Disney’s first ‘retail’ release for 3D Blu-ray is a dud. The film itself is a dud and the 3D is not up to standards (How to Train Your Dragon looks amazing). I know Disney can make them look great so I hope this is the exception, and not the rule.
A Christmas Carol 3D (2009)
Disney | PG – 96 min. – $49.99 | November 16, 2010
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
Writer(s): Charles Dickens (novel); Robert Zemeckis (screenplay)
Cast: Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Cary Elwes, Robin Wright Penn, Bob Hoskins
Theatrical Release Date: November 6, 2010
Features: Featurettes, Deleted Scenes, DVD Copy, Digital Copy
Number of Discs: 4
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 1.5/5
ZzZzZz. I’m sorry, what? Was I napping? Oh, right, I was just watching A Christmas Carol and must have dozed off.
When three ghosts take penny-pinching Scrooge (voiced by Jim Carrey) on an eye-opening journey, he discovers the true meaning of Christmas. Scrooge, one whom the villagers turn away from, is a bitter old man who only cares about one thing – himself. Oh, and his money. Seven years after his partner had passed away, Scrooge is visited by three ghosts who show Scrooge his Past, the Present, and his Future. Following closely to the original Charles Dickens’s tale, fans of the original will enjoy this film.
But what if you don’t like the original? You’ll need to skip this release.
After reading many reviews on this film (both theatrically in 2009 and now in 2010), I’m a bit amazed at how many people are actually enjoying this film. I’ve seen it re-told and “re-envisioned” many times before, but this one just takes the cake for being the one that is sure to bring magic fairy dust to your eye and put you in a deep… sleep.
What went wrong? Honestly, I’m not sure. Jim Carrey voices the character marvelously (Scrooge is even somewhat modeled after Carrey himself), but the story just seems to stumble about 20 minutes into it. Using the typical ‘zany’ nature in Disney films, they added in a lot of new things that don’t seem to work in what I would consider an adult re-telling of the story. Why not just add a talking frog or a singing bird while we’re at it?
I’m going to do something I don’t typically do and warn parents. To me, this film – someone with no children – seemed to be a bit too adult for the kids. Animals in the world are made out to be extremely dangerous and evil looking, and Scrooge himself is in a constant depression. I’m really baffled as to why Disney didn’t just, well, Disney this film up a bit.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 4/5
BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVES – 1.5/5
All features are presented in HD.
This release (4 Disc Combo Pack) includes a Lenticular Slip Cover. This seems to be the standard for various studios.
Mr Scrooges Wild Ride (3 Minutes; 3D) – A very tiny featurette that discusses why the film was done in 3D. ** 3D BD Exclusive **
Behind the Carol (Full Length of the Film) – Much like other PiP tracks, this lets you watch the film and see how it changed from the motion-capture system/animation to the film product. An optional commentary with Robert Zemeckis is also available (you can do all three at the same time). Sadly, this is not available on the 3D Disc. ** BD Exclusive **
Capturing Dickens: A Novel Retelling (15 Minutes) – A rather interesting look at how the motion-capture system was implemented to make this film shine.
Rounding out the Disc is Six Deleted Scenes (9 Minutes) presented in animated form (some rougher than others), On the Set with Sammi (2 Minutes) is a brief look with actor Sammi Hanratty as he puts on his green suit to be captured, Discover 3D with Timon and Pumba (3 Minutes) is a walk through on how 3D works as well as some new titles coming out and an Interactive Calendar (** BD Exclusive **).
Rounding out this set is a DVD (with special features) and a Digital Copy (** BD Exclusive **).
VIDEO – 3/5
A Christmas Carol is presented in 2.35:1 on a 50GB Disc. Please keep in mind the 3D Disc in this set will ONLY work if you have a 3D Blu-ray Player and a 3D TV. There is no ‘hidden’ 2D on this disc. The film itself is rather drab for most of the film, which is a real bummer for a 3D title. So far, nearly every 3D release has been a candy-colored animated film that has looked great, while Christmas Carol just looks rather bland. That’s not to say the 3D does not work in this film – it does. But there are some drawbacks. I noticed ghosting in the way, wait for, ghost scenes. A little bit of crosstalk, and a very distracting border that appeared on the Right and Left side of the screen for about half the films playback. This is actually normal for this film (in 3D), but I found it incredibly distracting. If the studios want 3D to catch on they can’t let these things slide by. As a minor note, good look with the opening credits. The text makes you go cross-eyed (Quote from my girlfriend “Tell me when the text stops!!”).
AUDIO – 4.75/5
Disney knocks it out of the park with an English 5.1 DTS MA Track. As usual, Disney knows what it’s doing and provides a rich and full filling 5.1 DTS MA track (identical to the 2D Blu-ray). Dialogue was crisp, and hearing the creaks of the old wood and the plopping of snow was great.
OVERALL – 3/5
Disney’s first ‘retail’ release for 3D Blu-ray is a dud. The film itself is a dud and the 3D is not up to standards (How to Train Your Dragon looks amazing). I know Disney can make them look great (Alice in Wonderland) so I hope this is the exception, and not the rule.