Monday, November 16, 2009

A Christmas Carol - 3.75 out of 4 Stars

Who Would Love This Movie: Adults that enjoy the gritty original story of A Christmas Carol

Best Mood to Walk In With: Ready to be spooked

Don't See This Movie If: You prefer a feel good version of this story that is more commonly shown in media

Probably the most important thing to know about Disney's A Christmas Carol is that, despite the animation, this is not a movie for children. At times I was actually frightened, and the theme of death and sin is very strong in this film as it was in the original Charles Dickens novel. If you're looking for a kid friendly version, rent the Muppets Christmas Carol instead.

So once you get past the fact that this is not an overall feel good movie, the film is actually wonderfully executed. Although I did not see this film in 3-D, good friends have told me it was one of the few 3-D movies that actually utilize 3-D in creative and ongoing ways. However, I did not need to even ask them, because the animation was so vivid, it was easy to tell where the more dynamic 3-D effects could be placed to enhance already rich images. The creativity of the animation is quite outstanding, particularly with the way the ghosts are presented.

In addition to the wonderful presentation, Jim Carrey proves his relevancy in today's filmography by lending his voice to all the major characters. He does a really great job and it is creepy to see parts of his face represented in all the people he brings to life. Additionally, the underlying soundtrack of noises and music blend so perfectly with what you're watching that you're drawn deeper into the story than with most animated features.

Keep Your Eyes Closed For: The passing of the Ghost of Christmas Present...scary!
Keep Your Eyes Open For: The emotion-invoking animation of the horses drawing the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come's carriage (that emotion also being fear)

All in all, A Christmas Carol would win a 4 Star rating from me if it weren't for the fact that I walked in expecting a more feel good movie. It's time for studios to start marketing films as they really are, rather than how they think will sell the most tickets. Shame on production companies for not giving us realistic expectations, particularly when the reality is much better than what you advertised.

Movies Are Life. ~ K

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