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Disney`s A Christmas Carol

By November 3, 2009Newswires

Disney`s A Christmas Carol
by Todd McCarthy

Shortchanging traditional animation by literalizing it while robbing actors of their full range of facial expressiveness, the performance-capture technique favored by director Robert Zemeckis looks more than ever like the emperor`s new clothes in "Disney`s A Christmas Carol." Charles Dickens` 1843 novella and screen perennial has been retrofitted here as a so-called thrill ride in which Scrooge zooms above the streets of London and rockets halfway to the moon and back, only because now he technologically can. But while curmudgeons, here qualifying as anyone who might prefer earlier versions of the classic tale, will frown, bright-eyed young`uns will ooh and aah from behind their 3D glasses, resulting in bountiful early holiday B.O. tidings for the company that has now incorporated itself into Dickens` title.

Making his third consecutive feature in the hybrid format, after "The Polar Express" and "Beowulf," Zemeckis seems almost stubbornly committed to the process. In regard to "A Christmas Carol," the director has made the point that the tale`s spectral manifestations and time-traveling nature (it was purportedly the first fictional work to shuttle both backward and forward in time) are ideally suited to being rendered in the latest high-tech fashion.

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