Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Disney's A Christmas Carol

"What do you mean, it's not for children?" my friend asked me in disbelief. I was talking about A Christmas Carol, and it was my belief that if the thing was going to be done right, it was too scary, maybe even too boring, for children.

I watched the movie, decked out in my 3D glasses, today, and noted that there were quite a few children in the room. They were quiet during the scary times, at least at first, and then the questions came, like, "What's going on?" And then they'd go back to their gameboys or talking with each other. They were mainly bored.

But I wasn't, not at all. First, let me say that the 3D effect is absolutely the best I've seen up to this point. The opening scenes are a wonder, as Scrooge walks down a snow-filled street in 19th century London. I could see quite clearly through the window as he talked with Bob Cratchit, and realized that it was as if I was there, seeing things as they were. And that's what we really want from 3D, not some device where we'll duck from a spear thrown our way.

This Zemeckis version of the old Dickens tale is closer to the literature than any other you've seen, and because of that, it's newer, scarier, much more meaningful. The film takes the time to fill out details, pause a moment while Jim Carrey-as-Scrooge puckers up his nose and issues a 'bah, humbug!'

The characters are ones we recognize, but even so, we recognize them as actors we know. Gary Oldman is in Bob Cratchit's face, all right. Colin Firth is Fred, Scrooge's long-suffering nephew. And Bob Hoskins is Fezziweg, Scrooge's boss from Christmas past.

It's a story that has lived through the ages, even moreso than Dickens' other memorable projects. Redemption is powerful stuff. And this is a powerful movie, done right. Isn't it wonderful that all the money and special effects were poured into this project to bring out the original message in a powerful way?

As I was leaving the movie theatre, after having watched the credits, I noticed one little girl dancing around and around to the music. Well, at least one child got it.

Thumb's up.


Post a Comment

<< Home