A Caroling We Will Go…

I fell asleep sitting on the kid’s bed, so I didn’t squeeze this in last night.  But since the sun hasn’t come up, I’m gonna count this as still in time for NaBloPoMo.

A Christmas CarolSo I went to see the new Disney A Christmas Carol today.  I wasn’t expecting much.  In fact, I was expecting it to suck.  My expectations were wrong.

I should say that I adore this story, and have read the original multiple times.  I’ve seen it performed a couple dozen times by various groups, including once as the director of the 2006 Fantasy production.  I’ve seen multiple adaptation and story changes, and frankly I prefer the original.

I was afraid that this version would be more flash than substance, a chance to show off the CGI effects.  Add to it that we saw it in “3-D” and I was really expecting nothing but silly effects and something barely recognizable as the story I love.  And as I said, I would be wrong.

The opening title sequence was a bit flashy, but nothing outrageous.  A nice use of CGI that would look good in 3D or not.  Then the story opened and it was solid Dickens.  It was dark, it was visually appealing and it was well done.  The Ghost of Christmas Past looked a bit odd, but considering Dickens description, probably pretty accurate to his original vision.  And the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come was downright creepy.

There was a pointless CGI inspired chase scene, I suppose because A Christmas Carol isn’t exactly action packed, so they threw one in.  As an adult, it was actually a distraction.  But the kids all around me seemed to enjoy it.  I’ve mostly forgiven them that piece of nonsense.

bob hoskinsAs for the actors themselves?  Solid performances from some of the best and mos respected names in the industry.  A stand out for me was Bob Hoskins, no stranger to Disney or animation.  Hoskins played my favorite A Christmas Carol character, that of the always happy Fezziwig.

Another stand out was Gary Oldman, who was recently praised on Sarah Lena’s blog.  I couldn’t help but think of her post while watching Oldman, because she is just absolutely right and Oldman is just an amazing actor, no matter what he is in. This time he played Bob Cratchit, the target of Scrooge’s unfeeling quest for money.

But I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Jim Carrey, who played about half the characters; Scrooge, Past, Present, Yet To Come…  all played by Carrey.  And not in typical Carrey over the top style.  Carrey was perfect in each role, not going overboard or pulling out his usual antics.  If it sounds like I’m not usually a fan of Carrey, you’d be right.  I’m not.  But this time… well, for whatever reason, it works.  And I liked it.  Quite a lot.

I had a few quibbles here and there, they left out some things I think are important but most people will never notice.  Overall, a top notch movie and one I’ve enjoyed more than most.