Another version of A Christmas Carol? Is there a reason I should get excited about this or a reason to just care one way or the other? I mean most of us are practically born knowing this story, and it is not like I cannot find another version readily available. With that said, there is still something about the Charles Dickens' story that is awfully inviting. I guess that is why so many directors want to try their hand at it. Robert Zemeckis is no different, he set his sights on the perennial holiday tale and attempted to put his stamp on it.
My most memorable memories of the Dickens' classic are of the characters. Mickey's Christmas Carol and A Muppet Christmas Carol are my strongest experiences with the story, although I have seen the 1951 incarnation with Alastair Sim as Scrooge, as well. The Sim version is most often cited as the finest version, standing above the myriad incarnations before and since.
This new Zemeckis A Christmas Carol is the twentieth feature film version, and does not count all the television productions (and let us not forget the radio adaptations). Considering how many versions there are out there, I am sure there are more than a few of you who have already decided to skip this one. Seriously, who needs another one? Well, let me tell you that while we probably don't need another one, they will continue to come, and this one is not half bad. As a matter of fact, it is quite good.
This version felt a lot more accurate and true to the source than I was expecting. Considering that Jim Carrey was cast as Scrooge and the family might of Disney put up the funds, one might expect a family-friendly, comedic tone. But, it's not. Frankly, there are some scary moments, creepy elements, and an overall darker tone than I was expecting, and I was glad for it. While A Christmas Carol is an uplifting tale, it has a very strong cautionary element that seems to have been played down in many of the versions I have seen.