Charles Dickens' timeless tale of an old miser who must face the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet-to-Come, as they help bring kindness to his otherwise cold heart. The Ghosts remind him of the man he used to be, the hard truth of what the world is today, and what will happen if he does not strive to be a better man. Set around Christmas, the most joyous day of the year, Scrooge realizes the sharp contrast of his own personality. Jim Carrey plays four separate roles in this updated version of "A Christmas Carol." Carrey portrays Scrooge, as well as the three ghosts (Past, Present, and Yet-to-Come). Robert Zemeckis ("Back to the Future" trilogy) has his chance to dabble in telling a story through the windows of time, as he directs the long-awaited remake.
Review By Lai Swee Wei
The brilliant Academy Award winning filmmaker Robert Zemeckis ("The Polar Express") realised that out of all the countless Charles Dickens' adapted movies and cartoons over the years, none were ever made into 3-D! Disney's "A Christmas Carol" was shot entirely in 3-D, where moviegoers can expect to see constant scenes of the cold-hearted Ebenezer Scrooge hurtling through the skies above London, squeezing through tight locations, narrowly missing objects and falling from a distant height. It literally takes you on a thrill ride, bringing the classic story-telling to a whole new level.
Although there are numerous screen adaptations of this Christmas tale, audiences never seem to get tired of it in a new incarnation as the film topped the North American box office on opening weekend garnering US$30.1 million, outgrossing the previous performance-capture Christmas animation "The Polar Express" (2004). However, it sold fewer tickets than "Elf" and "The Santa Clause 2" and far fewer than Jim Carrey's last Christmas movie, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", according to Box Office Mojo.
The film remains faithful to Dickens' story and the original 1843 book illustrations. Moreover, it's striking to see the life-like appearances of the characters and the likeness of the actors in animation form. Apparently, the technique depends on its cast putting in full physical as well as vocal performances, which are then 'wrapped' digitally with clothes and skin to create an animated image.
Chameleon actor Jim Carry is an outstanding choice to play seven different characters namely Scrooge, Ghost of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come (who doesn't really talk much at all). In fact, you'd barely even recognise him if it wasn't for the characters' resemblance. Out of all the ghosts, Christmas Past is the most fun with a peculiar twitchy habit that will squeeze out a chuckle or two. Gary Oldman gave a solid performance playing multiple roles as well, while Colin Firth is one of the few actors playing only one role as the highly optimistic Fred, whose cheery nature and outlook on life is a stark contrast to that of his grumpy uncle Scrooge.
The tone of the film varies from one point to another. It can be silly-goofy at one point and turn freaky-scary the next, such as a scene involving a ghost's dislocated jaw. However, it incorporates well into the story, making it more appealing to the adults, not so sure about the kids. Moreover, the dialogues can be hard to understand at times with its Victorian accent and vocabulary that will make no sense to young children.
Well, in the wise words of Scrooge - "Bah humbug!" This is by far the most exciting re-imagining of Charles Dickens classic tale that is best enjoyed in 3-D.
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