This Christmas Jim Carrey gets animated
From early November until late December, people everywhere are bombarded by countless holiday songs, TV specials and movies. Even though each season presents original programming nothing can replace the classics like Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”
Since its publication in 1843, this tale has been portrayed and adapted countless times in theater, television and film. Last week Disney released another version of “A Christmas Carol,” which earned a respectable $31 million at the box office in its opening weekend.
It will not surprise most to learn that this movie is actually doing well in theaters across the country. A large contributor to that would be Jim Carrey’s performance as the main character of Ebenezer Scrooge. Known for his outlandish body humor and wild personas like Ace Ventura, Carrey would certainly seem to be the sore thumb in comparison to the many distinguished actors who have played the part of Dickens’ Christmas miser.
The concept of an enduring character like Scrooge being ruined with corny jokes and celebrity impressions would certainly be enough to turn Dickens fans away. It was precisely this type of behavior that deterred Dr. Seuss admirers from 2000’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” also starring Carrey. It is fortunate that occasionally Carrey stars in a serious film and “A Christmas Carol” just happens to be one of them.
In regard to portraying a well known character such as Scrooge, Carrey manages to add his own subtle nuances while maintaining the original image and tone of Dickens’ tale.
The same could be said for the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come, which are also played by Carrey. To each role he contributes a familiar aspect that we have seen in his earlier movies such as a child-like sense of wonder, a hearty laugh and a somewhat frightening demeanor.
In addition to Carrey, the film stars Gary Oldman, Colin Firth and Bob Hoskins.
This recent adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” is the third version released by Disney Unlike the two former films, which employed the use of characters like Scrooge McDuck and the Muppets, this movie has shown great strides in technology through the application of performance capture and 3-D.
Director Robert Zemeckis has used this technique before in the films “The Polar Express” and “Beowulf.” For audiences it is like seeing a cartoon, but with the depth and detail of a live performance. It seems that Disney has outdone themselves yet again.
Although this is a Christmas movie, keep in mind that it sticks very close to Dickens’ work. By adhering to the original words and events of the story, Disney had produced one of the most new and entertaining versions of this timeless classic.
Chris Spall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.