Christmas Carol: the Movie

Christmas Carol: the Movie

Jimmy T Murakami (2001)

77min
U Certificate
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Review

Our Score
Charles Dickens's oft-filmed classic ghost story here suffers the final indignity of being turned into a sentimental and unimaginatively drawn cartoon. Simon Callow provides the voice of Ebenezer Scrooge, the miser who has a change of heart when confronted by the spectre of his deceased partner Jacob Marley (Nicolas Cage) and the Ghosts of Christmas Past (Jane Horrocks), Present (Michael Gambon) and Future. It's the story's core message, but director Jimmy T Murakami manages to ruin this key aspect by adding tangential storylines - presumably to appeal to a more juvenile audience. The whole is framed by a live-action scene depicting Dickens (Callow again) arriving in Boston to read his story to an assembled audience, while the flatly animated TV-style centre story has a lead-in provided by lovable mouse Gabriel, who witnesses events from the cold-hearted curmudgeon's coat pocket. Another unnecessary subplot brings Scrooge's first lost love, Belle (Kate Winslet), to the romantic fore. Murakami was involved in TV's The Snowman, so there are lots of Walking in the Air type sequences, with Scrooge being flown over frosted Victorian rooftops by the Ghost assembly. But neither these interludes nor songs from Kate Winslet and Charlotte Church can redeem this dreary misfire.

Summary

Animated adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic tale about Christmas-hating miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who is shown the error of his ways by a trio of ghosts sent to show him visions of his past and present - and what the future may hold if he does not repent. With the voices of Simon Callow, who also appears in a live action introduction as Dickens, Kate Winslet, Nicolas Cage and Rhys Ifans.

Cast & Crew

Scrooge / Charles Dickens Simon Callow
Belle Kate Winslet
Jacob Marley Nicolas Cage
Ghost of Christmas Past Jane Horrocks
Ghost of Christmas Present Michael Gambon
Bob Cratchit Rhys Ifans
Mrs Cratchit / Mother Gimlet Juliet Stevenson
Old Joe Robert Llewellyn
Fred Iain Jones
Fezziwig Colin McFarlane
Fan Beth Winslet
Theatre manager James Jordan
Screaming woman Tracey O'Flaherty
Director Jimmy T Murakami
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: PathéAvailable on: video and DVDReleased on: 7 Dec 2001
Drama