Review: 'Disney's A Christmas Carol'

( PG ) ( Monitor Movie Guide )

A 3-D animated take on Charles Dickens's classic story, with Jim Carrey voicing Scrooge – and the Ghosts.

Charles Dickens' character Scrooge played by Jim Carrey is shown with character Tiny Tim in the new 3D animated film "Disney's A Christmas Carol."

"Disney's A Christmas Carol" is, by my count, the 5,093rd movie adaptation of "A Christmas Carol" – or, as I prefer to call it, "Dickens's A Christmas Carol." Shot in 3-D, it's not in the Top 10, either, not even the top 5,000. Writer-director Robert Zemeckis has now made his third performance-capture animated film, on the heels of "The Polar Express" and "Beowulf," and it's about time he crawled out of the CGI playpen and got back with the adults. Jim Carrey plays Scrooge as well as the triumvirate of Ghosts, and Colin Firth, Gary Oldman, Bob Hoskins, and Robin Wright Penn also appear – sort of. At least their voices are recognizable. Their performances are not so much performance-captured as performance-frozen – more Madame Tussaud than Mr. Wizard. Zemeckis tries to juice things up by staging numerous chase scenes up and around London, but do we really need "A Christmas Carol: The Action Picture"? Grade: C-

Peter Rainer

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