Synopsis: When Scrooge is visited by three ghosts his life takes an unexpected turn in A Christmas Carol.
Release Date: November 6, 2009 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Animation, Fantasy
We all know this story, and very well. This new addition to the seemingly endless adaptations of Dickens’ novel gives the viewer a visually stunning experience tied to an old and tired story. It is with the help of the effects and Jim Carrey’s performance as Scrooge that some new life is breathed into it but in the end you still have the same things all over again.
This film belongs to Jim Carrey. Not necessarily because of a superb performance but because he plays 4 of the main characters. The film hangs upon his shoulders and he thankfully turns in a performance that can hold it all together. As the ghosts he is adequate. Nothing really grand to say about them. As Scrooge is where he shines. Every time he opens his mouth the tone of his voice carries the amoun of disdain, anger, spite and general unhappiness with everything that Scrooge embodies. When he is afraid, his voice trembles. When filled with remorse or pure joy, the pitch is perfect. The character of Scrooge has been given a welcome revival through Jim Carrey. It makes one almost wish this was a live action picture so you could see more of the emotion and depth on his actual face, and not behind a mask with less expressive eyes.
It is a thin line for a film such as this to call it animated. Utilizing the stop-motion/performance technology the real actors are re-imagined on screen in a sort of mixture of being animated and being flesh and blood. The ending result is an amazing array of wax-like figurine characters with stiffer than normal movements and over or under exaggerated facial expressions. There is hope for this technology as is demonstrated in one character alone, Scrooge himself. He alone appears the most lifelike and real, with his heavily tattered skin, plentitude of wrinkles, and skin discoloration befitting of a man his age. His lifelikeness only shows the less than real appearance of all others in the story.
Where the animation really shines is in the visual effects aspects of the movie. From the inventive ways the ghosts take Scrooge on his journey to the rain that appears to be dropping onto the viewer as you sit in your chair. The one effect that stands out above all else is the one employed with the ghost of Christmas present. As he and Scrooge fly high across the city, peering in on people’s festivities, the floor of the room they embark in becomes translucent. It is a remarkable sight as they float across the city glancing in through what seems like a window into the world. It is these effects that make the movie visually delightful and at times awe inspiring.
For an adult, the movie is mildly startling during specific scenes. For a child, it may be downright frightening. There are quite a few scenes with Ghosts that give you quite a jolt and the sound is raised up to a level that is uncomfortably loud and unsettling. These ghosts are meant to be scary, they are ghosts after all. As an adult we let it go with ease; a child may not be able to handle it in quite the same way.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Robert Zemeckis
- Producer(s): Robert ZemeckisJim Carrey (Ebenezer Scrooge/Ghost of Christmas Past, Present and To Come)
- Screenwriter(s): Robin Wright Penn (Belle)Colin Firth (Fred)Gary Oldman (Bob Cratchit/Marley/Tiny Tim)
- Story: Michael J. Fox (voice)
- Cast: Jeremiah O’DriscollRobert PresleyDoug Chang
- Cinematographer: Alan SilvestriGentle Giant Studios
- Production Designer(s): The Third Floor
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA