The Munchkins and I saw the most exquisitely beautiful movie this afternoon, and I really wasn't expecting it to be so wonderful. The latest adaptation of Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol" is brilliantly done in performance capture animation, and 3-dimension. The art work in the movie is on an entirely different level than I have ever seen in an animated film before. It will take your breath away. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the movie four stars, calling it "an exhilarating visual experience", and I agree with him. It is the perfect magical event for children to experience the wonderful story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his tale of miserly stinginess and ultimate redemption. The cast is superb, with Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Bob Hoskins, Robin Wright Penn and Cary Elwes playing a multitude of roles. Try to guess who they are.
My favorite movie version of "A Christmas Carol" has always been the classic version with Alastair Sim. Somehow it just didn't feel like Christmas without watching "A Christmas Carol" at some point during the season. But this new release is definitely the best version since then.
"A Christmas Carol" was first published on December 19, 1843. Dickens wrote the book because he was concerned about how the spirit of Christmas was being lost, and he was disturbed about the appalling circumstances in which the poor were living. Very young children were forced into dreadful working conditions due to the poverty of their families. "Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?" Dickens had experienced this himself as a 12 year-old boy.
The book was met with critical acclaim when it was first published, with one critic saying, "If Christmas, with its ancient and hospitable customs, its social and charitable observances, were ever in danger of decay, this is the book that would give them a new lease. The very name of the author predisposes one to the kindlier feelings..."
This movie is also true to Dickens prose:
Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive forms. His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.
Give yourself a Christmas present, and go to see this beautiful movie.