Friday, December 6, 2013

Year Two. Day Six: "The Energy Carol" (1975)

If I have learnt nothing else from two seasons of adaptations of "A Christmas Carol" it is that this simple, almost fairytale like story is so incredibly flexible, it can almost be pulled into any shape or form, provided that enough of the original details remain.

This also means that there are some truly odd adaptations out there, one of the oddest being "The Energy Carol" - a propaganda piece from the Canadian Office of Energy Conservation.

Rather than the selfish miser we have come to see him as, Scrooge here is almost the inverse. He is wasteful and irresponsible, inefficient and thoughtless. Upon Christmas Eve he is visited by the ghost of his former colleague, Jacob Morelight who has been chained to a giant toaster (yes, I did say this was a weird one!)

Through his interactions with the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, he learns the wastefulness of his ways and how his unsustainable behaviour will damage the future.

At this time, most of the world was bereft of worries of global warming and the impact of energy waste upon the future, so this brief film serves as something of an early example of fears being articulated. While this would be a noble cause, it does somewhat fluff the ending because rather than become a beacon of energy saving and responsibility, he turns into something of a lunatic, replacing light bulbs with candles and hurling appliances out of a window, whilst declaring that his work colleague will be working "twice as hard for half the pay."

Such a shame that the ending spoils would could be a unique adaptation of the tale, and a valuable lesson for the future.

As efficient and speedy as Santa's sleigh.

"The Energy Carol." (1975) 2/5

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