A Christmas Carol

Viewed – 29 December 2010  Blu-ray

I have always had a love of Charles Dickens’ timeless story, of fabled misery guts Ebenezer Scrooge getting a severe wake up call on Christmas Eve by the visit of three spirits.  So naturally I jumped at this big budget, animated adaptation, starring Jim Carey and directed by Robert Zemeckis.

Now, for the most part seems very authentic telling of the age old tale, with perfect period detail of ye-old-England and a brilliant performance by Carey.  This is no modernisation of the tale as per Bill Murray classic Scrooged.  Yet with Zemeckis’ motion capture technology, its not entirely an animated version either, with the characters dwelling in that uneasy area between photo realistic and cartoon – which takes some getting used to.  Not helped by Zemeckis’ reliance on over-the-top acrobatics and not possible by a real human slapstick.  It’s distracting.  Also the Scrooge I grew up watching and reading about, feels toned down and glossed over – his idea of mean being a reluctance to give to Charity or acknowledge Christmas at all.  Bar Humbug indeed!  Which sadly makes his visitation by said spirits a bit undeserved and meaningless!

Thankfully the voice casting, and set-pieces like the flying through the town, or different spectral creep outs, all impress and overall it’s a good-looking movie – but like everything else, it felt like something was missing, and even its art style felt too tidy and oil painting-like.

Overall, entertaining and great if you’re a fan of the story as I am, but I do think this could have been much better as either a straight live action movie or a traditionally animated one.

Verdict:  3 /5

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