol: Disney Makes You Fear For Your Soul
The movie opens on what’s probably the cheeriest of all Christmas scenes: a dead scowling body being held together with a tube sock and change to keep you from seeing the maggots swirling around in the eye sockets. Even Mr. Stiff Crotchett doesn’t want to see that, which is why his glasses are perched up on his forehead instead of, I don’t know, in the garbage, because it’s not like he’s ever going to use them again. It makes me wonder if Guy Fieri will be buried with sunglasses perched on the back of his head.
A crusty Scrooge leans over him, decrepit and scraggly in a way that you just know that his breath is putrid. You can see it escaping him in a little cloud of limburger, garlic, and seventy one years of refusing to pay a visit to the dentist.
It smells so disgusting that it’s making the funeral apprentice woozy, even causing a few of his pimples to burst and ooze. After he blacks out, we cut to a scene of swooping over London rooftops and through the city streets to show you just how awful it was to live in the Victorian period regardless of what a steampunk enthusiast might tell you.
For example, child jails had yet to be invented, so wretched little orphans used to heckle hard working citizens through their window grates, after breaking out all of the glass (the better to heckle and let all of the heat out–were they born in a barn?)
Poisoned giblets are flung out in the street in the hopes of clearing out some of the child riff-raff, but the mystery meat is scooped up by Zuul, the gatekeeper of Gozer the Gozerian, for some reason that’s never explained but probably involves summoning some ghosts for later in the movie.
This child is expressing what we all feel at the moment, but hold onto your butts, people, we’re only six and a half minutes in, so you may as well grab a drink and settle in.
Seven Christmas eves later, and we can clearly see that Scrooge has not washed his hair once in this entire time period, making him officially even more frugal than the stockpiling moms in Extreme Couponing. What they don’t show is him scraping off his natural foot oils to use as chapstick, as he considers himself quite the lady-killer and wants to keep his lips moist and dewy for heavy makeouts at any time.
In another brilliantly frugal move, Scrooge has hired an illegal immigrant from the Planet of the Apes to do his books, thus saving him a significant amount in labor costs and payroll taxes. Its fascination with fire, however, does cost him some man-hours.
Mr. Darcy drops in to brood by the fire and to let all of the pining ladies know that not only has he aged terribly, he now also dresses poorly as well, layering coats like a hobo.
The monkey man, however, is still quite turned on by the presence of the Mr. Darcy and leers at him from across the room, basically eye-jungle-trysting him. Mr. Darcy knows it and doesn’t exactly discourage the behavior, enjoying playing the temptress.
Scrooge is immediately jealous as he feels his position as the Alpha Sex Male is threatened, and he in turn threatens his monkey man with a savage beating with a ruler. Love triangle!
“I loved you first” Scrooge whispers to Mr. Darcy, leaning in ever closer, pursing his foot chapstick lubricated lips and fluttering his lashes. I should probably tell you that Jim Carrey was my first ever crush and aside from all of the questionable stuff he’s done lately, this movie is doing an excellent job of killing whatever attraction I’ve ever had. Seriously. I used to have a scrapbook of photos that I’d swoon over, and when I was about fifteen and my family was traveling to California to visit my grandparents, I wrote him a letter and invited him to have Easter dinner with the family, like he’d drive down from Los Angeles, pass the potatoes and fall deeply in love with me in a non-pedophilic fashion and vow to wait until I was 18 so we could get married and say our vows by talking out of our butts at one another, Ace Ventura style. My mistake was not in sending the letter, but in telling my family that they shouldn’t be surprised if we had an extra guest at dinner, and on April first, my grandfather called me over to the phone, excitedly saying “Oh Melissa, it’s Jimmy Carrey on the phone for you!” when in reality it was my aunt holding her nose, pretending to be his secretary and turning down the dinner invitation. My family is nothing if not cruelly hilarious; I may find it in my heart to forgive them sometime in the coming decade.
