DISNEY'S A CHRISTMAS CAROL
I have so many fond childhood memories of Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol. Every Holiday Season since I can remember I would watch any and all versions of this classic, including a Mr. Magoo Christmas Carol and some sort of Donald Duck version, if you can believe it. So I guess I thought that I would be a bit jaded with the exception that with Disney at the helm, it would at the very least be visually stunning. Well, visually stunning it was but so much more than that.
Robert Zemeckis was able to twist and turn the story with out changing the integrity of the piece in such a way that you see it with new eyes - I know I did.
Scrooge is still his “Bah Humbug” self but, dare I say, even more evil than I can remember. It might be that the versions that my generation watched were kinder and softer and we did not tend to take children’s stories and make them scary as all heck. Yes, Zemeckis does this. That is why I would venture to say that this is probably not the version you want to take your little tots to. Joshua, who is 12 stated that it was a bit frightening at times, even for him. I’ve found, recently, that a lot of remakes of popular children’s stories are not really what I would recommend for kids. They’ve become a little stronger in their darkness and a bit more frightening. That said, this telling of Scrooge’s Christmas Eve adventure was a true treat for all the senses (of course it did not hurt that I watched it in IMAX). Did I forget to mention that the film is shown in 3D? Oh yeah… Now, I am not normally so gung -ho on the whole 3D thing (sometimes I feel it really does not add anything), but I really enjoyed watching the snowflakes apparently fall right in front of my eyes. The flights above the city and country side are also made all the better by the 3D effect.
I have to tell you I love the effect of such realistic animation that you almost doubt at times if it is just animation and not live action. Jim Carrey was as always incredible. Mr. Carrey does a phenomenal job at executing his characters (i.e. accents) yet, as Joshua stated, there are moments where you can SEE Jim Carrey on the screen. Yes, it was animated but you can really see him in each one of the Characters that he plays such as Scrooge at all ages and the 3 ghosts. Bob Hoskins playing Mr. Fezziwig is true to his jovial self (again, you really see the actors through the animation). Colin Firth is basically a caricature of himself, true sweet English gentleman whilst playing Scrooges nephew Fred. Gary Oldman does a wonderful job as Scrooges’ business partner Marley, Bob Cratchit and sweet little Tiny Tim.
I would have to guess (unless you’re newly arrived to this planet) that you know the story and so I will not presume to tell you how the story goes. Yes, it ends the same, but the old familiar scenes are made all the greater by Zemeckis. For example, the Ghost of Christmas Presents’ timeline on earth was never made so clear as in this one. I must say that his sweet, young Christmas spirit deteriorates in a grim and frightening manner and the scene with the Ghost of Christmas yet to come is much more ominous than I could ever remember. Again, this is not your childhood Christmas Carol, but it is this humble reviewer’s opinion that its still worth adding your list of holiday viewing list!
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