Legendary author Charles Dickens likely didn’t realize how his merry masterpiece known to all as A Christmas Carol would become the prolific classic that it is in the world of entertainment today. We all know the story of how a greedy miser’s hatred of Christmas turned into unconditional love after being visited by a quartet of specters, and the reason we’re all so familiar with it is likely due to how many adaptations there are of the story. You have your classical and faithful takes like the stunning (yet horrifying) Robert Zemeckis animated film starring Jim Carrey (The Mask), and there are the more family-friendly comedic takes like The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), and who could forget the present-day meta cult favorite that is Scrooged (1988)? The latter example would probably be the best one to compare to the latest adaptation of Dickens’s beloved tale, Spirited (2022), starring Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool), Will Ferrell (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy), and Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures).
Not only is this new version of Ebenezer Scrooge’s story set in the modern day, but it’s also going to be a full-blown musical extravaganza, the first that Reynolds has been a part of in his career. Reynolds is also set to play Scrooge in the film (or at least will be the Scrooge archetype), as he meets the various ghostly figures representing the past, present, and future of Christmas, one of which is Will Ferrell as the Ghost of Christmas Present. Spirited will also be the subject of a unique release plan, so to find out exactly how to watch the new Christmas film, simply read below to find out.
Is Spirited on Streaming or in Theaters?
Spirited is being produced by Apple, so many would likely assume that the film would be premiering on Apple TV+. It is, but for those who wanted to watch Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell sing and dance on the big screen, Spirited also received a theatrical release. This comes at a time when many streaming companies are releasing some of their most high-profile works into theaters, partially so they’ll be able to take advantage of some extra box office revenue, but most likely so the films will qualify for some accolades like the Academy Awards, which are once again requiring eligible films to be released in theaters to be considered for awards. A special sing-along version of the film was also recently released in theaters.
For those who would rather watch Spirited at home but aren’t currently subscribed to Apple TV+, there are a couple of options available. For one, if you happen to have just purchased an Apple device, Apple TV+ is free for the first three months. The standard subscription price is only $4.99 per month, giving access to the service’s full library and content. For those who find themselves wanting to regularly take advantage of other Apple services, the Apple One bundle is a great option. Not only does Apple One include Apple TV+, but it also provides full access to Apple Music, Apple Arcade, iCloud+, Apple News+, and Apple Fitness+ for $14.95 per month.
Find Showtimes for Spirited?
Spirited was released in theaters on November 11, 2022, before premiering on Apple TV+ a week later on November 18.
That being said the film is actually still playing in some theaters, you can check out the link below to find out if there are showtimes near you for the musical Christmas comedy.
The reveal trailer for Spirited gets things started right away by showcasing Ryan Reynolds and Will Ferrell showing off their tap dancing moves. Ferrell seems to be getting a good chunk of screen time in the film, as he introduces himself to Reynolds and takes him on his time-bending Christmas journey. Similar to Scrooged, Reynolds doesn’t seem to literally be playing Ebenezer Scrooge but is instead playing a grumpy businessman who exists in a world where A Christmas Carol is a known story. It’s even possible that the events of A Christmas Carol happened in the film’s continuity, as the Ghost of Christmas Present implies he once saved a young boy who’s clearly supposed to be Tiny Tim from the story. The rest of the trailer consists of visuals one would expect from A Christmas Carol, with glimpses at the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Future, as well as one that bares an uncanny resemblance to that of Ebenezer Scrooge’s late remorseful partner, Jacob Marley.
Other Versions of A Christmas Carol That You Can Watch Now
In case those other adaptations of A Christmas Carol mentioned above caught your attention, and you’d like to give them a watch, here’s where and how you can check them out.
A Christmas Carol (2009): Zemeckis clearly didn’t have enough of scaring people with animated Christmas movies after the puppet scene in The Polar Express (2004), and that’s clear in his version of A Christmas Story. It’s arguably one of the most faithful renditions of the original Dickens story, really detailing the sense of misery and despair that was rampant throughout England’s industrial revolution and how moments of levity like Christmas offer an escape from that. It’s great as far as adaptations go, but younger audiences might want to steer clear of this one. Robert Zemeckis’s A Christmas Carol is available to stream on Disney+.
The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992): Thankfully, Disney+ does have a version of A Christmas Carol that families with younger ones are sure to enjoy, mainly because this one has a whole lot of Muppets in it. Starring Michael Caine (The Prestige) as Mr. Scrooge, the movie is exactly what one would expect from A Christmas Carol starring the Muppets, packed to the brim with fourth-wall-breaking commentary and an on-the-nose sense of humor. Despite the update, The Muppet Christmas Carol still successfully captures the spirit of the original story and is one of the most beloved versions of the tale. And like we said already, The Muppet Christmas Carol is also available to stream on Disney+.
Scrooged (1988): Richard Donner‘s (Lethal Weapon) modern version of A Christmas Carol wasn’t too well-received upon release but has since earned a dedicated following. Here, Bill Murray (Ghostbusters) is a greedy, selfish, antagonistic television executive whose station is putting on a live version of the Dickens story that entirely misses the point of the tale. The rest of the story goes how you would expect, complete with some laugh-out-loud moments and fantastic direction from Donner. Scrooged is available for streaming on Prime Video and Paramount+.