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Disney's A Christmas Carol (2009)


Average Rating: 5.9/10
Reviews Counted: 190
Fresh: 103
Rotten: 87

Critics Consensus: Robert Zemeckis' 3-D animated take on the Dickens classic tries hard, but its dazzling special effects distract from an array of fine performances from Jim Carrey and Gary Oldman.

Average Rating: 5.9/10
Reviews Counted: 39
Fresh: 21
Rotten: 18

Critics Consensus: Robert Zemeckis' 3-D animated take on the Dickens classic tries hard, but its dazzling special effects distract from an array of fine performances from Jim Carrey and Gary Oldman.


Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 774,798


Movie Info

Robert Zemeckis directs this animated version of the Yuletide classic A Christmas Story. The story centers on Ebenezer Scrooge (Jim Carrey), a penny-pinching miser who cares nothing for the people around him, least of all his hopelessly downtrodden employee Bob Cratchit (Gary Oldman) and infectiously optimistic nephew, Fred (Colin Firth). On Christmas Eve, after a frightening encounter with the ghost of his deceased business partner, Jacob Marley, Scrooge is visited by three spirits -- the … More

PG (for scary sequences and images)
Drama , Animation , Kids & Family , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
Robert Zemeckis
In Theaters:
Nov 16, 2010
Box Office:
Walt Disney Studios - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Disney's A Christmas Carol

All Critics (190) | Top Critics (39) | Fresh (103) | Rotten (87) | DVD (7)

The motion capture animation is top-notch and it's hard not to be impressed with what Robert Zemeckis has wrought, even if there's the occasional sense he's pandering to an audience that can't get through a 90 minute story without a few yuks and a chase.

Full Review… | November 10, 2009
Top Critic

How they made it into this Disney adaptation unprettified is a Christmas miracle in itself.

Full Review… | November 6, 2009
Top Critic

Zemeckis' film preserves much of Dickens' original dialogue and detail while amplifying the utter ethereal strangeness of the ghosts.

Full Review… | November 6, 2009
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

There's a lot of dark magic in this Dickensian Yuletide.

Full Review… | November 6, 2009
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Want the creeps for Christmas? Then check out the latest version of A Christmas Carol.

Full Review… | November 6, 2009
Detroit News
Top Critic

Does this entertainment achieve a timelessness beyond its exquisite source material? Not even. Yet there's pleasure to be had and relief in feeling the filmmakers didn't Scrooge it up either.

Full Review… | November 6, 2009
Denver Post
Top Critic

One cannot help but feel the same effect could have been accomplished by simply making a live action film with state-of-the-art visual effects.

Full Review… | June 10, 2012

A remarkable and effective adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic novel that manages to overcome the familiarity of its source material and become something more fulfilling.

Full Review… | February 15, 2012

A supernatural parable of terrifying, chain-rattling spirits and mind-warping time travel, with a theme of social responsibility that extends far beyond seasonal cheer.

Full Review… | September 30, 2011
American Profile

Bah humbug: Zemeckis and Carrey screw with Scrooge.

Full Review… | January 2, 2011

Zemeckis and Disney's collaboration brings about a cold and forgettable variation using the advent of animation and technology to destroy the magic...

Full Review… | December 19, 2010
Cinema Crazed

Zemeckis's retelling of A Christmas Carol is solid, most importantly letting the story itself shine through where it naturally does.

Full Review… | November 22, 2010
Window to the Movies

Creepy animation and a somewhat tired retelling might have you longing for the Muppet adaptation instead. At least the film's 3D-designed visuals are breathtaking.

Full Review… | November 18, 2010

The 1951 Alastair Sim version still ranks as the Number 1 Christmas Carol, but this mo-cap CGI animated version comes in a close second.

Full Review… | November 6, 2010
Movie Metropolis

With a price tag of $175 million, Zemeckis might have even been able to pinch some pennies by abandoning the mo-cap and filming A Christmas Carol in live action. Hmm, I sound a little like Scrooge. Bah humbug!

Full Review… | October 27, 2010

Just like a new cover version of a classic song, A Christmas Carol is all crisp technology, same ol' structure, and a lot of spirit as substitute for a lack of soul.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Matt's Movie Reviews

click to read full review

Full Review… | March 26, 2010
Movies for the Masses

What's good is very good and what's bad is sadly bad. I wish I could cut a montage of the sobering and well-thought-out segue from Present to Future, the swooping flights through London and Scrooge's amazing face.

