Thursday, December 06, 2018
“I Was a Boy Here!” | Campfire’s A Christmas Carol (2010)
Scott McCullar and Naresh Kumar's version is surprisingly faithful to Dickens for how abbreviated it is. They've only got two-and-a-half pages for this scene, but do a remarkably nice job with it. They of course follow Dickens in having no transition scene between Scrooge's room and the his childhood's countryside.
I've criticized Kumar's art in past scenes for being inconsistent about facial expressions and emotions, but Scrooge is persistently thoughtful and even kind in this scene. I speculated earlier that the ghosts in this story might be all in Scrooge's head; manifestations of his conscience trying to battle its way through layers of malevolence and possibly even sociopathy that Scrooge has been building for years. If that's the case, then retreating into his memories has a profound effect on him.
The version skips the visit by Scrooge's literary friends, which is for the best. This Scrooge is troubled enough. After showing us little, lonely Scrooge it immediately jumps forward in time to Fan's visit. She's younger than Scrooge, but looks like she could be in her mid-teens.
She mentions that their father is kinder than he used to be, but leaves out the part where she asked him if Scrooge could come home for Christmas. The result is that it seems like Dad has just been generally unpleasant rather than particularly spiteful towards Scrooge. If that's the case, then I understand why these memories could have a calming effect on the old man. He mentions his regret about the boy caroler from the night before and when he talks about Fred, he seems downright serene. For all the loneliness leading up to these memories, they're pleasant ones for Scrooge.
The scene closes with him and Fan in a carriage with a driver, but doesn't include anything about the schoolmaster. It also says nothing about how Fan died or whether that affected Scrooge's attitude toward Fred.