Getting back to the film in progress, the monkey man is also impressed by the next visitors, the founders of the Extreme Facial Hair Men’s Society, one of whom’s eyebrows are attempting to escape from his face in shame. They’re soliciting donations for facial hairplugs for men who can only grow sad little sex-offender mustaches; little do they know that they’re barking up the wrong tree as Scrooge has been saving his pennies for decades in the hopes of implanting his own facial jungle, so they’re flung out on the street without so much as a “no thank you”.
The workday complete, Scrooge heads home for a night of getting hammered and digging through couch cushions for change, only to have his doorknob turn into the Ghost of SuperCuts past. “HUMBUG!” Scrooge cries. “You might as well have grown it out for free rather than wasting tuppence on that hack job!”
By making a world-class series of kissy faces at it, he convinces the spectre to go away, working better than any “excorcism” the bros from Ghost Adventures could ever attempt.
Scrooge then settles in for his Christmas eve activity: mixing and eating a bowl of cement to coat his intestines to prevent him from absorbing any holiday calories so he can stay trim and still fit into the designer clothes he thifted from Ye Olde Victorian Goodwille when he was twelve.
“I can’t believe it’s not butter!” he exclaims.
Suddenly, there’s a surprise delivery from UPS! Who knew they were working this late on Christmas eve?
“WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU?!”
“Why yes, I’d be happy to do my Liza Minelli impersonation!”
“I’m not saying it’s not good, just that I’ve seen better.” Enraged, the UPS man goes on his way.
At one in the morning, Scrooge wakes up with heartburn and realizes that the cement mix must have gone off as he hallucinates his face onto a candle. He can’t help but note with a smirk that even his hallucinations are turned on by his animal magnetism…he sees the little sprig of mistletoe the candle just happens to be holding.
Sure enough, Waxy Buildup Scrooge swoops in for some heavy petting action. “Too soon! Too soon!” Scrooge The Person cries. “You haven’t even bought me dinner yet!”
Still, his touch is magical, and Scrooge The Person is suddenly so filled with infatuation with Waxy Buildup Scrooge that he feels that he could jump from the rooftops and fly. “He’s got the touch! He’s got the power!” Scrooge The Person swoons.
Sky rockets in flight! Afternoon delight!
Look, kid, I know you’re still emoting what we’re all feeling at the moment, but there’s still 2/3rds of the movie left to go, you may as well grab another drink.
After tiring of spying on children, the lovers find themselves late and underdressed for a performance of Riverdance.
Michael Flatley boots them out and they decide to spend the rest of their evening together skydiving.
“That was a hell of a dream,” Scrooge muses. “The skydiving bit must be when I fell on the floor. This will be a fun nugget to share at the office tomor–oh blast, the office is closed. I HATE CHRISTMAS!”
Suddenly, the sitting room fills with light and Scrooge enters to find Scrooge Jesus perched atop a tree in Hugh Hefner’s robe.
Scrooge Jesus is full of the holiday spirit of Christmas mockery, supposedly laughing at Scrooge but mainly laughing at the audience for being fools so easily parted from their money. “You’re only half done, assholes!” he cries. “There’s still plenty more of Uncanney Valley Jim Carrey to shudder at; since we’re paying him a fortune, we’re going to use him as much as possible!”
Scrooge Jesus turns Regular Scrooge’s mansion into a glass bottom boat and gives him a tour of the city, known as the “Point and Laugh at Everyone” tour. Scrooge Jesus also points out all of the places he’s given positive reviews on Yelp. “Their bread? HO HO HO! Five stars! But a child was screaming at the baker through the window so I knocked it down to four.”
We learn that not only has the Monkey Man taken a human bride, but he’s also fathered a freakshow’s worth a children. Here is is with his gargantuan daughter. They breathlessly exclaim that they hope one day that they might be able to taste a turkey, which is how you know they are poor indeed, to be lusting after the Saharan sand of meat.
The human bride, regretting being outcast from her parents’ home for her choice of husband, gets drunk and starts railing about politics at the table, embarrassing everyone.
