Robert Zemeckis, the man behind Back to the Future, Forest Gump, and more recently Cast Away is slowly becoming known for his animated films. Not normal animated films, though. You know the kind (Beowoulf, The Polar Express). While the first time I saw the style, it was a combination of creepy, dead eyes and disturbingly realistic characters, I might be getting used to it. Consider this the new stopmotion, since it’s slowly becoming a Christmas staple thanks to Zemeckis.
You all know the classic Charles Dicken’s tale by now about Victorian era miser, Ebeneezer Scrooge. One Christmas eve, Scrooge is visited by 3 spirits, the ghost of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Along the way, we get to see how Ebeneezer turned into Scrooge, and how he affects those around him. Basically a character study of a horrible person.
Don’t let the style and director fool you. A Christmas Carol is no Polar Express. I don’t mean that in a bad way, just that they are not much alike. For one, I wouldn’t let any younger children watch A Carol, due to its sometimes hard to follow dialogue and enough nightmare fuel for a youngster to last until puberty. But can I get back to the good stuff? For one, Jim Carey has found the perfect use to his outlandish facial abilities, and put on an excellent performance of one of the most well known characters ever, Ebeneezer Scrooge. Alongside Carey are the talented Colin Firth, Gary Oldman, and Cary Elwes. Apparently someone’s Christmas wish list of a cast was granted. Yes, it follows the book very closely which leads to some “huh?” moments, but the biggest thing I was surprised with was how moving it was. I’ve known the story forever, and to get me to care about Scrooge all over again was quite the accomplishment.