Richard Williams for the Holidays
On the Oscar-winning special 'A Christmas Carol.'
Happy Thursday! Our holiday celebration continues in this issue of Animation Obsessive. Now, we’re telling the tale of A Christmas Carol (1971) by Richard Williams.
There’s no shortage of great Christmas animation — A Charlie Brown Christmas, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Snowman and more. You find top artists and directors in the credits to many of these projects. Even so, it’s a little odd to learn that the animator behind Who Framed Roger Rabbit directed a Christmas TV special.
A Christmas Carol is one of the less-covered chapters in Richard Williams’ life. People know him for Roger Rabbit and The Thief and the Cobbler — the vast, ambitious, unfinished film that ate up most of his career. A Christmas Carol is smaller, but still hugely ambitious. It hews close to Charles Dickens’ book and its original illustrations.
Today, we dig into how Williams came to make this daring special, and why it was a major, controversial moment in animation history. Enjoy!
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