Disney’s A Christmas Carol
By Mike Ellis.
During this Christmas season, my family has seen A Christmas Carol in three different formats — once in the theater as presented by Ira David Wood and Theater in the Park, once in the Disney movie The Muppet Christmas Carol, and now, in the Disney version of A Christmas Carol starring Jim Carrey. Today, we are sharing with you our thoughts on this third version of the classic Charles Dickens tale.
Written and directed by Robert Zemeckis, this version of the tale is, at times, much darker and scarier than some of the other versions I’ve seen. Carrey does a great job in this film — he lends his voice and talents as Ebenezer Scrooge, of course, in all phases of his life — a young boy, a teenage boy, a young man, a middle aged man, and his current older self — but in addition to that, Jim Carrey also voices the characters of the Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.
In addition to Carrey, Colin Firth stars as Scrooge’s nephew Fred, and Gary Oldman stars as Bob Cratchit.
You know the story: Ebenezer Scrooge is a miser, a man with a hardened heart, a cheapskate of the first order, and he refuses to celebrate Christmas. He sees it as an opportunity for people to go further in debt instead of paying off their debts; in short, Ebenezer Scrooge is in love with his money. Then, one Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his old partner, Jacob Marley, who tells him that he will be visited by three ghosts — and if Scrooge doesn’t change his ways, he may find himself chained like Marley for all eternity.
One by one, each of the ghosts stops by to pay him a visit — the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. By the time all three ghosts have visited with him, Scrooge is a changed man, and he proves it in his dealings with Cratchit, his nephew Fred, and his fellow man. Ebenezer Scrooge is a changed man, and he proves it from that day forth. In fact, it was said that he became a second father to little Tiny Tim, Cratchit’s son, he was that changed.
I don’t know why Zemeckis decided to highlight the darkness Scrooge’s upbringing. I know that the story is dark, but it felt like Zemeckis was even darker in his portrayal of those scenes. However, I believe that the contrast between the darkness of Ebeneezer Scrooge and the Light that he showed after his visits with the spirits showed just how much he had changed, and perhaps that was the reason why Zemeckis directed it as he did.
Disney’s A Christmas Carol isn’t my favorite version of this classic Christmas tale, but it isn’t the worst I have seen either. While I don’t watch it every year, it is good to see, and after having done so, I am definitely reminded of what the true meaning of Christmas should be in all of us, each and every day. My Christmas wish to you is that you and your families have a joyous and Merry Christmas, and remember that by keeping Christmas in our heart every day of the year, we are remembering the reason we celebrate Christmas at all — to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.