Disney’s A Christmas Carol
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: +2

Main actors: James Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Robin Wright Penn. Director/Screenwriter: Robert Zemeckis. Based on novel by Charles Dickens.

PREVIEW SYNOPSIS: This classic Christmas story set in Victorian times has become a traditional holiday event. It’s Christmas Eve and Ebeneezer Scrooge (James Carrey) grudgingly gives his bookkeeper Bob Cratchit (Gary Oldman) Christmas Day off to be with his family. Back in his creepy mansion, Scrooge is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Be, all voiced by Carrey. As the long night progresses, Scrooge travels back to when he was a boy, a teenager and a young man (all played by Carrey). Then he is abruptly brought back to the present where the ghost lets him see what others think of him. Even more dismal is the future filled with starving children scrounging like wild animals for food and Scrooge’s death. Christmas Day dawns, and Scrooge has been transformed into a caring boss, loving uncle and generous employer.

PREVIEW SYNOPSIS: The special effects, time travel, and lack of any depth in the characters make this strictly a Disney production with very little Charles Dickens. Children, no doubt, will find the ghosts and special effects fun. Jim Carrey is hardly recognizable as the miserly Scrooge. His beady eyes, hooked nose and scrawny, stooped body could easily be a witch by adding a pointed black hat and a broom. In fact, this Hollywood production, filmed in 3-D, is more of a Halloween ghost story. Tiny Tim is barely mentioned, and the few scenes and dialogue about the meaning of love and friendship clearly will not register with young audiences. However, they may recognize the carols sung by carolers and somehow connect it with Christmas.

A Christmas Carol has no crude or foul language, but sensitive youngsters may be frightened by the menacing appearance and scary actions of the ghosts.

There have been several productions of this Dickens’ classic, both on screen and on TV. In 1984 George C. Scott played Scrooge in a televised version of A Christmas Carol. That might be a better choice.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures

Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Some scary scenes – images of monster ghosts, haunted mansion
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: None
Running Time: 96 minutes
Intended Audience: Families

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