Reviewed by: Sheri McMurray
Money in the Bible
How can I spend my money more wisely? Answer
POVERTY—What does the Bible say about the poor? Answer
Poor in the Bible
Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer
What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer
Does God feel our pain? Answer
ORIGIN OF BAD—How did bad things come about? Answer
Did God make the world the way it is now? What kind of world would you create? Answer
A Christmas Carol (1951)
A Christmas Carol (1984)
Jim Carrey—Scrooge/Ghost of Christmas Past/Scrooge as a Young Boy/Scrooge as a Teenage Boy/Scrooge as a Young Man/Scrooge as a Middle-Aged Man/Ghost of Christmas Present/Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (voice)
Gary Oldman—Bob Cratchit/Marley/Tiny Tim
Cary Elwes—Portly Gentleman #1/Dick Wilkins/Mad Fiddler/Guest #2/Business Man #1 (voice)
Robin Wright Penn—Fan/Belle (voice)
Bob Hoskins, See all »
|Producer||ImageMovers, Walt Disney Pictures, Katherine C. Concepcion, Jack Rapke, Heather Smith, Steve Starkey, Peter M. Tobyansen, Robert Zemeckis|
|Distributor||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
Scrooge in 3D motion capture animation
We all know the story. After being visited by four ghosts on Christmas eve, a miserly, bitter man, in the person of Ebenezer Scrooge (the voice of Jim Carrey), has a secular conversion to a real vibrant faith and true giving to his fellow man.
Disney’s new “A Christmas Carol” is all we’d expect from the studio that also brought us “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” (1983) and “A Muppet Christmas Carol” (1992). Not only is this animated film a true Disney adventure, in 3D (first ever animated Disney film to be released in IMAX 3D), containing the stunning talents of Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Bob Hoskins and Robin Wright Penn, but it boldly tells this classic tale to today’s audience without restraint. In a world riddled with political correctness and religious fundamentalism, it simply states that Christmas is rooted in the basic beliefs that make men and women strong. What makes a Nation strong. Our strength will never depend on how much money we can horde, but what is in our hearts. It tells us we need our faith to survive, and that simple fact makes us powerful from within.
At a time when our nation seems to be teetering on the verge of socialism and self-indulgence, and as we watch unemployment rise because of the greed of big corporations, as we observe our Christian faith bashed to the point of censorship, it is a delight to watch this film courageously put across all of what the original story intended. It fashions it using today’s advanced animation technologies, while keeping with the original language Dickens’ used. It is apparent this film was a labor of love.
A Christmas Carol was originally written to a world where Charles Dickens saw the British government set changes in the welfare system known as the “Poor Laws,” changes which required among other things, welfare applicants to “work” on treadmills, and where there were no controls over age, and children were worked sometimes to death. Dickens asked, through his writing, for people to recognize the plight of those whom the Industrial Revolution had driven into poverty, and the obligation of his Government and society to provide for them humanely. Failure to do so, Dickens implied through the characters under the cloak of Christmas Present of ‘Ignorance’ and ‘Want’ as ghastly children, could only result in an unnamed “Doom” for those who, like Scrooge, believed their wealth and status qualified them to sit in judgment of the poor, rather than to assist them.
The story redefined the spirit and importance of Christmas and initiated a rebirth of seasonal merriment after Puritan authorities in 17th century England and America suppressed pre-Christian rituals associated with the holiday (which echoes, for me at least, what is happening in our own country today). The religious and social implications of “A Christmas Carol” and its depiction of Christmas traditions have played a significant role in reinventing Christmas with an emphasis on family, goodwill, and compassion. Lessons our modern governments and societies the world over need to re-learn.
Take your entire family and be prepared to wear the always needed 3D glasses. Very young children may not sit still long enough to reap the benefits of this film’s message, but they will most certainly be entertained by the wondrous ride through Scrooge’s night of mayhem. The rating of PG is accurate—for some very realistic looking ghosts and some very scary images. There were children sitting around me as young as three, and although I never heard them cry, there were some parents who had to sit and quietly reassure them it was just a “cartoon.”
There is no profanity or uncalled for language, as the dialogue is based squarely upon the poetic language of Dickens’ original novella.
As far as special effects, this is a beauty! There has been a most painstaking, very precise attention to every detail—from room decor to clothing and settings. The looks in the eyes, as well as facial expressions, of each character is amazing, and the close-ups are so detailed, you can see every hair in every pore on old Scrooge’s face. Snowflakes so realistic, I felt I could reach out and catch them on my palm. The scenes where Scrooge is being spirited away to different times and places in the past present and future are like being catapulted on one of the thrill rides at a Disney theme park! You will not be disappointed.
I must commend Disney studios for keeping right with the original intension and thrust of “A Christmas Carol,” not just in it’s political views of Dickens’ day, but the obvious religious implications. They did not shy away from an awe inspiring rendition of “Hark The Herald Angels Sing,” as the ghost of Christmas Present takes Scrooge to the very pinnacle of a church to hover over the cross of Jesus as he explains the beauty and depth of what the season really means. The lyrics pertaining to our Savior’s birth, and Lord Jesus as being our King are clearly in the forefront. The fact that the Cratchit family is religious is not watered down, and the expression that has become a staple in our modern folk sayings uttered by Tiny Tim, “God bless us, everyone,” was said with truth and vigor and not made fun of or tossed aside. It was the final breath of the film, and it was an awesome feeling to hear him utter it.
There are, of course, some who will say having ghosts in a Christmas tale is not very Christian, but one must also take into consideration the wondrous tales of Narnia by C.S. Lewis and like it note, this is a rich message for all ages about our struggles with faith and Christian values dressed in the robe of fantasy.
The soundtrack is full of beautiful Christmas standards and conducted with exquisite grace by Alan Silvestri. It definitely put me in the Christmas spirit, and the entire production is the perfect, most positive choice to start out our journey on the road to Christmas.
The tale of “A Christmas Carol” has been viewed as an indictment of the industrial revolution and capitalism in the early nineteenth century and has been credited with returning the holiday to one of merriment and festivity in Britain and America after a period of sobriety, somberness and repression. “A Christmas Carol” remains a popular staple for all ages, has never been out of print since it first appeared on book shelves on December 19th 1843, and has been adapted to film, opera, and other varied media. May God continue to bless it’s message of faith, hope and the worth of a Christian heart in the form of giving without reservation, not only during Christmas but every day of every year.
God doesn’t promise a life that takes us from rags to riches. Life will not always be worry free or painless. What He does promise is that He will provide our needs without fail. Perhaps it is a good time for us to sit down with The Lord in a quiet place and ponder what Paul has to say in Romans 8:32.
“He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?”
Violence: Minor / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.