Production Status: ReleasedThe 3-D film was produced through the process of performance capture, a technique Zemeckis has previously used in his films The Polar Express (2004) and Beowulf (2007).
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Animation, Adaptation, Holiday and Remake
Running Time: 1 hr. 36 min.
Release Date: November 6th, 2009 MPAA Rating: PG for scary sequences and images.
Distributors: Walt Disney Studios Distribution
Production Co.: ImageMovers
Studios: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
U.S. Box Office: $63,289,000
Produced in: United States
A Christmas Carol began filming in February 2008, and was released on November 4, 2009 by Walt Disney Pictures. It received its world premiere in London, coinciding with the switching on of the annual Oxford Street and Regent Street Christmas lights, which in 2009 had a Dickens theme.
The film was released in Disney Digital 3-D and IMAX 3-D. It is also Disney's third retelling of A Christmas Carol in 26 years, having released Mickey's Christmas Carol in 1983 (using the in-house Mickey Mouse & Donald Duck characters) and later distributing The Muppet Christmas Carol for Jim Henson Productions in 1992, with Disney later acquiring the rights to The Muppets from Jim Henson Productions. The film also marks Jim Carrey's first role in a Disney film.
A Christmas Carol Synopsis:
On Christmas Eve in Victorian England, Ebenezer Scrooge, a bitter and miserly old moneylender, holds everything that embodies the joys and spirit of Christmas in contempt, refusing to visit his cheerful nephew Fred's Christmas dinner party with his family, and forcing his underpaid employee Bob Cratchit to beg to take the day off for his own family. That night, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley, who had died seven years prior on Christmas Eve and is now forced to spend his afterlife carrying heavy chains forged from his own greedy ways. Marley warns Scrooge that he will suffer an even worse fate if he doesn't repent, and foretells that he will be haunted by three spirits that will help guide him.
The first spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Past, shows Scrooge visions of his own past that take place on or around the Christmas season, reminding him of how he ended up the greedy man he is now. He had spent much of his childhood neglected by his father over the holidays at boarding school until he was finally brought home by his loving sister Fan, who died prematurely after giving birth to his nephew Fred. Scrooge later began a successful career in business and moneylending and became engaged to a woman named Belle, though she later called off the engagement when he began to grow obsessed with accumulating his own wealth. Unable to bear having to witness these events again, Scrooge extinguishes the spirit.
The second spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Present, shows Scrooge the happiness of his fellow men on Christmas day. Among them are his nephew Fred, who playfully makes jokes with his family at Scrooge's expense, and Bob Cratchit and his family, who are just barely able to make do with what little pay Scrooge gives Cratchit. The Cratchits also tend to a sickly young son, Tiny Tim, whose commitment to the spirit of Christmas touches Scrooge, who is dismayed to learn from the spirit that he may not have much longer to live. Before the spirit vanishes, it warns Scrooge about the evils of Ignorance and Want, showing them as terrifying, uncivilized children doomed to grow into savage, despicable individuals.
The third and final spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, shows Scrooge the final consequences of his greed. Tiny Tim has died, leaving the Cratchits to mourn him on Christmas. Scrooge has also died, though there is more comfort than grief in the wake of his funeral. In addition, Fred finds benefit from inheriting his wealth, and Scrooge is even robbed by his former maid. Unwilling to let this grim future come to pass, Scrooge begs to be given a second chance as the spirit forces him into his deep and empty grave leading all the way to Hell.
Scrooge awakens to find himself in his bed on Christmas morning, the three spirits having guided him over the course of one night, and immediately sets out to atone for his sins, making donations to the poor, attending Fred's dinner party, and giving Cratchit a raise to care for his family, allowing Tiny Tim to live. Scrooge spends the remainder of his life a new man embodying the spirit of Christmas itself, and the film ends.
Consensus: Robert Zemeckis' 3-D animated take on the Dickens classic tries hard, but its dazzling special effects distract from an array of fine performances from Jim Carrey and Gary Oldman.
Opening Weekend: $30,051,075
(#1 rank, 3,683 theaters, $8,159 average)
% of Total Gross: 33.6%
> View All 3 Weekends
Widest Release: 3,683 theaters
In Release: 21 days / 3 weeks