Ebenezer Scrooge begins the Christmas holiday with his usual miserly contempt, barking at his faithful clerk and his cheery nephew. But when the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come take him on an eye-opening journey revealing truths Old Scrooge is reluctant to face, he must open his heart to undo years of ill will before it's too late.
A Christmas Carol has been remade so many times that it really takes a lot to make a new version stand out or shine above the rest. As we head into the Christmas season, I'm sure there is one question on every movie goer's mind: How does the new Disney / Zemeckis version hold up or compare to any of the others?
Well, it doesn't do too bad of a job. Robert Zemeckis has almost mastered the craft of CGI animation he's been working on since The Polar Express. By no means is it perfect, but most definitely a step light years ahead of Express and Beowulf. As far as the 3D goes, sometimes you can really feel it and then there are segments where it's almost not even noticeable. Maybe I've seen so many 3D movies recently that it's starting to feel like second nature in my movie viewing.
The cast put together very well. Everyone does a great job with their performances. Jim Carrey takes on the bulk of the responsibility with his roles as Scrooge, the Ghost of Christmas Past, and the Ghost of Christmas Present. Even though you can totally feel Carrey's presence in the roles, he does a wonderful job at giving each character their own identity. He adds a sense of humor to all of them without dumbing them down. Don't get me wrong, there were some parts that he made silly where it seemed a bit out of place. What can be said about Gary Oldman? The man could take the part of a tree stump in a film and somehow steal the scene. I am convinced that this guy could play ANYTHING and pull it off. I mean, how many actors can say they've played a wanna-be Rastafarian pimp, Dracula, Commissioner Gordon, and Bob Cratchit all in the same lifetime?
A Christmas Carol does get a bit dark and intense at times. I would say that this version may be a bit too much for kids who's ages fall below 8. The scenes with Marley's Ghost and the Ghost of Christmas Future are both very bombastic and visually frightening. There's even a scene where the Ghost of Christmas Present disintegrates into dust, withering onscreen from a dead old man to a skeleton and so on. Be aware of that as you're heading off to the theater tonight with the kids in tow.
Would I recommend seeing Disney's A Christmas Carol? Absolutely. No matter how many different ways it's made, it still stands the test of time as a wonderful morality tale for people of all ages and times. What better way to kick off the yuletide season? (Review by Eric Shirey)
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