Jim Carrey in Disney's A Christmas CarolCall Robert Zemeckis' latest performance-capture animation effort the 'Polarizing Express,' at least where movie critics are concerned.

Some write that 'Disney's A Christmas Carol,' a 3D movie featuring Jim Carrey in myriad voice roles, takes Zemeckis' favored digital production technology to another level, with the characters delivering more depth of feeling than what was found in the filmmaker's earlier performance-capture films, 'The Polar Express' and 'Beowulf.'

Other critics, meanwhile, say the film has no feeling at all. Take a look at what the reviews are saying, then tell us what you think. Jim Carrey in Disney's A Christmas CarolCall Robert Zemeckis' latest performance-capture animation effort the 'Polarizing Express,' at least where movie critics are concerned.

Some write that 'Disney's A Christmas Carol,' a 3D movie featuring Jim Carrey in myriad voice roles, takes Zemeckis' favored digital production technology to another level, with the characters delivering more depth of feeling than what was found in the filmmaker's earlier performance-capture films, 'The Polar Express' and 'Beowulf.'

Other critics, meanwhile, say the film has no feeling at all. Take a look at what the reviews are saying, then tell us what you think.

The New York Times: "But the surprise of this movie -- a welcome one -- is that, in the midst of obeying the rules of modern-day spectacle, it sticks close to some of the sturdy virtues of the source material. Mr. Zemeckis' script retains much of the flavor of Dickens' prose -- not just the catchphrases like 'Bah, humbug' and 'God bless us everyone,' but also the formal diction and the moral concern. The specters that pop out at poor Scrooge on his nightlong ordeal are certainly frightening (parents of young children, consider yourselves warned), but the dread derives much of its force from the cruelty and selfishness that define Scrooge's world."

The Wall Street Journal: "To put it bluntly, if Scroogely, Disney's 3-D animated version of 'A Christmas Carol' is a calamity. The pace is predominantly glacial -- that alone would be enough to cook the goose of this premature holiday turkey -- and the tone is joyless, despite an extended passage of bizarre laughter, several dazzling flights of digital fancy, a succession of striking images and Jim Carrey's voicing of Scrooge plus half a dozen other roles. 'Why so coldhearted?' Scrooge's nephew, Fred, asks the old skinflint. The same question could be asked of Robert Zemeckis, who adapted and directed the film, and of the company that financed it. Why was simple pleasure frozen out of the production? Why does the beloved story feel embalmed by technology? And why are its characters as insubstantial as the snowflakes that seem to be falling on the audience?"

Los Angeles Times: "The 'it's better to give than receive' moral to this story is almost lost under the snowdrifts of special effects. Then there is the blizzard of Jim Carrey's theatrics to weather. The actor voices eight characters, including Scrooge at all ages as well as the three ghosts who haunt him -- you can just see him in the recording studio pingponging manically around during one of the Scrooge-ghost tete-a-tetes."

'Disney's A Christmas Carol' Trailer

'A Christmas Carol' showtimes and tickets


Screen Daily: "Less Disneyfied than its official title suggests, 'Disney's A Christmas Carol' is an engaging and relatively dark take on a seasonal classic that finds director Robert Zemeckis refining the performance capture animation technique he used to mixed effect on 'The Polar Express' and 'Beowulf.' With Jim Carrey doing an enjoyable multi-character turn and 3D further boosting the appeal, this faithful if intense version of the Dickens perennial looks set to be a hit with family audiences."

MSNBC: "Could someone please keep Jim Carrey and director Robert Zemeckis away from cherished holiday classics? We've already had to endure Carrey mugging it up as the Grinch while Zemeckis turned 'The Polar Express' into a bloated and freaky-looking theme park attraction, and now these two have gone and put the stink on Charles Dickens' beloved 'A Christmas Carol.'"

Hollywood Reporter: "'Disney's A Christmas Carol' is, in its essence, a product reel, a showy, exuberant demonstration of the glories of motion capture, computer animation and 3D technology. On that level, it's a wow. On any emotional level, it's as cold as Marley's Ghost."

Entertainment Weekly: "'Disney's A Christmas Carol' is a marvelous and touching yuletide toy of a movie, and the miracle is that it goes right back to the gilded Victorian spirit of those black-and-white films of yore. From the hypnotic opening shot, which seems to travel through every nook and cranny of London without a cut, Zemeckis signals that he's made a bold technical leap: The faces are now fully expressive, the streets and buildings so real you could touch them. Ebenezer, with his drooping flesh and coldly fearful eyes, is no caricature -- Carrey plays him with scolding sharpness and a plummy deep melancholy -- and his journey unfolds with a classicism that is only enhanced by Zemeckis' spangly visual flamboyance. He makes the ghost of Marley, for instance, a figure of true terror. After this grisly bit of paranormal activity, we can see that Scrooge's redemption has already begun."

The Village Voice: " 'A Christmas Carol' is a whiz-bang 3D thrill-ride with all the emotional satisfaction squeezed out of it. For what it's worth, the movie's performance-capture digital tricks all but abolish the boundary between live action and animation. That gives Jim Carrey, sunken into a great beak of a nose and a never-ending chin, a chance to show off the full range of his india-rubber body language as he morphs from bent old Scrooge to fresh young Scrooge -- in love and not yet warped by want and paternal abuse -- and back again to the money-grubbing grinch who's so cheap that he stoops to filch the coins placed over the eyes of his dead partner, Jacob Marley (Gary Oldman)."

Variety: "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."

Time Out New York: "The unspoken theme underlying Dickens's prose -- that the money-grubbing Ebenezer is conversing with semblances of his own self -- finds near-perfect cinematic expression through Carrey's efforts. Despite his character's strangely pliable exterior, Carrey endows the miser with a seamless depth of feeling -- a quality only enhanced by the fact that he also plays the three spirits (Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come) who haunt Scrooge and push him toward redemption."
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