For many kids this Holiday season, their first exposure to Ebenezer Scrooge will be Jim Carrey's kinetic, flailing mo-cap performance in Robert Zemeckis' A Christmas Carol. Carrey has always done the "living cartoon" thing well, but I prefer my Scrooge more Alastair Sim and less Ace Ventura. In fact, Sim's 1951 portrayal of the character stands as the definitive Scrooge performance to me. Sim is believable at every turn in A Christmas Carol, and he gives Dickens' oft-repeated dialogue a vitality that set the bar for everyone that proceeded him.
There have been a handful of great Scrooges over the years -- Albert Finney, George C. Scott, Patrick Stewart, even Bill Murray -- but there are some actors who seem born for the role.