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Friday, November 11, 2011

Disney's A Christmas Carol - 2009

All throughout his career from Cast Away to The Polar Express Robert Zemeckis never ceases to amaze me. I don't know that I would rank him among the all time greatest, as most of his films are very flawed, but the one thing that I love about Zemeckis is unlike directors such as Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese and many more, he actually has serious range as to what types of films he brings to the screen. Sure he has had his name on some unusually bad films, but for the most part when he is in the directing chair you can bet your life you will see at least a decent film, and I am one of the few who actually think Who Framed Roger Rabbit along with some of his other acclaimed works are horribly overrated. My point is, when Zemeckis goes out and makes two fantastic visual treats for film (The Polar Express, A Christmas Carol), all he gets is negative reception. Haters are going to hate I suppose. Anyway, this is my take on A Christmas Carol, at least Roger Ebert agrees with me.

Do I really need to go over the story? No, but I really don't need to for half the movies I review so I am going to anyway! Scrooge (Jim Carrey) is an excellent but entirely selfish business man, partners with Marley (Gary Oldman). They are both extremely wealthy, but when Marley dies Scrooge's already hard heart hardens, causing him to lose nearly every friend he ever had. Seven years later, just after rejecting his Nephew's (Colin Firth) Christmas Eve dinner invite, Scrooge is stunned to find Marley's ghost, who bears terrible news. Scrooge will be visited by three other ghosts, past, present, and future, in an attempt to show him just how dreadful of a person he is. If his heart does not soften by then, he will forever be doomed to suffer the worst possible of fates.

Well, anyone who knows me personally knows that I have a pretty biased opinion on any movie made after Charles Dickens' classic tale. I absolutely love the story and that alone is enough to make me watch a movie on it, needless to say it is quite difficult for me not to enjoy any version of this. However, I thought Zemeckis and his vision for A Christmas Carol was amazing. Yes, it was a little weird and I know plenty of kids will not enjoy it due to that fact alone. But, I am not a little kid, am I? Not in age, at least. Zemeckis stays true to Dickens' vision while keeping his own as well, and that is the recipe for cooking up an excellent remake.

What Zemeckis so greatly had going for him was that the writing really was not going to be too difficult. Going back to greater and older versions, including the written story itself, Zemeckis practically had a screenplay handed to him. But what he did to give it his own twist was what I loved so much, the visuals. Similar to The Polar Express, if you found the human-like animation too unrealistic, you will feel the same about A Christmas Carol. For me, though, I absolutely loved it. Now I cannot go into all of the people who helped create the world of A Christmas Carol, but let's just say Zemeckis had the right team behind his back and beautifully brought to us this brilliant world of magic.

As I was watching this just a few hours ago, I brought up a point to my friend about Jim Carrey. He really is not that funny of a guy, of course he has had his success like everyone, but in my opinion Carrey's strongest points are when he is in a dramatic role. His brilliant performance in A Christmas Carol only further confirms my opinion, as there is no denying the power behind his work here. Gary Oldman comes through as he always does. I have been saying it for awhile and I am going to say it again, he is easily one of the finest actors never to have been nominated for an Oscar. His portrayal of Bob Cratchit was nothing short of touching and meaningful, and if you have not read many of my reviews, I cannot give a higher compliment. Oh and one more thing, Colin Firth? A very, very nice supporter.

Final Word: I love animation, and I love this version of A Christmas Carol. This is my first review of a Christmas film, and I think it was the proper film to start off the season. I could not have asked for much more out of the great director Robert Zemeckis.



  1. You seem to be bowled over..
    but I simply can't really love these family oriented animated films.

    Great review nonetheless!

  2. Haha well to each his own Aditya! And thanks man!

  3. Is there any separate setting for receiving email alerts for what posts follow your comment on others' blogs?

    For example I did not know you have replied to my comment here until I checked your page again.

  4. Ok I got it..you gotta subscribe by email! :D

  5. While I do question the casting of Jim Carrey (especially in the amount of roles he played), I would like to see this one this Christmas time. Who knows? Maybe i'll like it as much as you. But one things for sure, it'll be better than the adaptation of a Christmas carol I reviewed, which was Ghosts of Girlfriends Past

    Great review

  6. Hahaha yes that film was awful! Thanks Rodders!

  7. There are now so many Christmas Craol films I could put together a Top 10 Based on The Christmas Carol film list. My personal favourite is still Bill Murray's Scrooged!

  8. Lol, that's actually true! Patrick Stewart's would be at the bottom....

    Thanks Dan!