I have actually watched this 2009 computer animated motion-capture adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol last December, but unfortunately I haven’t got chance to review it. So, I replayed my DVD last weekend, and after having lightly browsed the story from my ebook reader to refresh my memory, here’s what I thought about the movie….
What I love most from it, is the setting. The 19th century London is vividly portrayed in the film, as if we are taken into a stroll on the streets, sensing the Christmas spirits around in the cold snowy days as well as nights. I might say that Robert Zemeckis has carefully put small details of what we might have seen from that century every where in this film, including the costumes. And apart from the motion-capture, the setting itself is very vividly captured!
The main characters are also portrayed perfectly (I guess this is the advantage of making animated film, you can create the characters as similar as possible with the book). Ebenezer Scrooge is “scrooge” enough for making others feel the rush of cold sweeping whenever he’s passing by. Fred the nephew is enthusiastic and gay enough to annoy his uncle. Bob Cratchit is melancholy enough to be the poor staff with a big heart for his family. And of course, Tiny Tim is “saint” enough to be the angelic child (seems that Dickens could never resist the temptation to create such angelic child in his tales…).
Now let us talk about the ghost and Scrooge’s encounter with the three of them: of Christmas Past, of Christmas Present, and a Christmas Yet To Come. The Christmas Past ghost might be my favorite, because it does not look like a ghost at all :). The Christmas Present is cheerful enough with his red and green costumes, but I don’t quite like his too-often-laughs which I don’t think appear in the book. And his departure is rather weird, I think…. As for the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come, the dark hooded shadow gives a chill reflection all right, but unfortunately Zemeckis was trapped in the typical Hollywood to create a black carriage to chase Scrooge and to make Scrooge shrink to a mouse size. As if every movie must have a suspense effect to catch audiences…. *sigh*
All in all, this is one of the most satisfying classics movie adaptations I have ever watched so far. Two thumbs up and 8.5 to 10 is my generous rating for it. Although it’s still far from Christmas, I can’t resist to borrow Tiny Tim’s greeting to end this review—just as he ended the book—God bless us, everyone!
I watched this for Books Into Movies Monthly Meme #2