Rather than deliberately trying to resemble either the 1938 MGM version or the George C. Scott made-for-TV version in the cheerfulness and "Christmassy" feeling of their settings, the 1999 film takes as its inspiration to the classic 1951 film version with Alastair Sim in the grimness of some of its scenes and set design, although it still includes many cheerful moments. It includes three scenes almost always omitted from other adaptations which are the lighthouse, coal miners, and sailors on a ship at sea, by showing montages with different groups of people in different sections of the country singing Silent Night . The scene of the young couple who are relieved at Scrooge's death is also taken from the original story.
Ebenezer Scrooge is a prosperous curmudgeon who believes that personal wealth is far more valuable than the happiness and comfort of others. With an infuriated "Bah! Humbug!" Scrooge summates his feelings of Christmas tidings and charitable giving, but he's forced to face his selfish ways when three ghosts on Christmas Eve lead him through his Past, Present and Future. Thanks to their guidance, Scrooge recognizes his faults and greets Christmas morning with a cheerful "Happy Christmas" before spending the day reconnecting and sharing love with those that mean the most to him.