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a christmas carol poster

[REVIEW] “A Christmas Carol” (2009) and the 3-D

Dernière mise à jour : juin 27th, 2022 at 02:57 pm

We have to accept it now: while the television increases HD programs, the film replies by the production of 3-D films and “A Christmas Carol” by Robert Zemeckis is an example of it.


Of all the merchants of London, Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey) is known as one of the richest and most miserly. But this year, Scrooge will experience a Christmas that he will not soon forget …

And for his third film in performance capture (technique where the actors play on a green background before rebuilding everything in post-production, including actors), the American director Robert Zemeckis ( “Back to the Future,” “Forrest Gump”, ” The Polar Express “) is not immune to this rule for his latest film “A Christmas Carol”.

“A Christmas Carol”:
The 3-D in question


But at the vision of this film in 3D animation, my feeling is mixed. For as in two other animated films released this year, “Coraline” (Henry Selick, 2009) and “Up” (Pete Docter and Bob Peterson, 2009), the 3-D image still does not permit the film to leave the flatness of the screen of the cinema and play only on the deep space and the volume of its occupants. And no, unfortunately not, the film does not leave the blank screen to settle in the hall in front of our wondering eyes. The metaphor of “The Purple Rose of Cairo” (Woody Allen, 1985) where real and fictional characters meet will not be so tomorrow.

The film in the hall


Thus, in “A Christmas Carol” from Zemeckis, when a character gets out of the picture, it does not fit in the hall but disappears from the screen directly. Similarly to the appearance and disappearance of primers on the edge of the image. However, some scenes use with wonder the possibilities offered by 3-D. There is this magnificent scene in long shot where the snow falls on the character of Scrooge, but also in the hall on us viewers. But why do away with this beautiful snow from the hall when we pass on a closer shot of Scrooge? Similarly, where the 3-D works best (feeling regularly observed in IMAX) is when the movie plays on the aerial and quick overview of nineteenth century of London as the feeling of vertigo works well with 3-D.

Back to the film


After this digression on the use of 3D, then back on the film.

Inspired of “A Christmas Carol” (1843) by Charles Dickens, the film displays a beautiful 3-D image and a wonderful interpretation of Jim Carrey who as the Brad Pitt’s Benjamin Button ( “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” by David Fincher, 2008) plays not only several stages of the life of Scrooge but released by the technology of performance capture, also increases the interpretations of other people (8 total).

In brief

A beautiful story of Christmas then to share with family but for 3-D, it still remains somewhat unsatisfied until the highly anticipated “Avatar” from James Cameron.



To learn more:

  • Age: 8+
Jean-Christophe Nurbel

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