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British Movie Toons

     Christmas Carol: The Movie

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Christmas Carol:
  The Movie

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producers: Illuminated Films / MBP
   animation: 2D animation
& Paintshop fx

      run time: 77 mins


     "What if I had never let you go,
     Would you be the man I used to know...?"


    Charles Dickens' yuletide classic is brought to our screens once more,
    courtesy of director Jimmy T Murakami. This $15m adaptation is bookended
    by live-action sequences starring Simon Callow as Mr Dickens himself,
    recounting his cautionery tale to an audience at the Boston Theatre.
    Callow/Dickens seizes upon a little mouse as it traverses the theatre
    and leads us into the animated story. The all-star animated voice cast
    is lead by Simon Callow again who voices Scrooge. Kate Winslett, Michael
    Gambon, and Jane Horrocks also feature and there's a trans-atlantic surprise
    in the prescence of Nicolas Cage as Marley's Ghost. 

       Christmas Carol: The poster   It's Tiny Tim - Gawd bless 'im...

     To capture the classic atmosphere of Dickens' tale the filmmakers opted for
     hand-draw the animation. They also deliberately eschewed bright colours - the
     muted palette being more in keeping with those Victorian days, pre-electric
     lighting. A smattering of Paintshop effects were incorporated to highlight
     the more fantastic elements of the story. And the end result? Well, the film
     is certainly grim, the characterisation is strong, and tweaks to the storyline
     mean that Scrooge's decline into loneliness is affectingly told. There is,
     however, a distinct lack of wonder to proceedings, with the ghosts of
     Christmas Past, Present and Future appearing somewhat uninspired,
     in spite of the Paintshop work. But that's probably due to the familiarity
     of the story. After all, this is a tale that's been told so very many times...

     Christmas Carol features a score from composer Julian Knott who also provided
     the "cracking" soundtrack to the Wallace and Gromit films. Title song "What If"      sung Kate Winslett was a Top 10 chart hit in the UK, with proceeds going to
     various childrens' charities - gawd bless 'er. Youthful songstress Charlotte
     Church also sings two songs on the soundtrack.

» Previously, director Jimmy Murakami brought us a harrowing adaptation
         of When the Wind Blows, Raymond Brigg's cautionary tale about Nuclear



     Here in the UK, Pizza Hut ran a tie-in promotion in which diners could
     obtain an intriguing "Talking Ghost of Marley" figure. The packaging
     instructions invited consumers to "squeeze Marley's stomach to hear
     eerie sounds


     Christmas Carol on DVD

     UK DVD 
Christmas Carol: The Movie
                Region 2 / Pathe / October 2003

USA DVD Christmas Carol: The Movie
                Region 1 / MGM / October 2003


director:         Jimmy T Murakami
     producer:      Iain Harvey
     exec prod:     Nik Powell, Rainer Mackert
     screenplay:   Robert Llewellyn, Piet Kroon
                         from the novel by Charles Dickens 
     music:          Julian Knott
                         'What If' sung by Kate Winslett
                         + songs from Charlotte Church
     starring:       Simon Callow as Charles Dickens
     voices:         Simon Callow (Scrooge)
                         Kate Winslett (Belle)
                         Nicolas Cage (Marley)
                         Jane Horrocks (Christmas Past)
                         Rhys Ifans (Bob Cratchit)
                         Michael Gambon (Christmas Present)
                         Juliet Stevenson


      On the web

        Christmas Carol: The Movie
        Plenty more info on the film here...

        Winchester Films
        Likewise here at Winchester Films' site...

Illuminated Films

        A superb studio site here from Illuminated...

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© Illuminated Films / MBP 2001 / F2006