It’s hard to tell whether the new Netflix animation of Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic is aimed at young kids responding to emotional overload or college students with substance abuse problems looking for sensory overload.
Either way, Scrooge: A Christmas Carol nails it, offering a sophisticated approach to storytelling for maximum visual impact. 1970 musical starring Albert Finney. This version features songs from the film written by two-time Academy Award winner Leslie Bricus.
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Director Stephen Donnelly promises “psychedelic surprises, time travel and musicals” in this 100th installment of the often dramatic tale, and for better or worse, he delivers. The film’s vivid animation—the opening sequence makes London as colorful as ever—looks more Hanna-Barberian than Dickensian. Traveling from one temporal dimension to another, often with a crazy sci-fi vision of supernatural beings, Scrooge soon becomes restless. The style of the film may disturb the sensibilities of young viewers. On the other hand, this Scrooge has a very nice dog, although it’s hard to imagine him spending his hard-earned money on food.
An excellent cast has been assembled, starting with Luke Evans as Scrooge. The Welsh actor excels in the role and brings his musical theater experience to the songs. But if Jonathan Pryce is truly the terrifying Jacob Marley, one wonders what makes Scrooge so wonderful . Oscar winner Olivia Colman gives a particularly beautiful voice in Ghost of Christmas Past, although her character with a big candle on her head looks out of place in Beauty and the Beast .
All ghost figures are exaggerated. A ghost the size of a giant Christmas present, accompanied by tiny alien-looking winged minions, is reminiscent of another Disney musical. As portrayed by Nicholas Trevor Dion, Nicholas’ role in the London production is that of the genie in Aladdin. Ghost of Christmas Future takes the action in horror mode, silently blocking out the glowing-eyed ghost (there’s so much fire everywhere that the movie is designed to burn young monsters) and landing in what looks like Scrooge’s bowels. hell
Honestly, it’s just too much, and the constant shift in tone from demonic nightmare to wild musical numbers isn’t annoying. It doesn’t help that none of the songs are particularly memorable. (Anyone remember “Happiness,” “I Love Life” or “The Christmas Children” from the 1970 film? Never.) There are some funny moments, especially when Scrooge revisits his past life and his lost love Isabelle (Jessie). . . Buckley) is the daughter of Mr. Feztivig (James Cosmo) in this version. Overall, Scrooge is portrayed as more likable than ever, which makes his transition to holiday cheer at the end of the story less impressive.
They’re certainly not songs for the faint of heart, and while the animation is certainly idealistic, it may be off-putting to those not on a sugar high. But the introduction to the story is good enough for younger viewers who want to move on to livelier versions of the classic story. The film is dedicated to Brikus, who died last year.
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