Movie Review: Disney's 'A Christmas Carol'

If you’re struggling to transition from Halloween to holidays, Disney’s A Christmas Carol can get you there in 90 minutes flat. It’s a remarkably faithful adaptation of the Dickens story, with most lines taken directly from the Dickens. As the movie opens, Jim Carrey’s magnificently malevolent Ebenezer Scrooge, a skinny amalgamation of himself and the boniest, pointiest old man CGI could create, frightens dogs and children as he walks the streets of Victorian England. That’s frightening enough—and then the ghastly and gory ghosts take over, moving this PG film to the very edge of horror. Doorknockers bite, jaws crumble, floors disappear, and the very horses of death chase Scrooge—but elements of broad humor appear just as even the bigger kids in the audience begin to cringe.

The special effects and images are truly astonishing. But I saw the film in what I suspect was sub-par 3-D, so I spent far too much time trying to figure out what was blurry and dark intentionally, and what was the fault of the projection or my own personal depth-perception problems. My young companions, once they recovered from having what they’d taken to be a Christmas movie turn into a ghost story (Dickens not having yet been a part of their classical educations), loved every minute that they could bear to watch. If a Thanksgiving movie is a part of your holiday tradition, this is the one I’d choose—but leave the faint of heart at home.

KJ Dell'Antonia

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