A radical animated retelling of the holiday classic that starts with a Victorian performance of the Charles Dickens tale before diving into the imagination of one of the children in the audience, taking the story to a darker fantasy realm.
A reinvention of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. The radical new take on Dickens' classic seeks both to exhume the original story's gritty commentary on social inequality and the corrupting influence of greed, and to breathe new life into the lyricism of the original text by setting its scenes to extraordinary tableaux of modern dance. The opening scenes of the film follow a Victorian family preparing a toy theatre for their annual performance of 'A Christmas Carol'. As the family's grandmother narrates the much-edited story and her grandchildren change the scenery, we enter the imagination of one of the children in the audience and watch as the cardboard stage, and the story with it, transforms into a darkly fantastical otherworld.
Lovely but lacklustre interpretation of a smashing story.
This is a thing of beauty to watch - indeed it could easily have been devised by Sir Matthew Bourne's "New Adventures" theatre company as an intricate retelling of this epitome of Christmas stories. The dancing is innovative, creative and clever. The literal adaptation of the story, however, leaves a lot to be desired. The overwhelming sentiment of Dickens' work is largely lost amongst the watered down animated characterisations that though delicate and stunning, are linear and - frankly - rather dull. The narration from theatrical luminaries such as Simon Russell Beale (whom I have recently seen performing the role in a socially distanced performance on stage in London) are fine, but overly abridged leaving us without much of the nuance of the original story. This is certainly not the worst iteration of the story, and the animation takes a clever approach - but it's not a film that will go down in the annals as one of the better stories of "Scrooge" et al.
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