Using the stop-motion animation that he used previously in his films like "Beowulf" and "The Polar Express" director Robert Zemeckis has managed to make his animated figures more and more lifelike with each film. This time with Disney's "A Christmas Carol" he has exceeded what I thought could ever be done. His characters, Ebenezer Scrooge, Ghost of Christmas Past and Ghost of Christmas Present, all look eerily lifelike. Maybe too much so. It has almost become creepy.
The technology has become so good as to make the movements very realistic and they are even able to put tiny hairs on the end of long thin noses. All this is very good and quite impressive especially on those huge IMAX screens in 3D, but there still remains some disturbing lifelessness about these created characters. Look at their eyes. Don't they seem a little dead to you? The faces still move a little like they have just come from a botox session. Lack of emotion kinda kills things. In my opinion it is great window dressing, but there is no substance.
Dickens' tale is a story of morals and the decisions that we are faced with in life. In the hands of Zemeckis it becomes almost like an amusement park ride. Too fast and too wild. Action sequences followed by more wild and crazy scenes. Too much!
There is so much wham bam thank you ma'am that you don't even notice very much or feel bad/sad about Tiny Tim. C'mon, a sick boy in a poor family who could die if Scrooge doesn't loosen the purse strings. Sad! Yet not so much in this version. The message underneath about giving being better than receiving is completely lost within all the razzle dazzle and special effects. A glittery package, but no content. Don't lose sight of that fact, folks!
What Zemeckis does do well is the ghost story aspect of the film. He succeeds in making it scary. Quite scary! So much so that I would not recommend this film for young kids. With the ghosts, open gravesites, rattling chains, corpses with coins on their eyes, and people falling into coffins there is a huge dark side to this film.