[Screen It]

 

"DISNEY'S A CHRISTMAS CAROL"
(2009) (voices of Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Minor Extreme Heavy Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate Moderate Extreme None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor Minor Heavy Heavy Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A miserly, 19th century curmudgeon has his mindset and behavior challenged by a series of ghosts that show him his past, present and future.
PLOT:
It's the 1800s and Ebenezer Scrooge (voice of JIM CARREY) is a miserly curmudgeon who may be rich, but is all alone in his miserable life, be that interacting with his poorly paid clerk, Bob Cratchit (voice of GARY OLDMAN), or being annoyed at his own nephew, Fred (voice of COLIN FIRTH), inviting him over to a holiday dinner. Scrooge is so miserable that he hates any thoughts of Christmas or good will toward his fellow man, and thus only reluctantly gives Bob Christmas Day off.

Back at home by himself on Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of Jacob Marley (voice of GARY OLDMAN), his former business partner who died seven years ago and has since lived an afterlife of chained torment due to the way he treated people while alive. He warns Scrooge to avoid having the same fate befall him, and informs him that three spirits will visit him that night.

The first, the Ghost of Christmas Past (voice of JIM CARREY), takes Scrooge back into his past where he sees himself as a lonely child, but later as a generally joyous young man, especially when interacting with his fiancée, Belle (voice of ROBIN WRIGHT PENN). The Ghost of Christmas Present (voice of JIM CARREY) then shows Scrooge the current results of his miserly behavior toward others, particularly Bob and his family, including his disabled young son, Tiny Tim (voice of GARY OLDMAN).

That's followed by the far more ominous and hooded Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come (voice of JIM CARREY) showing Scrooge his lonely future death. Armed with such knowledge, Scrooge decides to become a changed man before it's too late for him and others.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
The marketing will likely draw in pre-teens, while older kids might be interested if they're fans of any of the performers who were modeled for the characters (such as Jim Carrey) or the film's director, Robert Zemeckis.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For scary sequences and images.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • EBENEZER SCROOGE is a miserly curmudgeon who lives comfortably as a rich businessman in 19th century London, but hates his fellow man, especially if they're poor and/or suffering. He treats his lone employee badly, wants nothing to do with his nephew, and hates the idea of charity. All of that changes, however, when he's visited by a number of ghosts that show him his past, present and future.
  • BOB CRATCHIT is his long-suffering clerk who maintains a positive attitude despite horrible working conditions and barely being paid enough to support his family.
  • FRED is Scrooge's adult nephew who isn't anything like his uncle and instead embraces the joy of the holidays.
  • JACOB MARLEY is Scrooge's former business partner, now a tormented ghost who shows up to warn him to avoid the same sort of fate that befell him.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this computer-animated drama that's been rated PG. Profanity consists of at least 2 "asses," but they're used in a double meaning for donkey, while a religious phrase and a few colorful phrases are also uttered. Some period-style cleavage is present.

    Various visuals of ghosts, supernatural style horses and other related material, along with moments of potential peril could be quite unsettling, suspenseful and/or scary for very young viewers (potentially exacerbated by the 3-D visuals where available), while older kids will probably just think it all looks quite cool. A few characters hit others and there's some brief slapstick style material.

    Bad attitudes are present, as is tense family material as well as some behavior that might be enticing for some kids to imitate. There's some drinking, while a man briefly snorts of a pinch of snuff.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there's some of that from lightning at night during a storm in a cemetery near the end of the movie.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there are flying point of view camera shots, zooming above and through the city and other locales at various points in the film (the 3-D visuals, where available, might exacerbate the motion).


