A CGI Jim Carrey in ‘A Christmas Carol’

Published 5 years ago by , Updated February 10th, 2012 at 7:36 am,

hr disneys a christmas carol   1 A CGI Jim Carrey in A Christmas Carol
CGI Jim Carrey in A Christmas Carol

One of the most loved Christmas stories ever written is arguably Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. A quick IMDB search produces 26 versions of the story told on film, theater or TV. A Christmas Carol has been in told in a variety of way by a variety of characters. Mickey Mouse, Kermit the Frog, Mister Magoo, The Flintstones and even Bill Murray have all taken a crack at it and most if not all have succeeded in faithfully reproducing the story.

Disney is trying to repeat the success they have had with the Charles Dickens classic and they have enlisted the help of Robert Zemeckis to write and direct their attempt. Jim Carrey will play multiple roles in A Christmas Carol as Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas Past/Present/Yet to Come. He co-stars along with Bob Hoskins, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth and Robin Penn Wright.

Disney’s newest retelling will be a motion-capture, CGI animated 3D IMAX adventure, much like Tom Hanks’ Polar Express which was also directed by Robert Zemeckis. Zemeckis has yet to disappoint with his offerings with titles like Cast Away, Forrest Gump, Who Framed Roger Rabbit and the Back to the Future trilogy.

Carrey is a good choice for a movie like this because his fantastic facial expressions and bigger-than-life acting gives the animators lots with which to work. He should really help the characters “pop” and bring life to Scrooge and the ghosts. The other actors and actresses are no slouches when it comes to their craft but let’s be honest; this version of A Christmas Carol is all about watching Carrey.

Watch a clip from the movie to see what I am talking about.

Every movie of this type Carrey does is focused and centered on him; How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events are two good examples of type of work he can do.

And check out this featurette of Zemeckis and Carrey talking about the film:

I thoroughly enjoyed Polar Express‘ story and style. My kids still watch it even when it isn’t Christmas so I have no doubts that audiences will very much enjoy Disney’s latest version of A Christmas Carol.

Am I wrong or do you plan on seeing A Christmas Carol as well?

A Christmas Carol opens in theaters on November 6, 2009.

Source: Latino Review

TAGS: a christmas carol

16 Comments

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  1. Looks pretty good, but I think I’ll wait til the dvd comes out.

  2. Zemeckis always gives us quality and carrey is perfect for the role imo.

  3. I predict he will at least be better than Kermit the frog.

  4. Well of course Kermit didn’t play Scrooge, Michael Caine did. ;)
    Really well I thought too. I love the Muppets version, shortly followed by Scrooged with Murray.
    I guess they’re never going to stop remaking Christmas Carol though.

  5. Sorry, but the clip doesn’t sell it to me. The CG looks like a cutscene from a PS2 game.

    Call me a hater, but I find Jim Carrey to be at his best a buzzing annoyance, and at his worst a shrieking, rubber-faced demon. He’s turned in a smattering of decent performances over the past — JESUS — two decades, but for the most part, his CV is packed with more crap than a crap-packing factory. Stuffing him in a spandex suit, throwing him in an all-green room and performance-capturing his cackling, spastic antics is just going giving him license to ramp up his mincing to bone-shattering levels of obnoxiousness. Thank you, Mr. Zemeckis; I’ve always thought what Dickens’ classic lacked was Ebenezer Scrooge as portrayed by an idiot man-child who screams his way through the entire story and makes anachronistic pop-culture references at inappropriate moments.

    I’ll wait for it to show up on Rifftrax… like “Beowulf”. :)

  6. @hamlet – I will admit that he is an acquired taste. I actually liked Beowulf, that probably makes me slightly weird.

