UK Release date: 4th November 2009
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 26th November 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I remember this coming out in theatres and deciding I’d wait for it to come on TV. It didn’t really appeal to me and anyway it was another vehicle for the 3D ‘phenomenon’ that I want no part of. So, time passed and it finally arrived on my TV screen and I must say I’m glad I waited. It’s very well made and beautiful to look at, but for me, sadly, that’s where it ends. A very well known story and so I’ll make my summary very brief and to the point before I give you more of my thoughts.
Ebenezer Scrooge is a miser, he keeps his money very close to his chest and really doesn’t like spending any of it. He treats his only living relative, his nephew Fred, as badly as he treats his clerk, Bob Cratchit. His business partner, Marley, had been dead seven years when he is visited by Marley’s ghost. The ghost warns him that if he does not change his ways he will be doomed, like him, to wander eternity in chains. Scrooge is to be visited by three ghosts who will each show him the error of his ways in an effort to make him mend them. Will the miserly Scrooge be swayed by what they show him? Well, the Spoiler Police (Classics Division) have deterred me from revealing the answer here, so I’ll end my summary on that cliff-hanger.
As I’ve already said, it’s a beautiful film to look at, with some excellent animation, although I did find the picture a tad dark at times (& I wasn’t even watching in 3D!). The music was every bit as expected the traditional Carols and classical tunes of the day, fitted the visuals perfectly. Many of the voices of the main characters, and the ghosts (except Marley) were performed by Jim Carrey, who I must say, did an excellent job. Other voices were supplied by; Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Cary Elwes, Robin Wright and Bob Hoskins, amongst others. All did an excellent job also.
I guess the clue is in the title… DISNEY’S A Christmas Carol… and it is very much a Disney film, although I did find the story a lot darker than I expected. My favourite adaptations of this story have always been comedies; films like ‘Scrooged’ and ‘A Muppet Christmas Carol’, both of which I have reviewed previously, are far superior (IMO). I guess this adaptation didn’t work so well for me because it did stick quite closely to the original novel (with a few twists), and as such it doesn’t quite work for a modern audience. It plays very much on Scrooge being in fear of his mortal soul and, for many, I think that is of very little, or no, consequence in modern society. It’s still very well made, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend it for the very young… some of the ghosts are pretty scary. Over all, sadly, not recommended.
My score: 5.8/10
IMDb Score: 6.9/10 (based on 22,962 votes at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 53/100 (based on 183 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
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Fred: A Merry Christmas to you, uncle!
Ebenezer Scrooge: Bah! Humbug... What reason have you to be merry? You're poor enough.
Fred: What reason have you to be so dismal? You're rich enough.
Ebenezer Scrooge: BAH! Humbug!
Tiny Tim: God bless us. Every one.
Official Site: http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/achristmascarol/?cmp=dcom_VAN_WDSHE_ACC_van_dcomcc__Extl