12 Days of Netflix: A Christmas Carol – 2009 (Day 2)
James Butlin | On 07, Dec 2013
12 Days of Netflix: watching one of Netflix UK’s Christmas movies every day.
On the second day of Netflix, we saw on VOD…
A Christmas Carol has been a Christmas story told for generations ever since Charles Dickens’ classic tale was published. Robert Zemeckis’s re-telling utilises the talents of Jim Carrey’s infinitely motion-captureable (new word for the dictionary there) face to the best of its abilities and animation to create a movie that feels new and fresh, as well as faithful to the original yarn.
Zemeckis has so far been the man at the forefront of motion-capture: pre-Tintin and Avatar, he was responsible for Beowulf and The Polar Express. Both of these films helped to pave the way for the technology we have today.
In casting Carrey in the lead as Scrooge and The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, the director strikes gold with an actor known for his rubber-face antics and being able to really give a physical performance alongside an array of characters and voices. Rounding out the cast are Gary Oldman and Colin Firth, whose recognisable tones are very welcome.
Despite having a couple of stellar British actors along for the ride, the film is (and always has been) the story of Scrooge as he finds himself repenting when he learns the error of his ways. The CGI allows Zemeckis to create a whole world of adventure as Scrooge is thrown into the past, the present and the future, often creating scenes that are both trippy and terrifying.
It’s fair to say that without Zemeckis and the motion-capture, this film wouldn’t have worked a jot. It’s also fair to say the same of Jim Carrey and his ability to inhabit these over-the-top characters. It’s a match made in heaven, and although the story is a well-worn one, A Christmas Carol breathes enough new life into it to allow for a pleasing ride.
A Christmas Carol is no longer available on Netflix UK.
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