Academy Award-winning filmmaker Robert Zemeckis (The Polar Express, Forrest Gump and the Back to the Future trilogy) is giving moviegoers an early Christmas gift. A Christmas Carol, a 3D animated adaptation of Charles Dickens' timeless tale, is a magical journey full of lessons for grown-ups and children alike.
Set in Victorian England, the film opens on Christmas Eve. Lonely old miser Ebenezer Scrooge (voiced by Jim Carrey) is at the office with his faithful employee Bob Cratchit (Gary Oldman) and his kind-hearted nephew Fred (Colin Firth). It's just an ordinary day until Scrooge goes to bed and is visited by four ghosts.
And so the rollercoaster begins.
Unlike previous adaptations, Zemeckis's version is surprisingly faithful to the original book. It not only captures the essence and ambience envisioned by the author, some of the dialogue is lifted straight from the pages of the novel. Credit goes to the director for keeping the dark themes of fear and regret intact, even though it's a festive children's movie.
The brilliant 3D effects - snow! - and Carrey's sense of humour lighten the mood and give the film mass appeal, and the chase sequences are thrilling.
If there's a flaw in this fun, heart-warming film, it's the slightly less-than-human computerised characters.