While downing the last of my fun-size Kit Kat bars from Halloween, I lamented the change of seasons from cold to. . . even colder here in New York. What do I have to look forward to? Aah yes. Pretty soon stores will be stocking up on Hershey's Candy Cane Kisses, Butterfinger Bells, and Snickers Santas. (Can you tell I track the holidays by my sweet tooth?) It's one of the best sure-fire signs that the holidays are coming. Another sign? The release of Disney's new 3D digital movie A Christmas Carol (rated PG) based on the classic Charles Dickens novel. Opening today, a mere 48 days before Christmas, this movie stars Jim Carrey, Colin Firth, Gary Oldman, Sammi Hanratty, and more.
Now, I've seen a lot of versions of A Christmas Carol, but I've never seen one like this! Although I haven't seen the movie yet, the previews look very cool. First of all, it's in 3D. So get your 3D glasses ready! Second, it's all done by digital motion capture. Little dots of light all over the actors' faces and bodies highlight their motions, which the cameras capture (yep, that's why it's called MOTION CAPTURE), and then the animators connect the dots to create the animated characters in the movie. So the characters kind of look like themselves, but they can also look like and actually PLAY other characters. Hence, Jim Carrey plays:
- Ebenezer Scrooge
- the Ghost of Christmas Past
- the Ghost of Christmas Present
- the Ghost of Christmas Future
Likewise, 13-year-old actress, Sammi Hanratty plays a young Cratchit girl, a beggar boy, and Belle's daughter. Sammi came to the Scholastic headquarters herself to give us an EXCLUSIVE scoop on what it was like to film it. Check out this video where she talks about being painted with dots, having her teeth molded, working with 350 cameras (!!) and wearing a bald cap on set with Jim Carrey!
For those of you who haven't read the book, here's a quick recap: Ebenezer Scrooge is a miserly old businessman who hates Christmas, as well as just about everything else (except money). He treats his employee Bob Cratchit badly, and refuses his nephew's invitation for a Christmas party one night, coining the infamous phrase, "Bah Humbug!" when expressing his disgust for all things Christmas related. That night he is visited by three ghosts — the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come. Unless he reforms and changes his ways, he will be condemned to wander the earth shackled in chains like his old business partner Jacob Marley, and then . . . death.
A Christmas Carol was directed by Robert Zemeckis, the filmmaker behind Polar Express and Back to the Future, so let's just say the guy is a pro, and knows what he's doing!
The film is total visual eye candy. Every Jim Carrey movie I see, I'm amazed at his facial gestures, but in this movie they take it to the extreme because of the digital animation. And I'll bet it would be really cool to see in IMAX.
Have you guys read the book, or will you see the movie? Let me know in the Comments! Also, feel free to drop a line with any new seasonal candy suggestions.
— Ratha, STACKS Writer
Images from Disney's "A Christmas Carol" © ImageMovers Digital LLC.