  7. I’d have to disagree with you with Carrey, Hamlet, though Jim Carrey can be labeled as ‘energetic’ he’s perhaps one of the few comedian/actors who I can stand, the ones not on my list being Will Farrel, Adam Sandler, and Ben Stiller, (Though I had a love/hate feeling for Tropic Thunder) at the very least Carrey is far better actor than the three combined, my most favorite movie of Jim Carrey’s being the Majestic, where he played a much more serious character. As for the movie, I’m actually impressed with the CG, it’s not spectacular visuals like the backgrounds and details of Wall-E, but the facial expressions are fantastic.
    Also Hamlet, I’d like to know what kind of games you play for the PS2 that can rival this CGI with cutscenes.

  8. *laughs*

    My opinions/reviews/anecdotes are peppered with hyperbole. Best not to take everything I say or write at face value.

    As I said, Carrey turns in one good performance about every five years. The rest is just disposable howling and a limited grab bag of funny faces.

    Director: “Okay Jim, you just lost your wife to cancer. We’re looking for — ”

    Jim: “Got it. Funny face #32, ‘OH NOOOOOOOOOES’”

    Director: “No, not at all, actually.”

    Of course, CG has come a long way since “The Last Starfighter”, but there’s still a lot that’s ugly and cold in the way certain CG animation teams/companies handle “photo realism”. I don’t think the uncanny valley can every be truly surmounted, at least not with computer animation technology as we know it…

    Part of my problem with Zemeckis’s animation teams is no one seems to have schooled them on the basics of real camera movement. Far too often, I find myself pulled out of his CG worlds by lazy camera animation. If you want to sell me on your amazing universe of 1s and 0s, try having a camera that doesn’t go from a dead stop to a trackback to a full dead stop again. Give the simu-camera a bit of heft, the track a bit of wobble; when your shot comes to a halt, give the slowdown some variety, like you have real guys pulling the rig. I know it’s picayune, but as a freelance cinematographer and DP, I know my camera work.

  9. @ hamlet3k

    You bring up an incredibly good point about the camera movement. Not many people are that conscience of things like that. It’s one of those things that you might feel but not know how to put it in words. When the camera movements feel artificial it really takes you out of the story. WALL-E is a great example of how to implement proper camera techniques in a CG film (check out the scene when WALL-E is chased down by shopping carts).

  10. @hamlet
    I see your point in the camera movements, as an amateur 3d animator one of my biggest troubles is making the camera movements ‘feel’ real, and having spent many hours attempting to do so, I can sympathize with the 3d team for this movie. But again, my appreciation for the CG wasn’t focused on polygon counts, camera movements, or high-detail, I think that this 3d team; so far, has just done a great job with the facial expressions.
    As for Jim Carrey, I realize that just about half of the movies he’s done can never be considered above average, but the ones he does do good in are always watchable. i.e. the Mask, Majestic, Bruce Almighty, etc…

  11. Can’t wait for this film to come out!!! My favorite versions are 1951 Scrooge, 1939 version with Gene Lockhart and the George C Scott from 1984 I think. Funny version of course Scrooged with Bill Murray, that movie has some funny lines..

    Frank Cross: I want to see her nipples.
    Censor Lady: But this is a CHRISTMAS show.
    Frank Cross: Well, I’m sure Charles Dickens would have wanted to see her nipples.
    Carpenter: You can barely see them nipples.
    Frank Cross: See? And these guys are REALLY looking.`

    `I never liked a girl well enough to give her 12 sharp knives` and `the b&?ch hit me with a toaster.

    and for sentimental reasons Mickey`s CHristmas Carol is great too..

  12. Hopefully they’ve improved on the creepy living mannequin CGI that was used in Polar Express.

    Vic

  13. I have been lucky enough to see this movie already. I was truly blown away. You MUST see it at the theatre in 3D! It is like nothing I have ever seen. And I thought Jim Carrey did a fantastic job. I was truly entertained and amazed at the technical side of it. I think it’s destined to be a classic.

  14. I have over 100 versions of Dickens A Christmas Carol im my collection. It is the largest private collection in America. Just email me with any questions or comments. I am always looking for versions that I might not have, which is a very small list.

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