Christmas Carol - The Movie
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Capture the spirit of Christmas with this delightful animated classic! Based on one of the most beloved holiday tales of all time and featuring the voices of some of today's brightest stars, this enchanting, heartwarming film is a very merry treat the whole family can enjoy! "Bah humbug,"says Ebenezer Scrooge, the grumpy miser who would rather count his money than celebrate Christmas. But as Yuletide cheer spreads through all of London and two friendly mice try to change Scrooge's ill-tempered ways, Scrooge receives three unexpected visitorsthe Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Futurewho take him on a wild and wonderful journey and help him discover the true meaning of Christmas.
This animated adaptation of Charles Dickens's Christmas classic retains the essence of the timeless tale while introducing some fresh interpretations. A celebrity cast provides voices for the roles of Scrooge (Simon Callow), Marley (Nicolas Cage), and Belle (Kate Winslet), yet the beauty of the film flows from its artistic usage of CG technology, such as the "painted" scenery of Scrooge's thoughts during his journey through Christmases Past, Present, and Future. The script honors the original story while proving that it is indeed possible to be moved to tears by a group of animated characters. Dickens purists may argue that few movie versions of A Christmas Carol can compete with Alastair Sim's 1951 rendition, or George C. Scott's 1984 remake, yet this film does not need to supplant, but rather complement, such predecessors. It is an especially good choice for young viewers who may find the black-and-white version too scary. (Ages 5 and older) --Lynn Gibson
- "Making Christmas Carol - The Movie" featurette
- "What If?" music video with Kate Winslet
- Original theatrical opening and ending
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So, you ask, why 2 stars? OK, listen up, please. The story is a famous one, so you don't need my summery. And Scrooge is anyway going to be a good guy. But the process is the point, or the life of the story, and the film misses it very wide.
In fact, Scrooge (Simon Callow) in the first act is totally a bad guy here, feeding a mice, giving a chunk of cheese. After showing another side of him, the film is very slow in establishing his character, which should be more simple. To make it worse, Scrooge. out of the window, throws a jug of cold water (and it's winter) upon the chorus group on the street singing, among which you see the face of Tiny Tim, poor boy, drenched to the skin. And ... sorry if I'm wrong, but -- Did Dickens write that way?
There are many, many, unnecessary addtions and changes, which I do not introduce here. The real problem is, however, the animation itself. Jimmy T. Murakami is best known for 'When the Wind Blows' a quiet but very unnerving animated film about two elderly man and wife, who too innocently follows the government guidance to make a handmade shelter for the coming nuclear war. His 2-D animatiton worked at that time, but after about 14 years, it is no longer possible to grab our attention with that technique without good storyteling, character, or original designs. This 'Christmas Carol' has none of them, just making itself look like a Cliff Note of animation.
Sorry if I sound harsh, but as to this eternal classc, there are better choices out there, Alastair Simm or the Muppets (with Michael Caine, and the film is good), so why not them? The only good thing I could find about this version is Kate Winslet's wonderful yuletide song, which deserves more attention.
[VHS VERSION] lacks the opening and ending live-action sections in which Simon Callow plays Charles Dickens himself, touring in Boston, America, in 1867 (Dickens's celebrated reading performance in mind). If you want to see everything of this film, DVD is a better choice.