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • People have drinks at a holiday party, while one man falls into what appears to be a huge punch bowl.
  • Some people hold drinks at Fred's holiday party, and a toast is raised with them.
  • Two ghostly decayed figures hold up a wooden keg and appear to be drinking from that, while a miniaturized Scrooge ends up sliding along atop a bottle down the street.
  • People have drinks at Fred's holiday party (another view of the scene listed above).
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Marley's ghost spews ghostly saliva all over Scrooge while talking. Moments later, his mouth cracks open wide, with his jaw hanging low and his tongue hanging out.
  • We see the Ghost of Christmas Present's feet dissolve down to the bones, followed by an upper torso view of him as a skeleton before that dissolves away into dust.
  • As Scrooge runs down an alley, various ghostly and decayed looking figures rise up out of the street and grab at him.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Scrooge is a perpetually perturbed, often angry and miserable miser who doesn't enjoy anything beyond his money, and looks down on most everyone else.
  • Scrooge reluctantly plays an undertaker for prepping Marley's body, and then takes the coins off his dead business partner's eyes.
  • A man doing a shell game presentation smacks a kid in the face to keep him away from disrupting his show.
  • Scrooge has a bad attitude toward his adult nephew's invite for dinner and overall positive Christmas spirit.
  • Scrooge has a bad attitude toward Bob, only giving him Christmas Day off (and reluctantly at that), and treats him badly, including not providing him with enough money to care for his family or even heat in the workplace.
  • Scrooge has a bad attitude toward some men who come asking for a charitable contribution. About those who don't have means, he says they should die to decrease the surplus population.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes here may be unsettling, suspenseful or scary to very young viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • In addition, the 3-D visuals, where available, might exacerbate the various scares and frightening images, etc.
  • We see a close-up of Marley's dead face (going from a sketchy illustration to fully realized computer animated image), including with coins placed over his closed eyes.
  • Scrooge drops his keys at his front door at night. After retrieving them, he stands up and sees that the large knocker on the door has turned into a ghostly head, with slow-moving, floating hair. Its eyes and mouth then suddenly open, again startling Scrooge.
  • While seated in a large room illuminated only by light from the fireplace, Scrooge hears noises in his massive house and becomes frightened. That gets worse when one bell on the wall starts swaying and then ringing, followed by all four doing that, eventually turning into a deafening roar. That stops, followed by the sound of footsteps and something heavy being dragged toward a locked door. We then see the handle slowly turning, followed by ghostly weights attached to chains passing through the door and slamming to the floor all around Scrooge. Marley's ghost, wrapped in those chains, then floats through as well and confronts Scrooge, who's quite frightened. That's especially true when the ghost lets out a loud yell and when his mouth cracks open wide, resulting in the jaw hanging low and the tongue hanging out, and the ghost needing to move the jaw up and down with his hand to continue talking.
  • As Marley's ghost flies out the window, a chain attached to him yanks Scrooge (in his chair) toward the window. There, Scrooge sees all sorts of tormented souls floating around outside, with one then flying right at him.
  • A beam of light illuminates Scrooge's room, followed by the appearance of the Ghost of Christmas Past, but that spirit turns out not terribly scary, with a cartoon-like head and a flame atop that (and some goofy head movement is played for laughs).
  • The Ghost of Christmas Past's face rapidly morphs through faces of people in Scrooge's past.
  • Scrooge jams a large cone-like device over the Ghost of Christmas Past, but is then thrust upward like a rocket, high into the sky until that cone runs out of "fuel" and then disintegrates. As a result, Scrooge falls a long way back toward the city, but then lands on the floor in his house.
  • Scrooge hears laughing and sees light coming from behind a closed door. He then finds the Ghost of Christmas Present there, a bearded giant looking like Father Time. The Ghost of Christmas Present (who's jolly rather than scary) then causes the floor to become transparent, thus allowing Scrooge a view down on the present situation of others.
  • The Ghost of Christmas Present states that Tiny Tim will die if the situation doesn't change.
  • We see a small hand coming from under the Ghost of Christmas Present's long robe, freaking Scrooge out a bit. That's followed by two skinny and scary looking kids (representing "ignorance" and "want") coming out. At the same time, a bell tolls and causes the Ghost of Christmas Present pain, with him falling to the ground, while the boy grows into a knife-wielding adult until he's caged, while the girl turns into a woman who hovers around Scrooge until being seen in a straight jacket. We then see the Ghost of Christmas Present's feet dissolve down to the bones, followed by a torso view of him as a skeleton before that dissolves away into dust.
  • A shadow rears up behind Scrooge, with long, claw-like fingers. That shadow then forms into a hooded figure and comes at Scrooge, followed by him rolling down a roof to some steps down which he also rolls.
  • We see a scary looking horse, followed by it and another then pulling a somewhat out of control carriage in a chase after Scrooge down the deserted streets of London at night, with the anonymous driver occasionally snapping a whip at him. As he runs down an alley, various ghostly and decayed looking figures rise up out of the street and grab at him. As Scrooge continues running, he shrinks down to miniature size, followed by the ghostly horse and carriage bursting out from a wall and then giving chase again. We then see one hoof coming down at him (via his POV), followed by him sliding along on a bottle, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come's claws reaching out for him.
