BLU-RAY REVIEW: Disney's A Christmas Carol
Robert Zemeckis' CGI masterpiece hits home video just in time for the holiday...
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A Christmas Carol, the timeless tale of the greedy, grumpy Ebenezer Scrooge and his adventures through time at the hands of three ghosts has continued to both entertain and instruct for over 160 years. Numerous film and animated versions of The Christmas Carol have been made, including a fan-favorite version featuring key Disney characters like Mickey Mouse & Donald Duck in the main roles. Now, thanks to director Robert Zemeckis and beautiful motion-capture CGI by Disney's talented bunch of animators, fans looking for the latest incarnation of Charles Dicken's classic tale have something to enjoy.
The story itself has not changed: the tightwad Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey) continues to "bah humbug" his way through life, driving away friend and family alike. Enter the ghost of Jacob Marley, Scrooge's former business partner dead seven years. Forecasting future events, Marley reveals to Scrooge visits from three additional ghosts: the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. During each visit, Scrooge is given insight into his own cold-hearted disposition and, through these visions, ultimately comes to realize the change most needed is within him. Through these relationships revealed, loves lost, and merriment found, Ebenezer Scrooge becomes a completely new man with a new attitude not only towards Christmas, but his fellow man and life in general.
Truly a fearful and uplifting tale full of disturbing ideas and inspiring beliefs, this retelling beautifully captures the original story using the most technologically advanced animation available. Jim Carrey is outstanding as Scrooge, providing plenty of animation to both the body and voice of one of literuature's most infamous characters of all time. Likewise, a number of recognizable supporting actors, including Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Bob Hoskins, Cary Elwes, and Robin Wright, all deliver solid performances as well, helping round out the cast of characters.
The Blu-ray includes a gorgeous 1080p, 2.40:1 video transfer that's beautiful to watch. Likewise, the English 5.1 DTS-HD audio fulfills all expectations, again showing why Disney's home videos are so popular.
This 2-disc DVD/Blu-ray combo also includes a number of worthy bonus features, including a "Behind the Carol: The Full Motion Capture Experience." Clocking in at just over 90 minutes, this Picture-in-Picture featurette provides viewers with the opportunity to see both the CGI animation and the motion capture on-screen together. This is accompanied by a director's commentary well worth engaging, as it helps expand on this impressive new technology retelling this age-old, fan-favorite story.
Another bonus feature, "Capturing Dickens: A Novel Retelling," clocks in at just under 15 minutes and reveals actor insight into why this film version of the tale is truly "a novel retelling." Other bonus features include a interactive Christmas countdown and "On the Set with Sammi," a brief look at the actress Sammi Hanratty's experience making the film.
Overall, Disney's A Christmas Carol makes for a great way to celebrate the holidays. An awesome family film which will both delight, scare and ultimate reveal the true reason for the season (love and joy to all), Disney's A Christmas Carol is a solid addition to any home video library.
- Jess C. Horsley
"Until next time...have FUN with your figures!!"
Jess C. Horsley