Movie Review: A Christmas Carol

Movie Review: A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol – 2009

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PG for scary sequences and images.
Running Time: 1 hour 36 minutes

Disney’s A Christmas Carol, a multi-sensory thrill ride re-envisioned by Academy Award winning filmmaker Robert Zemeckis, goes after the fantasy essence of the classic Charles Dickens tale. Not only is this an animated version of the long favorite flick, but it’s also filmed in 3D motion picture technology.

Of course the film centers around the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Jim Carrey, who barks commands at his faithful clerk played by Gary Oldman. Colin Firth plays Scrooge’s cheery nephew who has much hope for his miserable Uncle Ebenezer. When ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come take Scrooge on an eye-opening journey revealing truths Old Scrooge is reluctant to face, he opens his heart to undo years of ill will before it’s too late.

The Classic Christmas Tale Revisited

I must admit when I went into this movie I found myself asking – “How many times can we sit through another adaptation and remake of A Christmas Carol?” When I heard about this Disney remake starring Jim Carrey I have to admit I did say out loud…

Give me a break! Not again!

I must also admit when I came out of the screening for A Christmas Carol I said aloud – “I’m glad I didn’t have to pay for that!” Keep in mind, as the hype surrounding this release has said, this is a “re-envisioned” adaptation of the Charles Dickens tale. Honestly, this version of A Christmas Carol has less to do about the story and more to do about the film technology.

Yes, the familiar storyline is somewhat kept intact. However, the hour and a half movie is not about the story at all. This version of A Christmas Carol is more of an assault and battery against your visual senses than anything else. Using the same technology from the filming and production of the 2004 The Polar Express, A Christmas Carol comes off like it’s evil twin brother on steroids.

It’s over-done, over-blown and over-produced in every way.

This movie is available in different formats on the big screen. But, be forewarned, if you see A Christmas Carol in 3D make sure your seat is in the upright position! You might also want to take some motion sickness pills before the ride and have a bag handy. In the end, this version of A Christmas Carol is nothing more than a 3D special effects ride meant to show off the so-called genius of Robert Zemeckis. While he may be an Academy Award winning filmmaker, it’s obvious he’s more concerned about winning another award with this flick than he was about putting out a good movie.

This Is NOT Mickey’s Christmas Carol!

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Parents, keep in mind, just because this is Disney, does not mean it’s for the entire family!

Jim Carrey’s version A Christmas Carol is rated PG. This is not a G rated movie. This is not Mickey’s Christmas Carol. The parental warning says “PG for scary sequences and images.” Does no one read the advisory? This movie is NOT meant for young kids.

To the woman who had her young son behind me during the movie – Do you know how irritating it is for those around you who had to listen to your son say – “Hold me I’m scared” – through the entire movie? Do you have any idea how irritating it was to have your young son kick the back of the seat over and over again throughout the entire movie?

To the parents of the five year olds in the movie – Do you have any idea how irritating it was to listen to your kids cry through the movie? Take them out of the theater! Be a parent and realize you messed up and should never have taken your kids to this movie in the first place.

Last, but certainly not least – to the Dad’s of those 5 through 8 year olds – no one wants to hear you laughing at the scary parts as you try to calm your kids because they’re scared. Instead of saying – “Suck it up and be a man” – you be the parent and take your scared child out of the theater.

As for the rating, I will not fault Disney for the PG rating. I will not fault Disney for marketing. This version of A Christmas Carol was clearly NOT marketed to young kids. While I’m calling the movie cautionary family-friendly, I applaud Disney and those involved in the rating process for their decision to keep this out of the G rated arena. If anything, this is more of a PG-13 movie. But, with the PG rating I’m fine with calling it cautionary family-friendly.

This movie is NOT for young kids.

Overall, this latest re-invention of the classic Dickens’ tale could have probably been better left undone. Jim Carrey certainly does not put in a strong performance. At times he almost seems bored with the part. At other times it seems like he’s simply show-boating on a low budget film that was too cheap to hire more than one actor to play multiple parts. While A Christmas Carol is being marketed as the must see Christmas story of the year, this latest version is not the one to see.

Wait for the DVD!
Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.