"A Christmas Carol" gets thrill ride movie treatment

Tue Nov 3, 2009 2:04pm EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Take a classic Christmas tale, a dollop of Jim Carrey and a sprinkling of innovative movie technology.

Bake for 96 minutes, Hollywood style, and you've got the latest version of "A Christmas Carol", arriving in movie theaters around the world on Friday before nary a seasonal "Bah! Humbug!" has been heard.

Billed as a "multi-sensory thrill ride", Walt Disney's 3-D animated version of the 19th century Charles Dickens ghost story follows more than 20 previous movie and TV treatments, including those starring Barbie, Mickey Mouse and The Muppets.

But director Robert Zemeckis believes none of the previous incarnations have captured Dickens' original vision. This time around, the "Forrest Gump" Oscar winner thinks he has the mix.

"It has not been realized in the way it was actually imagined by Dickens as he wrote it. I thought this would be the perfect way to tell a classic story that everyone was familiar with and re-envision it in a new and exciting way," he said.

"I think it might be the greatest time-travel story written in the English language," he added.

Carrey, best known for playing multiple personalities in movies like "Me, Myself and Irene", provides the voice and image of the miser Ebenezer Scrooge -- at every age -- as well as the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come in what he called both a daunting challenge and an actor's dream.

"Every spirit is an aspect of Scrooge himself," Carrey said, explaining his casting. "I think Scrooge is a guy who was abandoned and unloved...and who has slowly been disappointed by life over and over again."   Continued...

<p>Charles Dickens character Scrooge played by Jim Carrey is shown in the new 3D animated film "Disney's A Christmas Carol" in this undated publicity photograph. REUTERS/ImageMovers Digital LLC/Disney/Handout</p>