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Disney’s A Christmas Carol

Released

Latest Home Video

Nov 16, 2010

MPAA Rating:

PG


Run Time:

95

Cast

Jim Carrey

Gary Oldman

Colin Firth

Bob Hoskins

Robin Wright Penn

Cary Elwes

Fionnula Flanagan

Robert Zemeckis.

Studio

2009 Walt Disney Pictures

Official Website >>

Still shot from the movie: Disney’s A Christmas Carol.

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Reviewed by

OverallB+
ViolenceC+
SexB+
LanguageB+
Drugs/AlcoholB
Run Time95

Making the Grades

One year when our children were young, we decided to watch as many adaptations as we could find of the classic Dickens’ tale, A Christmas Carol. Not surprisingly, there were more than a few options. It seems that everyone from Alastair Sim to Bill Murray and Mickey Mouse to Miss Piggy wanted in on the action. Even the 2009 movie Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is based on three female apparitions who help straighten out the life of a wayward lover.

It shouldn’t be unexpected then to have yet another version of the story appearing on the big screen—this time in 3D. The technologically updated Disney’s A Christmas Carol combines the vocal talents of Jim Carrey with the motion capture capabilities of Producer Robert Zemeckis (who was also behind The Polar Express.)

Carrey voices several characters in the film including the miserly Scrooge and the three ghostly visitors that take him on a tour of his life. The rendezvous is initiated by Scrooge’s dead business partner Jacob Marley (voice by Gary Oldman) who is weighted down in the afterlife by the chains of greed he forged while on earth. Hoping to save Scrooge from the same horrible fate, he arranges for the spirits to call on his old friend.

Following Dickens’ novella fairly closely, the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future all make their way into Scrooge’s house and unveil to him things as they were, as they are and as they will be, unless he makes some drastic changes. During their journey, he and the Ghost of Christmas Present stop at the humble home of his employee Bob Cratchit (voice by Gary Oldman) and he gets a glimpse of real happiness. However his heart is broken by the memories of an affection he discarded when he is given a reunion with his youthful love Belle (voice by Robin Wright Penn).

Before the experience is over, the mingy penny-pincher also gets a grim peek into his impending end. It is a startling and bleak wake up call. The intense depictions of red-eyed horses chasing a man through the narrow streets of London and an ominous stopover at a desolate graveyard (where Scrooge falls into an open grave) are also startling for viewers, especially for young audience members more familiar with the cartoonish, watered down versions of this weighty tale. Other scenes of ghoulish characters that decay and disintegrate on screen and a macabre doorknocker up the scare factor of this film too, likely making it inappropriate for many children.

While this production offers some stunning visual animation and the usual lighthearted, happy ending, the overall tone of the film more accurately reflects the dire times in which the original story was written. Dickens’ own indictment of the upper class’s treatment of the poorer members of society is evident as well. Still, this story gives teens and adults a chance to reflect on their own seasonal inclinations—be they generous ones or more tightfisted.

Cast: Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Bob Hoskins, Robin Wright Penn, Cary Elwes, Fionnula Flanagan.

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Discussion Ideas After The Movie

Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Disney’s A Christmas Carol.

Published in Reader’s Digest in December 1989, The Second Greatest Christmas Story Ever Told recounts the dismal and dark circumstances that led to the penning of Charles Dickens’s well-known Christmas tale.

How does Scrooge’s experience open his eyes to the suffering around him? What actions does he take? How can knowledge change a person’s perspective?

What is your favorite character in this story? Why do you relate to this person?

Home Video Viewing Alternatives

Here are some ideas for home video titles that are related to Disney’s A Christmas Carol.

In another pair of films set in the Christmas season, The Family Man and It’s a Wonderful Life, two characters get a chance to see how different their lives would have been had they chosen a another path.

You can find Charles Dickens’ story (first published on December 19, 1843) at your local library.

Canadian Movie Ratings

BC
SK
G May Frighten Young Children.
AB PG Frightening Scenes, Not Recommended for Young Children
MB PG Not Recommended For Young Children, Frightening Scenes.
ON PG Frightening Scenes.
QC G Not recommended for young children.
NB
NS
NL
PE
PG

Canadian Home Video Rating: PG

Watch @ Home

Details on home video releases of Disney’s A Christmas Carol...

Disney’s A Christmas Carol releases to home video on November 16, 2010, on DVD and as a Blu-ray Combo Pack.

Special features included with Disney’s A Christmas Carol on DVD:

-Capturing A Christmas Carol

-On Set With Sammi

- Deleted Scenes

Special features included with Disney’s A Christmas Carol 4-DISC Blu-ray Combo Pack:

- Mr. Scrooge’s Wild Ride (In 3D)

- Behind The Carol: The Full Motion Capture Experience

- Digital Advent Calendar

- Capturing A Christmas Carol

- On Set With Sammi

- Deleted Scenes

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FYI says: Nov. 15, 2009

My 11 year-old saw this 3D movie with a friend. She came home horrified and asked me if she could write a review to warn others, so through the eyes of my 11 year old….christmas carol is not what I was expecting when I went to go see it at the movie theater,I was expecting a child appropriate funny and non-scary movie,but instead I was watching a ghost breaking his jaw all the way open with the sides of his mouth tared open as well. I would not let your child see this movie if he/she was under the age of
11 or 12 years old. there were skeletons everywhere,
and dead people through the whole movie.
I was horrified about was I was watching,there was one ghost who looked like santa claus and he died and started to disintegrate until there was nothing left but bones.
My friend who I was with while watching this movie,who
has seen scary horror movies was hiding her eyes
in her jacket to avoid watching these inappropriate
parts.
If I were you I would watch a movie that is worth your time and money unlike this horrible movie.
Thank you 4 listening to my opinion,
GOD BLESS AMERICA!
p.s.Christmas shouldn’t be scary.

Nivi says: Nov. 15, 2009

I am disappointed with the ratings of the movie.  I might as well taken my child to a horror movie.  It was really scary.  I was happy that we didn’t see the 3D version of it.  I wish somebody takes this PG rating seriously.

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