  • In miniature form, Scrooge ends up in a home where the giant-sized man grabs a cane and seemingly tries to hit him, but is really after a rat that's next to Scrooge. As a result, a floorboard pops up and sends Scrooge flying through the air.
  • Scrooge sees a sheet-covered body, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come goes to pull back the sheet, but Scrooge pleads for him not to (as it's presumably Scrooge lying there dead).
  • Scrooge lands in a cemetery at night where the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come starts to reveal the former's headstone as Scrooge sinks down into a snowy sinkhole that turns into a grave opening. He then dangles by a root at the top of that hole, with his casket seen down far below, with its lid then opening. Scrooge then sees the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come's claws and face come at him, causing Scrooge to let go and he falls a long way toward the casket.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Scrooge mentions the Ghost of Christmas Present wearing a scabbard, but that it's empty of a sword.
  • A boy suddenly grows into a knife-wielding young man.
  • An anonymous driver on a ghostly carriage occasionally snaps a whip at Scrooge while pursuing him.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Bah Humbug," "I'll see you in Hell," "I've returned to bedlam," "Balderdash," "I'd rather not," "Cripple" (not said in a mean/demeaning way), "Merciful Heavens" and "I'm light as a feather."
  • Some boys slide along on the snowy/icy road while holding onto the back of a carriage.
  • Some kids slide down an icy/snowy hill while upright on their feet, and Bob does the same.
  • Scrooge's past employer jumps or flips down from a chair and lands on a table below him.
  • Scrooge purposefully slides down a banister in his home.
  • Scrooge holds onto the back of a carriage and slides along the snowy/icy street before letting go and falling to the street (but he's okay).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • Scrooge drops his keys at his front door at night. After retrieving them, he stands up and sees that the large knocker on the door has turned into a ghostly head, with slow-moving floating hair. Its eyes and mouth then suddenly open, again startling Scrooge.
  • Ghostly weights attached to chains suddenly pass through Scrooge's door and slam to the floor all around him.
  • The ominous shadow of the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come suddenly turns into a hooded figure that comes at Scrooge.
  • A ghostly horse and the carriage it's pulling suddenly burst forth from a wall.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful and ominous music, along with some of the heavily dramatic variety plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 2 asses (used in a double meaning with donkey) and 1 use of "Oh my God."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • A few women at a holiday party, including young Belle, show cleavage (mostly from a distance) in period style dresses.
  • The Ghost of Christmas Present's robe is open in the front, thus showing his bare chest.
  • We see some miscellaneous cleavage at Fred's holiday party.
  • SMOKING
  • A miscellaneous man is seen snorting a pinch of snuff from a snuff box.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Scrooge has a bad attitude toward his adult nephew's invite for dinner and overall positive Christmas spirit.
  • We see young Scrooge by himself in a schoolroom at Christmas, suggesting his father has abandoned him there. Years later, we see his younger sister arrive in the same school and inform him that their father has sent for him, adding that he's now nicer than before.
  • Belle breaks off her long-standing engagement to Scrooge, based on the fact that he's progressively changing into a curmudgeon (financial and otherwise).
  • We see Bob's family being quite upset about Tiny Tim now gone, with a grieving Bob then going upstairs and sitting next to the boy's bed, with a shadow cast on the wall apparently being that of the dead boy in bed.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Scrooge is a perpetually perturbed, often angry and miserable miser who doesn't enjoy anything beyond his money, and looks down on most everyone else.
  • We see some poor kids asking for food and being thrown a piece of meat through an open window (but a dog gets that and runs off).
  • Belle breaks off her long-standing engagement to Scrooge, based on the fact that he's progressively changing into a curmudgeon (financial and otherwise).
  • Bob mentions his son being a "cripple," but doesn't say that in a mean or demeaning way.
  • How Scrooge ends up changing his mindset after viewing his past, present and potential future.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Scrooge bumps into a passer-by on the street.
  • A man doing a shell game presentation smacks a kid in the face to keep him away from disrupting his show.
  • Scrooge ends up falling down his front steps when he's startled by a ghostly head on his front door.
  • The Ghost of Christmas Present bops Scrooge on the head with a large torch.
  • While in miniature form, Scrooge slides down a roof, and bangs into various icicles before falling off and down a long way.
  • In miniature form, Scrooge ends up in a home where the giant-sized man grabs a cane and seemingly tries to hit him, but is really after a rat that's next to Scrooge. As a result, a floorboard pops up and sends Scrooge flying through the air.
  • Freaked out by him suddenly being nice, Scrooge's maid hits him with her feather duster before rushing off.



  • Reviewed November 2, 2009 / Posted November 6, 2009

    Other new and recent reviews include:

    [American Made] [Battle of the Sexes] [Flatliners] [A Question of Faith] [Stronger]

    Privacy Statement and Terms of Use and Disclaimer
    By entering this site you acknowledge to having read and agreed to the above conditions.

    All Rights Reserved,
    ©1996-2017 Screen It, Inc.