x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

A Christmas Carol

Disney's new version of A Christmas Carol is visually stunning but it's the classic old tale and more of an opportunity to show off the CGI technology

A Christmas Carol

Director: Robert Zemeckis

Starring: Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Bob Hoskins

We all know the story by now, whether we have read the Dickens novel or not. This is the latest in a long line of versions of the classic tale to have been produced, and was shown in cinemas in 3D. Filmed entirely in CGI, Zemeckis's true-to-form retelling of A Christmas Carol is a sumptuous affair for the eyes, if not entirely the mind. The addition of motion capture, a technique adopted by Zemeckis in both The Polar Express and Beowulf, has created a visual masterpiece, the facial expressions and tics of each character a joy to behold. Just as entertaining is Jim Carrey, who lends his vocal talents to the character of Ebenezer Scrooge, as well as the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. The Ghost of Christmas Past, in particular, is an odd yet highly amusing character, and definitely the best of the three ethereal beings who visit Scrooge. Oldman, Firth and Hoskins are adequate enough in their respective roles, but it is Carrey who keeps the film from becoming too droll. Unlike past versions of the movie to be released by Disney, this is a much darker, more adult, affair. Nevertheless, this is not a bad version of the story, not by any means, but it's not a patch on the wonderful The Muppet Christmas Carol - the last version to be produced, again by Disney, in 1992. If anything, A Christmas Carol would appear to be more of a showcase for the future of CGI than a chance for Disney to add more to the much-loved story of greed and redemption.