Full Review… | December 15, 2009

The razzle-dazzle is just about seamless, but warmth is sacrificed along the way

Full Review… | December 8, 2009
Slant Magazine

There's a certain irony in having a timeless tale about a man finding his soul being told in the most soulless way possible

Full Review… | December 7, 2009

Its' lavish details bridge the gap between the real and the imagined in a way heretofore impossible.. the filmmakers have put most of their magic in the media and not the message.

Full Review… | December 2, 2009
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

Robert Zemeckis' infatuation with the motion-capture animation process has officially gone too far...

Full Review… | November 30, 2009
Reel Film Reviews

There's no heart, and I don't put it simply on the visuals that almost look real at times. Amazing 3D is the only thing this dark version does really well.

Full Review… | November 26, 2009
The Scorecard Review

...there isn't much to fall in love with in Robert Zemeckis's visually overpowering motion-capture-animation...

Full Review… | November 24, 2009

takes full advantage of the technologies available, but fails to illuminate or otherwise expand Dickens' story in any meaningful ways

Full Review… | November 23, 2009
Q Network Film Desk

If you're remaking a classic merely to one-up whoever remade it previously, is it really worth the effort? Fortunately, Jim Carrey decided not to waste a wasted opportunity.

Full Review… | November 18, 2009

Audience Reviews for Disney's A Christmas Carol

While Christmas is a lovely time to watch films that suit that time of the year, I feel that Robert Zemeckis' A Christmas Carol shouldn't be missed. It may not be the most iconic or essential Chrismas movie, however, it definitely one of the better adaptations of Charles Dickens classic, as well as being a personal favourite. With some superb multi roles from Jim Carrey, who is Scrooge and the 3 ghosts of Christmas, whereas Gary Oldman is Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim. These superb leads receive Colin Firth, Bob Hoskins and Robin Wright as perfect supporting roles. Ultimately, the visuals were astounding, particularly of how the motion capture makes the characters more human than previously seen in animation. Although I'm aware there are those who aren't fond of the visuals, at least the characters don't look as creepy as those seen in Zemeckis' previous animated work 'The Polar Express'. Overall, I have been watching this every Christmas season because I feel it fits perfectly for such a time of the year. An unmissable Christmas treat that is perfect for the family.

Samuel Riley
Samuel Riley

Super Reviewer

I don't really care much for Zemeckis's motion capture cartoons. I don't see the point of making the cartoons look so much like the actors providing the voices either, it mostly looks horrible. I didn't dislike this version as much as I thought I would, the silly action sequences really detracts from the story but at least they stuck to script and story and the scary parts weren't dumbed down for the kids. There are far worse versions out there!

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

I'm wondering why Zemeckis is so interested in these fully motion captured CGI films, first we had the awful 'Polar Express' then 'Beowulf' which was slightly better and now this, another version of Dickens Christmas ghostie story. I guess you gotta expect new versions every other year or so 'sigh'.

I have heard this looks great in 3D, I have not seen it in 3D so I can't comment, as for 2D its good but nothing special, the voices in use are a good selection. Hoskins is of course perfect as is Oldman, Elwes and Penn I'm not so sure about where as Carrey is actually not bad, but not great either. The creators deemed it wise to make the characters appear like the stars so unfortunately we have 'Scrooge' looking like an aged Carrey haha which kinda makes it feel like a stupid Carrey film, luckily Carrey does perform sensibly.

It looks nice, very sharp and crisp but the motion capture CGI is still horrible and spooky to be honest, it would have looked so much nicer with 'regular' CGI characters. Its also quite scary in places for kids with afew jumpy moments which actually added to the atmosphere nicely but not good for the very young. A nice tale looking very rich and glossy but its also kinda dull and boring as we all know the story backwards by now, the best version for me is still 'The Muppet Christmas Carol'.

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer


"A Christmas Carol". When I was little, I remember watching the rehash of the classic story, Muppets style. Wow, freaking hated it. For someone that doesn't follow up with traditional stories very well, "A Christmas Carol" was a surprising and delightful view on the Christian faith through secular eyes. This ain't a movie for kids; I'd be scared to death by some of these scenes if I were young. The animation: Top-notch. The script: Sharp and fitting. It's not the overall package that had me convinced -- it was the message behind the movie. Good and entertaining time, but just don't think kids will enjoy this for its dialogue and character-driven.

Albert Kim
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

Disney's A Christmas Carol Quotes

Ebenezer Scrooge:
Tuppence is tuppence.
– Submitted by Matthew D (9 months ago)
A Merry Christmas to you, uncle!
Ebenezer Scrooge:
Bah! Humbug... What reason have you to be merry? You're poor enough.
What reason have you to be so dismal? You're rich enough.
Ebenezer Scrooge:
BAH! Humbug!
– Submitted by Nick S (2 years ago)

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