A Christmas Carol (2009)

Cinemaster Score: 8/10

Overall Review

A Christmas Carol is a perfect retelling of the classic story, as it faithfully preserves its story, characters, and moments with cutting edge animation and direction. The voice work of all the actors is top-notch, and the standout is Jim Carrey as he puts his own unique twist on Scrooge’s character. With a script that mirrors the original, but is still willing to take some creative risks, this movie is immersive, and never boring. The director once again makes new improvements in animation technology and crafts an enthralling story to go along with it. As a fan of both the movies and the book, I cannot recommend this movie enough, especially to spread cheer for Christmas.

The Breakdown
Acting; The acting of A Christmas Carol is one of the highlights of the movie, and is wonderfully represented in the animation style. Jim Carrey is a standout considering he voice acts 3 different major characters. Everyone brings their A-game and each character feels real thanks to the motion capture animation. Whenever someone cries, laughs, or is angry, you feel it, and you become emotionally invested in their actions. This is some of the best voice acting in a movie I’ve ever seen.

Script; The script of A Christmas Carol is perfect. Everything said is either straight from the book that it has adapted or seems like it could’ve been an extended piece of it. While only a few lines are very memorable, the script remains great in the end. It keeps the audience from having to compare the film so much to its original story by Charles Dickens. The script is sprinkled with a few emphasized one-liners that remind you how similar it is to the book. All-in-all the script makes A Christmas Carol much better than adaptations before it

Characters; The characters in A Christmas Carol bring the story to life. Each character – both major and minor – looks as you’d imagine they should. Jim Carrey’s Ebenezer Scrooge is exactly as he should be, beginning with the pure bitterness from Christmas but coming through with the remorse that A Christmas Carol is known for. The spirits in the film also bring the book to life in the best way. All the characters are so alive and  feel real with the story and the lives they live. Not every character has a perfect fantastical life, but they still bring joy to the film and help the development of Scrooge who is his own antagonist in a movie that shows the true Christmas spirit and how important it is to value family, friends, and kindness.

Direction; Robert Zemeckis is famous for his innovations in visual effects, dating all the way back to Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Polar Express. He uses updated animation technology to better convey the characters emotions, and allows Carrey to put his own spin on Scrooge. Zemeckis chose not to stray too far from the book, but add some new interesting visuals to accompany the classic story. He again has made great strides in animation technology and continues to show the world that true emotion can be shown through a cartoon.

Story; A Christmas Carol’s story is the story we all know as it’s just as retelling of the original book. It moves briskly at an entertaining pace that makes it easy to follow. Fans of the original will be satisfied with this movie as will those looking for something new thanks to the animation. Zemeckis was smart in keeping true to the book.

Enjoyment; A Christmas Carol is enjoyable through and through. It is an overall feel good movie. It makes you think of what you value in life and reflect on how you treat others. A Christmas Carol is great for lovers of the book because of how well it follows the story and even if you haven’t read the original story, this film puts it all on the table to watch and learn from. In the end the audience has a greater sense of the Christmas spirit. Dickens’ classic tale brought to life in the beautiful form of animation brought from Robert Zemeckis is emotionally inspiring, unforgettable, and enjoyable for all.

Personal Review

David: “I watched this film long before reading the book by Dickens, but it ruined none of it. The movie has been directed so well by Zemeckis that you can love the original story and adds just enough to set itself apart from the book but is similar enough so that it doesn’t fail where other adaptations have. Reading the book proves how great the film is and there wasn’t any disappointment, I enjoy everything about this version of A Christmas Carol.”

JP: “I can’t remember the last time I was as  impressed with animation as I was with this movie. Every action, every frame, is carefully crafted to perfectly interpret the book to screen. This is also one of my favorite Jim Carrey performances. Watch this movie, you won’t regret it.”


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