Disney’s A Christmas Carol – Blu-ray Review

Jim Carrey delivers a handful of amusing performances in this latest holiday-themed film from director Robert Zemeckis. Zemeckis previously delivered the family-friendly Polar Express (2004) and the violent sword and sorcery epic Beowulf (2007) using the same motion-capture technology utilized here in A Christmas Carol.

As both writer and director, Zemeckis delivers a wide range of creative angles and variety to a well-known Christmas story that has been around for decades. The tale or redemption and one man’s transformation through encounters with a gaggle of ghosts is a timeless classic that gets a fresh perspective in this re-telling.

I liked it. Knowing the story and its characters from past incarnations made me curious how Robert Zemeckis and Jim Carrey would find a new take on the story. And the results are superb in terms of the acting, story, and animation. Granted the technology needed to create truly realistic human characters isn’t 100%, but the quality is pretty darn good.

I also think that it helps that the characters aren’t completely real looking. The fact that it is a CG film enables the actors and the animators to have some fun with expressions and sequences in the film that would either come across as special effects or look fake. Here everything blends together seamlessly, which helps deliver a truer sense of realism within the world of the film.

Dickens purists may scoff at this take on the timeless classic, and there are a few points with the story lags, but there are also plenty of exciting moments, a few moments that will make you jump, and the inevitable touching finale that may bring a tear to your eye.

With a great voice cast that includes Jim Carrey, Colin Firth, Gary Oldman, Cary Elwes, Robin Wright Penn, and Bob Hoskins, A Christmas Carol is a visual and auditory feast or the senses.

Bonus Features include: Capturing Dickens: A Novel Retelling; Countdown to Christmas Interactive Calendar; On the Set with Sammi (Hanratty): A Kid’s Eye View Of An “Anything-But-Average” Day; and Deleted Scenes.

On the Blu-ray you can also watch the movie two ways. You can watch it the regular way, or with “Behind the Carol: The Full Motion-Capture Experience. This second feature allows you to watch both the film and the motion-capture footage of the actors on a stage covered in motion-capture gear and dots. I recommend you watch the film the intended way first BEFORE you watch this version.

If you’re looking for a new Christmas movie to include in your holiday viewing, check out Disney’s A Christmas Carol. It’s definitely worth a look.

Disney’s A Christmas Carol is available on DVD, Blu-ray, and DVD/Blu-ray Combo, and (ready for this?) Blu-ray 3D/Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy Combo Packs November 16, 2010!

What’s your favorite Christmas movie? Leave a comment and let us know!

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