by Jett Wells
New York press and movie critics got their first glimpse at an animated Jim Carrey as Ebenezer Scrooge in a presentation of 3-D footage from Disney's "A Christmas Carol" at the Regal E-Walk Theatre this week.
Two scenes were shown from the performance capture-driven film, directed by Robert Zemeckis ("Polar Express"), along with a montage of clips and a teaser trailer. Publicists were showing the footage every half hour from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with Christmas cookies and pastries on offer outside the theatre after each showing.
In the first scene, Carrey as Scrooge argues with Bob Cratchit (Gary Oldman) over the meaning of Christmas. It is immediately clear that the animated characters are made to look like the actors voicing them, as was the case in "Polar Express." Carrey as Scrooge looked like a wrinkly, crusty version of himself, though the actor doesn’t sound like himself. There are no echoes of Ace Ventura, The Riddler or any of the other iconic characters he’s played in Scrooge’s voice. If Carrey’s name wasn’t headlined on the poster, you wouldn’t know he was in the film.
The second scene shown sees Jacob Marley’s ghost crashing in on Scrooge during the night. It is here that the film shows off its high tech special wizardry. Thanks to the 3D effects work, Marley’s ghost hovers off the screen and glows with incandescent color. There's a gross moment as well, when Marley’s jaw falls off and he has to re-attach it with a white cloth.
The publicist in charge of the event said the scenes were still unfinished and that Zemeckis & Co. are still fixing the lighting and color. You get to see Jim Carrey as crusty Scrooge in Disney's "A Christmas Carol" on November 6th of this year.