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A Christmas Carol (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)) - Blu-ray / adaptation DVD / animation DVD / family and children's DVD review
A CHRISTMAS CAROL (TWO-DISC BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO) Rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 3 1/2 stars
Featuring: Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Robin Wright, Bob Hoskins, Sammi Hanratty
Director: Robert Zemeckis Studio: Walt Disney Video
DVD release: 16 November 2010 Runtime: 98 min. (2 discs)
Format: AC-3, Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen , Blu-ray
DVD features: 1080p HD, Aspect ratio 2.40:1, Audio tracks (DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 - English; Dolby Digital 5.1 - French, Spanish), Behind The Carol: The Full Motion Capture Experience, Countdown to Christmas interactive calendar, Capturing A Christmas Carol, On Set With Sammi, Deleted scenes

Robert Zemeckis's *A Christmas Carol (Two-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo)*There have been countless adaptations of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol since it was published in 1843. Those versions that are memorable to you are likely ones that you saw in your formative years. For me it was Alastair Sim's 1951 Scrooge, and George C. Scott's in 1984. Robert Zemeckis's version will not be the last (barring unforeseen circumstances), but it is the latest. Zemeckis used his Image Movers Digital mo-cap studio for this film (the same company that brought us Beowulf, Monster House and The Polar Express.

You know the story, but as a refresher: Ebenezer Scrooge is a grumpy old tightwad, cruel to everyone he knows and steadfastly refusing multiple olive branches on a yearly basis. Scrooge's late partner offers him the opportunity to turn his life around via visits from three spirits in as many nights. The plot is familiar and not too different from the original story.

Zemeckis's version uses motion capture tech to provide character movement, however, and as with Beowulf and The Polar Express, the characters are a bit too creepy-looking. The exception to this is Scrooge himself, a more exaggerated character meant to be portrayed as more of a caricature. Marley's ghost is creepy, but this works to good effect - no foul. I'd be more bothered by the creepy factor if I hadn't already seen The Polar Express so many times. Jim Carrey provides the voice and action for Scrooge and the three ghosts. Also providing multiple voices are Gary Oldman, Cary Elwes and Robin Wright. Colin Firth plays Scrooge's nephew, Fred.

Extra features include a making of featurette, a day with Sammi Hanratty, who plays Young Cratchit Girl, and "Behind the Carol," a feature-length picture-in-picture look at the actors in the motion capture studio. There is also commentary with director Robert Zemeckis and a standard DVD disc for versatile viewing. The Blu-ray transfer is brilliant and crisp, while the audio delivers solidly across a wide range of effects, dialogue and music. Overall, the only concern is for younger viewers - particularly Jacob Marley's jaw becoming a bit unhinged at one point, which may disturb more sensitive children.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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