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A Christmas Carol (2009)

PG  |   |  Animation, Drama, Family  |  6 November 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 65,381 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 244 user | 238 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

An animated retelling of Charles Dickens' classic novel about a Victorian-era miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions.



(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bobbi Page ...
Fat Cook / Portly Gentleman #2 / Business Man #3
Portly Gentleman #1 / Dick Wilkins / Mad Fiddler / Guest #2 / Business Man #1
Fan / Belle (as Robin Wright Penn)


Miser Ebenezer Scrooge is awakened on Christmas Eve by spirits who reveal to him his own miserable existence, what opportunities he wasted in his youth, his current cruelties, and the dire fate that awaits him if he does not change his ways. Scrooge is faced with his own story of growing bitterness and meanness, and must decide what his own future will hold: death or redemption. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


What if you had but a single night to get your life right? See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for scary sequences and images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 November 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Christmas Carol: An IMAX 3D Experience  »

Box Office


$200,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,917,539 (UK) (6 November 2009)


£20,371,281 (UK) (10 December 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| (IMAX version)| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During the opening credits, as you fly through the old London city roof tops, you can see the 2nd London Bridge. By this time, it was just 12 years old and remained in London for another 124 years before it was dismantled and sold to an American in 1967. It can now be seen spanning Bridgewater Channel in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, USA. See more »


When the first spirit visits Scrooge, servants' bells are shown mysteriously jingling in his bedroom. Bells tell the servants which room of the mansion is calling for them, and weren't normally placed in the master's bedroom. They were usually installed in the kitchen, the pantry, or the servants' chambers. However, Charles Dickens explained that Scrooge's large house had been subdivided and let out as office space except for a "suite of rooms" that Scrooge kept to himself as living quarters. Dickens states that there was but one single disused bell in Scrooge's chambers - which "communicated for a forgotten purpose" with another chamber higher in the building. Dickens notes other bells in the house also began to ring. Disney chose to put all the bells in the room with Scrooge, which is inaccurate according to the Dickens work and contrary to the way servants' bells were normally placed. See more »


[first lines]
Ebenezer Scrooge: [upon viewing Marley in casket] Yes, quite dead. As a doornail.
See more »


Version of Leyenda de Navidad (1947) See more »


God Bless Us Everyone
Written and Produced by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri
Performed by Andrea Bocelli
Courtesy of Sugar s.r.l.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Both children and adults will gain more from this experience than most family films.
6 November 2009 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

After directing The Polar Express in 2004, Robert Zemeckis vowed to only make 3D movies using motion-capture technology from then on, never to return to traditional live action films again. What? How could he? Moviegoers everywhere were bemused at how the bloke who gave us Forrest Gump, the Back to the Future trilogy, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Contact and Cast Away could settle for some silly 3D business. Perhaps Zemeckis was smarter than us all though, his pledge to developing a decent 3D output coming half a decade earlier than most. It seems he was on to something.

It is credit to Zemeckis though that his use of 3D isn't the drawcard for this wonderfully told fable, it purely enhances it. The opening title sequence is one of the most breathtaking of the year, as we soar over - and through - the old Victorian town in which Scrooge inhabits in only one shot. It doesn't end there however, with no less than two more flying scenes and a splendid chase sequence on foot, which capably show what mo-cap and 3D are capable of. One small gripe, as was present with Up, the glasses still make everything darker and subsequently duller; especially as this picture is intentionally not well-lit to begin with.

We all know the famous Charles Dickens novel for which this is based on and Zemeckis stays faithfully close to it, unworried about making a family movie that has very few laughs. Let's face it, the story of Scrooge isn't meant to be a light-hearted laughfest. With demonic horses (complete with glaring red eyes), ghosts with broken jaws and men withering away to a skeleton, this is anything but a hoot. But is that a bad thing? Not at all. In fact it is a relief to see a movie for young (but not too young) and old that doesn't shy away from evoking feelings of fear and regret rather than always sugar-coating them with funny moments. If dealt with rightly, emotions like these can be healthy and will have a longer lasting effect on you and your kids than something that only makes you laugh.

Providing the voice of Scrooge from childhood to old-age, along with the three Ghosts of Christmas, Carrey does a fine job, even with his normal over-the-top voicing toned down a few hundred decibels. He is barely recognisable in all his parts - a result that I'm sure Zemeckis would have been aiming for - which allows the characters to stand on their own two feet rather than be a typical Carrey product. The experienced supporting cast of Oldman, Hoskins, Firth, Elwes and Wright Penn add a nice level of class to the proceedings.

The dark and morose atmosphere might at first shock, but ultimately both children and adults will gain more from this experience than most family films. See it on the big screen.

4 out of 5 (1 - Rubbish, 2 - Ordinary, 3 - Good, 4 - Excellent, 5 - Classic)

84 of 116 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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worst animation i've seen in years. moshun
What's with Jim Carrey's odd accent??? nadiamirkov
Americanisms! Hungerhill
Zemeckis' animations don't blink! SouthofSideways
Great in 3D Manfonse
Scrooge and the Poulterer towards the end of the movie steveb2685
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