'Spirited' and the enduring appeal of 'A Christmas Carol'

° СLint Briggs (Ryan Reynolds) is a media consultant who sells the public whatever image his client wants, unconcerned with the inconvenient truth. He’s also haunted by a series of ghosts – and he doesn’t have it. Mid-chase, he breaks off swimming corpse of Jacob Marley (Patrick Page).

“I’m so sorry,” Briggs interjects. “I get stuck on the first thing – you said past, present, future – like Christmas song, the Dickens story? Bill Murray’s Bobcat Goldthwait movie?

“Yeah, yeah, like the Dickens book and the Bill Murray movie,” Marley replies with disappointment. “And every other adaptation that no one asked for!”

This self-referencing bit comes from spiritualized— a musical comedy starring Reynolds, Page, Will Ferrell, Octavia Spencer and Sunita Manny — which comes out November 18 for streaming on Apple TV+. This is another retelling of Charles Dickens’ 1843 novel. Christmas song, a timeless story that has evolved over the centuries. This time, however, the classic story is told from the perspective of the ghosts, who each year choose one corrupt soul to reform.

Read more: The real reason Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol

And the new movie musical is in good company: The Internet Movie Database lists more than 100 versions on Christmas song, including a video game. Episodes of more than 20 television shows have been inspired by the novella, and there are four operatic and two ballet versions of the story. No fewer than three adaptations are coming this season alone; In addition to spiritualizedNetflix has an animated version, voiced by Olivia Colman and Luke Evans, due on December 2nd, and a version will be staged on Broadway starting November 21st with more than 50 roles played by actor Jefferson Mays.

Christmas song spawned countless iterations—perhaps because of its penchant for redemption and faith in humanity. While the original is firmly rooted in the mid-19th century, its themes translate all too well to the modern day.

how spiritualized channels Christmas song

“It is not surprising that Christmas song continues to capture the hearts of cultures founded on and unsettled by socioeconomic inequality,” Tim CarrensDirector of British Studies at the College of Charleston, said The Folio English Department Blog in 2018

“It is a melodramatic morality tale made for communities that can neither condone nor condemn the process by which a small minority derive vast wealth from the labor of the many,” Carens continued. “Melodramas achieve catharsis by polarizing good and evil.”

in spiritualizedthat small minority is represented by the Briggs Media Group, which specializes in exploiting human laziness and desperation to sell products, images, candidates—whatever. Many of them, in an early scene, are depicted by the National Association of Christmas tree manufacturers fighting the rise of artificial Christmas trees and same-day delivery.

Briggs takes the stage at a Christmas tree convention to trick trade group members into buying his exorbitant services and manipulate their customers. “Every Facebook Boomer wants to fight a culture war,” Briggs sings. “So tell your core user what the hell they’re fighting for: A Fight for Morality.”

In Briggs, The Ghost of Christmas Present (Will Ferrell) finds his perfect Scrooge, a symbol of modern apathy, narcissism, individualism and capitalism. The media consultant is “irredeemable”, collectively considered by the other ghosts as too far gone to be saved, but the Spirit of Christmas Present is resolved.

What is he doing? Christmas song work

The themes and framework of Christmas song fit well into the 21st century – as they have since publication. Originally published December 19, 1843, first edition sold until Christmas Eve. It has never been out of print since – mostly because its study of the haves versus the have-nots has never been irrelevant.

Lori Langbauerprofessor of English and comparative literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, teaches the novella to his students.

“It goes on because it’s just such a good story by an excellent writer,” Langbauer said The well. “Dickens was trying to capture the typical questions about human society that still concern us now.”

As the appetite for stories about humanity continues, so will the audience for ghost stories. The Victorians connected Christmas, one of the longest nights of the year, with darkness and ghosts that lend themselves to magic and fairy tales.

Read more: How Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol Changed the Way the Holiday Was Celebrated

“He captured this almost crystalline structure of the tale that makes it easy to take in,” Langbauer said of Dickens. “But infinitely versatile and important for what it captures about psychology as well as culture.”

For Langbauer, je ne sais quoi on Christmas song lies in the fact that – in the world that Dickens constructs – redemption remains possible for everyone. If even the most miserly, pitiful of characters has the potential for change, then so does the reader.

“We know it’s going to work out from the beginning with a narrator who’s brilliant, really adventurous, kind of an expansive narrator who makes jokes and has a worldview that tells us this is a world where people are sometimes not nice , but kindness is still the most important,” said Langbauer. “People want to continue to believe that they live in such a world, especially during the dark days every year.”

Other notable versions of Christmas song

For 179 years now, Christmas song captivated the public: after publication it was widely circulated plagiarized in print, which involved Dickens in a long legal battle. Almost immediately, the story was also adapted into unauthorized stage productions.

The simple structure of the story allows it to be adapted endlessly – including on stage. Ray Dooley, professor emeritus of acting at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has performed many times in theatrical versions of the story. (Dickens himself put more than 150 performances of the text.)

“You can paint the house any color you want, but the house will always be there,” Dooley said. “You can do almost anything with it and the foundation will support you and lead to some delightful alternatives.”

Centuries later, many may not have actually read the original text itself, but they may very well have seen the 1988 film. Scrooge with Bill Murray, or A Muppet Christmas Carol since 1992 or Alone at homein which a Scrooge figure (Old Man Marley) changes his mind, inspired by a young lad in distress (Kevin) – not unlike Little Tim.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas is simply a ‘Seussified’ version of the tale involving a bitter, exploitative old man who experiences an epiphany.” said Karens. “Learning the ‘true spirit’ of Christmas and embracing its spirit of giving, not taking.”

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