Disney’s A Christmas Carol (2009)

disneys a christmas carol poster 2009 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Interesting translation of the story

Too intense for younger kids, some animation is so-so

Movie Info

Movie Name: Disney’s A Christmas Carol

Studio: Walt Disney Pictures/Image Movers

Genre(s): Animated/Family/Seasonal

Release Date(s): November 3, 2009 (Premiere)/November 4, 2009 (UK)/November 6, 2009 (US)

MPAA Rating: PG

disneys a christmas carol jacob marley ghost screaming

Putting the “scary ghost stories” back in The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey) is a miserable, angry man and hates everyone and especially Christmas.  Now at the request of his former (and deceased) partner Jacob Marley, Scrooge is getting a second chance.  The Christmas Spirit has come to Scrooge this Christmas Eve and through the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, Scrooge is going to be forced to relive his past and see the effects his actions have…Scrooge is going to be taken on the adventure of a lifetime, and it could just save his life.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis, Disney’s A Christmas Carol is a computer animated family Christmas action-supernatural adventure.  The film is an adaptation of the classic 1843 Charles Dickens short novel A Christmas Carol.  The film was shot in IMAX 3-D and received mostly positive reviews with a strong showing at the box office.

disneys a christmas carol ghost of christmas past ebenezer scrooge jim carrey

Hey torch-head…you’re freakin’ me out

A Christmas Carol has been done to death.  There are rarely new additions to the tale and simply reworkings of the story which often end up an amalgam of version of story that were adapted over the years.  While this is largely true of Disney’s A Christmas Carol, the film is surprisingly rather unique and like it or not is a rather different take on the old holiday tale.

This possibly is the scariest version of A Christmas Carol.  The movie remembers that it is a ghost story and is seeped in horror.  From the beginning with Scrooge snatching the coins from Marley’s eyes, to Marley’s scary arrival (and flopping jaw), the ethereal Ghost of Christmas Past, and the ominous Ghost of Christmas Present with his feral Ignorance and Want, the movie is very intense…especially since it is aimed at children and from Disney.  Even the ghosts outside of Scrooge’s home begging for salvation were frightening and the transformation of the Ghost of Christmas Present into Christmas Yet to Come as his flesh rots off with the “death” of Christmas Day is pretty intense.

disneys a christmas carol ghost of christmas present dies

Ghost of Christmas Present…you’ve looked better

Jim Carrey does all the voices in this film, but it isn’t really a “Jim Carrey” movie (which is good).  There is very little room for him to get crazy, and it mostly goes as a show off of talent since it is animation.  There is also other nice voice acting by Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, and Bob Hoskins.

The movie is quite faithful to the story minus the shrinking Scrooge and the pursue by the hearse carriage.  That scene feels pretty unnecessary Disney “fun” but the rest of the film feels quite authentic.  There is a lot of “this is for 3D” shots that kind of can be distracting for the storytelling, but the movie for the most part does a nice job presenting Charles Dickens’ story which some interesting modifications including that transformation of the Ghost of Christmas Present and Yet to Come being one-and-the-same ghost…and the clear floor approach of the Ghost of Christmas Present to look in on the locations he’s taking Scrooge.

disneys a christmas carol ghost of christmas yet to come grave

Can Scrooge escape his fate?

I’m not always a big fan of computer animation, but this film does a decent job yet it still is not quite there.  The art does leave the movie with a kind of cold feel (and I am not quite sure why half the humans look like hobbits)…more life could have been had by actors, but if it had been live-action, it also would have lost some of the interesting visuals that makes this version a bit different than other versions.  I can’t really recommend this movie for young children since it really pushes the ghost story portion of the movie, but fans of the tale should check it out…before the next ten versions come out (and they most certainly will).

Related Links:

A Christmas Carol (1938)

A Christmas Carol (Scrooge) (1951)

Mister Magoo’s Christmas Carol (1962)

Scrooge (1970)

An American Christmas Carol (1979)

Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)

A Christmas Carol (1984)

Scrooged (1988)

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

A Flintstones Christmas Carol (1994)

A Christmas Carol (1999)

Christmas Carol—The Movie (2001)

A Christmas Carol:  The Musical (2004)

Bah, Humduck! A Looney Tunes Christmas (2006)

Batman:  Noel

Zombies Christmas Carol

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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