The Many Ghosts of ‘A Christmas Carol’
The Many Ghosts of ‘A Christmas Carol’ – Present
The Ghost of Christmas Present
“If these shadows remain unaltered by the Future, the child will die”
The second ghost to appear to Scrooge is the jolly green giant known as the Ghost of Christmas Present. Looking like a traditional green Santa Clause, he is described as “a jolly giant” with dark brown curls, wearing a fur-lined green robe and on his head a holly wreath set with shining icicles.
It was clothed in one simple green robe, or mantle, bordered with white fur. This garment hung so loosely on the figure, that its capacious breast was bare, as if disdaining to be warded or concealed by any artifice. Its feet, observable beneath the ample folds of the garment, were also bare; and on its head it wore no other covering than a holly wreath, set here and there with shining icicles. Its dark brown curls were long and free; free as its genial face, its sparkling eye, its open hand, its cheery voice, its unconstrained demeanour, and its joyful air. Girded round its middle was an antique scabbard; but no sword was in it, and the ancient sheath was eaten up with rust.
1938 – Lionel Braham
Lionel Braham’s Ghost of Christmas Present is more accurate version of the character, when considering the huge changes it made to the Ghost of Christmas Past. Surrounded by a feats fit for king, and carries a a cornucopia, as he is classical depicted. He is bold, jovial and friendly towards Scrooge.
1951 – Francis De Wolff
Francis De Wolff’s portrayal of the Ghost of Christmas Present is an accurate depiction of the novels character. With a large fur rimmed robe, a wreath upon his head, and surrounded by food, it seems that this ghost is the easiest to show on film. However, it is worth noting that this version appears to have a sword in it’s scabbard, going against the books rusted sheath, a representation of peace on Earth and good will toward men.
1984 – Edward Woodward
One of the most prestige actors to take on the roll of the Ghost of Christmas Present, Edward Woodward steps into the large shoes of the festive spirit. This “jolly giant” wears the same fur-lined green robe and holly wreath as his book counterpart. His size is over exaggerated with low camera angles and stilts, as it’s clear that he’s no larger in relative size to Scrooge. His portrayal here is stern but playful, and with great warmth.
1988 – Carol Kane
Carol Kane plays the cheeky but violent Ghost of Christmas Present in the 1988 film Scrooged. The spirit appears as a fairy like ghost, who uses fairy-dust, punches and toasters to knock Frank into his vision of the present. Over-excited and with a dark streak in her light appearance, this spook is certainly one of the most interesting.
1992 – Jerry Nelson
Jerry Nelson plays the forgetful but happy giant that is the Ghost of Christmas Present. Created with another original muppet design, this spirit is much like described in the book. A giant green robed creature, that takes Scrooge on a journey into the present Christmas. The puppet is actually a large suite worn by actor Don Austen, with the voice and facial controls provided by Jerry Nelson. In a nice touch, the spirit ages as travels in time, ending with him as a grey bearded creature.
1999 – Desmond Barrit
The 1999 film adaption features Desmond Barrit as the Ghost of Christmas Present. His performance is the most stern of all the ghosts on this list. The book clearly depicts this character as a jovial , glittering eyed giant, yet here he is a stony faced and aggressive man who is no taller than Scrooge.
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