Disney's A Christmas Carol (Blu-ray)

A high-tech retelling of Charles Dickens' beloved tale about a penny-pinching Scrooge (Jim Carey) and his encounter with three ghosts who take him on an eye-opening journey to discover the true meaning of Christmas.

It's a story that's been told countless times throughout cinematic history but Robert Zemeckis puts his own spin it and delivers a technological marvel that bored the hell out of my family. The story can easily be told in under an hour but the 95 minutes felt like nine hours, especially when Scrooge is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. I'm surprised the film received a PG rating due to some scary images of the ghost's visits. Regardless, the beautiful animation couldn't make up for the shortcomings of the screenplay.

Video Highlights

  • AVC/1080p encode
  • Phenomenal depth and detail
  • Inky blacks
  • Occasional banding

Audio Highlights

  • DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack
  • Outstanding dynamics
  • Deep bass
  • Aggressive surround activity
  • Intelligible dialog

The true star of the show is the audio and video presentation. The audio is extremely aggressive and compliments the story and although the video is 2D, there are times you would swear you were watching it in 3D because of the depth. I don't have a 3D display yet, but I can only imagine how good this would look. (3D version is available from Disney although I wasn't sent it for review purposes.)

Bonus Materials

  • Behind the Carol: The Full Motion Capture Experience PIP
  • Countdown to Christmas Interactive Calendar
  • Capturing a Christmas Carol
  • One Set with Sammi
  • Deleted scenes
  • Discover 3D with Pumba and Timone
  • DVD Copy

I feel like a Scrooge because of my criticism but my entire family felt the same way. Our favorite retelling of the classic tale is Mickey's Christmas Carol from 1983 that only runs for 26 minutes. Maybe we would have gotten more out of it by watching in 3D, but I doubt I'd be willing to purchases it given my 2D experience.

Release Date: November 16, 2010
Studio: Disney

Movie: 5/10
Picture: 9/10
Sound: 10/10

Review System

Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray player

JVC DLA-RS1 projector
Stewart FireHawk screen (76.5" wide, 16:9)

Onkyo Pro PR-SC885 pre/pro
Anthem PVA-7 power amplifier
Panamax M5400PM power conditioner

M&K S-150s (L, C, R)
M&K SS-150s (LS, RS, SBL, SBR)
SVS PC-Ultra subwoofer

Monoprice HDMI cables (source to pre/pro)
Best Deal analog-audio cables
PureLink HDC Fiber Optic HDMI Cable System (15 meters) from pre/pro to projector

Acoustical treatments from GIK Acoustics

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fcapra1's picture

Call me old fashion, but a 96 minute version of A Christmas Carol is too long??? Most stories can be told in less time. One could keep intact the spirit (no pun intended) of Lord of the Rings and tell it in half the time. But I guess that's why they have the Readers Digest version of classic stories. While the Mickey Mouse version is nice, it's nice for little kids with short attention spans. What Disney misses though is the complexities of the impoverished class of Dickens' time. I'll stick with the classic Alister Sim version and even Bill Murray's comedic take. Longer yes, but much more entertaining.

David Vaughn's picture


If you watch this version, you'll know what I mean. Some of the scenes are there to highlight the 3D film making or to add action elements to the story, which don't need to be there. I've seen the stage play of the story that I think was close to 2 hours, but it was years ago and don't remember exactly, and enjoyed it immensely. I guess I didn't care for Zemeckis' version. I'd be curious to hear what others have to say.

Jarod's picture

Mickey's Christmas Carol is our favorite version of this tale as well but we enjoyed seeing this version in the theaters. I agree that some children may find some scenes frightening in this version.

David Vaughn's picture

Thanks for the feedback. I think you and I feel pretty much the same way. Good enough to watch once, but there are better versions of the tale available on Blu-ray and DVD.

fcapra1's picture

Well, I finally saw the film. It didn't seem longer than any other version I had seen. With that said, I will say there were two or three scenes that appeared in the film for no other reason than to show off 3-D. In that regard, they were a waste and drawn out.

My wife made the same comment about some scary scenes, but I don't think we give kids enough credit in that area. Nothing wrong with a little scare. I would say there was nothing here that struck as any more scary than the original Alistair Sim version of the film.

While I didn't hate the film, I wasn't blown away by it. It was a pleasing enough experience and had very vivid colors and graphics, even on my DLP television.

kesha's picture

This Broadway is Rocked and i really enjoyed it very much. I am waitint on this Chistmas and want some new Actors in it. And also want Christmas Quotes in it. I hope on this session this braodway should be more rocking.

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