Their most pathetic child, Little Timmy, has made himself sick with trying to heal his parent’s marriage and stop his mom’s drinking problem, and in one moment he decides he cannot take it anymore, but attempts to cover up his despair with a treacle-y toast. “By god, I hope this glass is full of poison,” he prays. Scrooge Jesus says that if nothing is done to alter this timeline, Little Timmy will get his death wish and kill his parents with guilt.
Regular Scrooge ponders and realizes what he must do–climb the clocktower and take out Little Timmy himself.
Scrooge Jesus pulls apart his robes to reveal that he’s been breeding an army of scrawny Gollums to do his bidding, and Scrooge is so impressed that he forgets all about the clocktower business and Little Timmy. These two are named Ignorance and Want– Pestilence, Complaining, Itchy, and Honey Boo Boo are all off on a field trip somewhere.
Suddenly, all of the meat lover’s deep dish pizza Scrooge Jesus has been eating rushes straight into his heart and he collapses and dies, and god dammit, he’s left the caretaking of all of his monstrous mouths to feed to Regular Scrooge.
“La la la, there must have been some mistake in the will and if I don’t heeeeear you I certainly won’t have to spend the rest of my summer vacations and discretionary income at EuroDisney.”
In a stroke of genius, solving his own personal problem and a major problem of the city’s, Regular Scrooge invents child prisons and wipes his hands of the whole matter. “I’ll be back. You can’t keep the Liberals out of the House of Parliament forever. And when they get in, I’m back on the streets, with all my criminal buddies!”
On what is to be forever remembered as the Night of Too Many Drop-In Guests And Seriously Have They Never Heard of Calling Ahead, Skeletor pops by to loom ominously and chat about the fate of He-Man.
I’m beginning to think that this movie should have a subtitle. “A Christmas Carol: Scrooge’s Upskirt Shots”, perhaps, as they seriously never miss an opportunity to show you up his nightgown. I get it, I get it, scrawny old man legs.
Or maybe “A Christmas Carol: One Hell of a Bad Acid Trip”.
After what feels like twenty more minutes of Scrooge upskirt shots, Skeletor finally shows Scrooge something of import: his grave. Scrooge is appalled at the poor kerning and mourns not developing a better relationship with his typesetter. “Can this future not be changed? Can we not find a better font than Comic Sans?” Skeletor laughs and shoves him in the grave.
Scrooge awakens in yet another strange position and thinks “Hot DAMN this will be a great story to tell at the office toda–DAMN IT, I keep forgetting the office is closed today! I guess I’ll have to go bore people at their homes with stories of my dream interpretations. You see, the flying is representative of my hopes and aspirations, and the grave is clearly my insecurities about my knobby knees and…”
After yelling at a child to go buy the biggest turkey in town, Scrooge smiles with joy. It’s so easy, winning the love of the poor! Once he stuffs them full of Tryptophan, knocks them out, and drinks their love and admiration filled blood, he’ll live forever! Foolproof plan!
Someone other than the audience gets an upskirt shot for once, and from the looks of her face, she got an eyeful of the twig and berries and will be filing a sexual harassment claim as soon as Human Resources is open again.
However, Scrooge sees the lawsuit in her eyes and threatens to pull out her remaining front tooth, Chompy, if she dares to tell a soul.
Scrooge takes his newfound madness out into the street and tells the founder of the Extreme Facial Hair Men’s Society that as soon as he gets an opportunity, he’s going to slice off his skin and wear it as a mask so as to relieve his facial hair shame. But not today, because he’s got to go force his company upon his long-suffering relatives.
Suddenly, the monkey man steps out of time and becomes a narrator of things yet to come. “No moral, no message, no prophetic tract: Just a simple statement of fact. For civilization to survive, the human race has to remain civilized. The tools of conquest do not necessarily come with bombs and explosions and fallout. There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices to be found only in the minds of men. For the record, prejudices can kill, and suspicion can destroy, and the thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has a fallout all of its own; for the children, and the children yet unborn. And the pity of it is that these things cannot be confined to The Twilight Zone. Also: It was Earth all along.”
Merry Christmas to us all, every one!