Age Appropriateness of the Language in Christmas Carol the Movie:
As far as bad language goes, there is one scene in particular where the word for donkey is used in a joking context. This was the only bad word throughout the film. Determining if this type of language use is OK will depend on how old your children are and how well they understand that bad language is inappropriate. The joking context that the word was put into may suggest to some children that it is acceptable, or funny to use that word. Regarding the other language throughout the movie there are multiples uses of sarcasm. Much of the sarcasm and dry humor went right over the heads of the younger children in the theater. For the most part, the language was geared towards older children and adults. The level of language being used was much higher than in your typical film. The reason that Disney choose to use language like this was to mimic the original Christmas carol movies and stay truer to the original text in the book. Speaking from an adult perspective, I was very glad that the level of language was not lowered. In general, the language, like most of the movie, was geared towards adults and older children (approx 9 and up). The younger children in the audience seemed to get lost during some scenes with a lot of dialogue (there were also a lot of bathroom trips during these times).
Visual Elements of the Christmas Carol Movie:
If you have seen any classic Christmas Carol you may recall the children under the ghost of Christmas present’s robe. This was by far the most questionable scene in Disney’s version of the Christmas Carol movie. During this scene I found myself squirming, it was visually stunning, yet mildly disturbing. For a moment I began to wonder if Tim Burton played a hand in directing the scene. It was amazing (in an odd sort of way) but entirely not kid friendly. I could not imagine letting my child see this part of the movie until well after, at least the age of 8, bare minimum. Originally, I questioned how appropriate the representation of the ghost of things to come would be for children. It turned out that the ghost of things to come was more kid friendly than his predecessor. I would warn parents however that there are the demon horses of shorts that pop out of the screen, this could easily frighten a young child. Overall, the movie was visually stunning, by far the best computer animation I have seen, the detail was stunning right down to the little hairs visible on Ebenezer’s nose. As with the language, the graphics leave me suggesting that parents with children under the age of 8 (as a minimum) stay away from the theater.
Review of the 3-D in Christmas Carol The Movie:
As with all 3D movies the Christmas Carol movie should not be viewed in 3d by children under the age of 4. Caution should always be taken when allowing young to watch 3 D movies. Young children can often have a hard time discerning what is real and what is not. The 3D effects in the Christams Carol movie are superb. While most of the 3D appears to drop backwards into the screen rather than popping out there are still a few scenes in which things pop out, this could potentially scare a little child. Also, I have heard from numerous parents that their younger children experienced dizziness and/or motion sickness. Throughout the movie there are scenes where Scrooge is flying, this is amazing in 3D and very realistic. For younger kids, this may be just a little too realistic and is likely the cause of their diziness. Younger kids would probably enjoy the non 3D version just as much as the 3D. Don’t risk taking your little ones to the 3D only to have them irritated by the glasses and scared by the effects.
What to do if your kids “Have to see” Christmas Carol the Movie
Are you sitting there thinking my kids just have to see this movie, or maybe you want to take your older kids and aren’t sure how to not take the younger ones here are some suggestions:
– Make sure that you are ready to discuss the use of the word for donkey after leaving the theater
– Be ready with some sort of quiet activity in case the languages causes your child to loose interest
– Leave the theater when the ghost of Christmas present states that this is his last night on earth (this is moments before he reveals the two children)
– While you are taking a bathroom trip remind your child that there are going to be some horses on screen. Reassure them that they are just fake.
– Once returning to the theater, monitor your child closely during this scene ( a child in our theater screamed). If your child is young enough you could try putting them on your lap to make them feel more secure.
– If your kids have to see the Christmas Carol movie, do they have to see it in theaters? Waiting until this movie comes out on DVD would offer you the opportunity to pre screen it and fast forward past any questionable scenes.