I went to see this on a cold and misty Saturday night, and it proved to fit the film’s atmosphere to a tee. Director Robert Zemeckis presents the audience with 19th century London in all its wintry glory. The streets are iced, the rooftops draped in snow as the nearby factories billow out their smoke. A great many such shots can be seen in this Disney spin on A Christmas Carol.
The Magical Kingdom takes many a liberty and displays quite a lot of poetic license with Charles Dickens’s classic, and this viewer could not have been happier about it. After the great first impression given by the film’s wonderful CGI (and believe me, its top quality), I feared I would be forced to sit through an hour and a half of the same old tale, told word for word and motion for motion.
Don’t get me wrong. The original story is an absolute masterpiece. But after the fiftieth uninspired and unadventurous rendition of it, one’s interest may start to wane. We all know the House of Mouse won’t stand for that, and so the audience is treated to flight at breakneck speed, colossal clocks, see-through floors, and one very angry pair of spectral steeds. And that’s just skimming the surface.
Jim Carrey does a great job as the legendary curmudgeon of a protagonist and actually provides the voices for numerous characters throughout the film. Gary Oldman gives an endearing quality to Bob Cratchet, among other characters, and Bob Hoskins is absolutely fantastic as the amicable Fezzywig. I’ve got to admit, though, that Hoskins had me hooked ever since he knocked his role of Shmee out of the park in 1991’s Hook (another film that was based off a fantastical children’s classic and was in no way afraid to be adventurous).
There are a few minor hiccups concerning the lack of human touch that comes with CGI characters. But overall, I would definitely recommend a viewing of Disney’s A Christmas Carol.