As a Thanksgiving Day treat I decided to take my teenage daughter and my godson (who is five) to see Disney’s A Christmas Carol in 3-D. I loved Jim Carrey as the Grinch and have been looking forward to seeing him play Dickens’ timeless character Ebenezer Scrooge. What I did not expect was how great the 3-D experience would be or how intense some of the scenes would be for younger audiences.
First, let me warn you that if you choose the 3-D experience (my theater has both the 3-D and the regular version of the movie), you may have to pay an additional fee. I was not prepared for this and almost pulled a Scrooge myself when the nice lady told me that the tickets would cost me $11 per person. I thought “wow those must be some expensive plastic glasses.” On top of that, they wanted us to “recycle” the glasses after the movie but we all took ours as a souvenir since I had certainly paid for them. I can assure you though that the added amount of admission was worth every penny. The 3-D effects are amazing in this movie and truly, everything you expect from Disney. It was just like being at Walt Disney World and going on one of their 3-D rides. The snowflakes seemed to fall right in front of your face and when the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come chases Scrooge through London, you really feel like you are in the movie.
Jim Carrey is wonderful as Scrooge as well as all of the three Ghosts of Christmas. Because the film is shot with the special animation technique used to make films like Polar Express, the special effects are spectacular. At times, the special effects take center stage and do detract from the great performances (although children will not notice this at all).
What did surprise me was how intense some of the scenes were for younger children. This is definitely not the typical fuzzy, feel good Christmas movie that you would imagine when you hear the name Disney attached to a movie. Gary Oldman as the deceased Jacob Marley is quite frightening at times – – from the scene in the casket with the coins on his eyes and his jaw tied together to his appearance as a ghost to Scrooge on Christmas Eve. In addition, Jim Carrey as that Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is frightening even though we do not see his face. I would recommend that if your children have never been exposed to PG television or movies and have never been allowed to play video games that are more intense than Dora the Explorer, you should see this movie first and then decide if they would enjoy it or be frightened.
My godson covered his eyes during portions of the movie but since his parents allow him to watch PG movies, he is accustomed to that type of onscreen animation. My teenage daughter loved the movie and wants to see it again. Overall, Disney’s A Christmas Carol is not what you might expect but was enjoyable all the same.