November 6, 2009 A Christmas Carol
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures Rating: PG for scary sequences and images.
A very traditional Christmas tale is told in a very non-traditional and modern manner.
There probably isn't much new information I can share with you about "A Christmas Carol." Three ghosts representing various stages of the holiday visit and old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge. The moral of the Charles Dickens classic is that Scrooge has to get his life right or face an eternity of torment.
Director Robert Zemeckis, who previously brought "The Polar Express" and "Beowulf" to life using motion capture technology does the same thing here.
Jim Carrey stars as the voice of Scrooge. He also provides the voices for the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.
The story gets started by setting up Scrooge's bittnerness. He's visited by the specter of an old partner named Marley (Gary Oldman) who warns him of what is to come.
Scrooge begins his journey by traveling back in time where he views a younger self with a chance for happiness that he never chose to grasp. Trips to a present-day party and a very grim future quickly follow until Scrooge has to make a life-changing decision.
Thankfully, this version rises up to match the story of the classic tale with incredible visuals and great voice performances.
Zemeckis artfully uses 3D to pull you into old London and make you believe you're there. Carrey does a magnificent job, most especially as old Scrooge.
The film is a whirlwind of movement as the ghosts lead Scrooge on his journey to redemption.
I should caution you that although this is an animated version of a very familiar story it is intense and a little scary. If your children are easily frightened some images in this movie may bother them. But if you know your kids and what they can handle, you'll be fine.
I really like this version of a "A Christmas Carol." I don't know if it's my favorite but it's certainly in the running. You'll get no "Bah, humbug" out of me where this adaptation is concerned.
On my rating scale, "A Christmas Carol" earns a HOME RUN. I think this is destined to become a favorite holiday tradition for many families.
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