My husband really appreciates the talent of Jim Carrey, so when I discovered Jim had starred as Ebenezer Scrooge in a 2009 animated version of A Christmas Carol I rented it. The stylization of the animation reminded me of The Polar Express, a film that came out in 2004. They clearly used the same computer process to create their films. This is not a cutesy version of the classic Victorian era Christmas ghost story. It is rated PG for scary sequences and images.
The tale is one that should be familiar to all of you as it is based on the classic tale A Christmas Carol written by Charles Dickens. The miser Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his deceased business partner, Jacob Marley, who foretells that he will be visited by three otherworldly spirits throughout the night. Because this is animation, the ghosts and the experiences they take Scrooge on are magical, delightful to watch, and sometimes downright scary.
Jim Carrey provided the voice of Scrooge at all the ages he is depicted (young boy, teenage boy, young man, middle aged man), and all three ghosts (Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present, and Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come). It may not be the best film version of A Christmas Carol, but it was entertaining and will appeal to a younger audience that is used to animated features. Not too young though, as some of these situations the ghosts take Scrooge on are really very frightening.
Colin Firth is the voice for Fred, Scrooge’s very kind and forgiving nephew, and Gary Oldman provides the voices for Bob Cratchit, Marley and Tiny Tim. Robin Wright is Belle. All the actors’ voices fit the characters well.
Written and directed by Robert Zemeckis, whose credits include Back to the Future among others, you can be sure if you watch this version of the classic tale of hope and redemption that it will be a wild ride.
Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost-Story of Christmas in 1843, and the story of how this classic was created was the subject of a beautifully written and directed film from 2017, The Man Who Invented Christmas. I wrote a review of it last year (my review of The Man Who Invented Christmas). I enjoyed how it got into Charles Dickens psyche as the characters and action are brought to life. I think the reason this particular story is still so popular today and has had so many versions of it filmed is because we need to believe that even a lifelong stingy and hateful person can have an awakening and work for the good of all society. Dickens certainly had that hope and wrote about that theme often.
Which is your favorite film version of A Christmas Carol? Have you seen it performed in live theater? What are your favorite holiday movies? I hope you enjoy your favorites again this year.