Rated: PG

Distributed By:

Walt Disney Pictures

Directed by:

Robert Zemeckis (The Polar Express)

Starring:

Voices of Jim Carrey as Scrooge, Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present and Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come; Gary Oldman as Bob Cratchit, Marley and Tiny Tim; Colin Firth as Fred

Adapted From:

Plugged In Online

A Christmas Carol

Most everyone knows Ebenezer Scrooge's tale. A miserly, miserable man, Scrooge is a sour spirit who gives chills to the warmest of souls. After his business partner, Marley, dies, Scrooge is visited one dark winter's eve by Marley's ghost who comes with a warning: Change your heartless ways or you’ll be cursed to forever carry heavy chains of woe. Scrooge doesn't believe it, so Marley brings in three spirits to enlighten him—the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.

A Christmas Carol reminds us of the joys of Christmas. Passersby sing Christmas carols recounting Jesus' birth ("Hark the Herald Angels Sing," "Joy to the World," etc.). Several characters—including Scrooge’s nephew Fred—speak of heaven's grace and God's blessings even in times of sorrow and trial. And while most people hate or fear Scrooge, his underpaid employee, Bob Cratchit, chooses to dedicate his family's Christmas meal to his boss and lift praise for the meager morsels he has made possible. As Scrooge takes his journey with the Christmas spirits, he is reminded of the many loving people who passed through his life and who he tossed aside. And he begins to appreciate the gift that life is.

However, this is also a ghost story. Frightening images, such as red-eyed shadow horses, the hooded Specter of Death and a decomposing Ghost of Christmas Present may scare children—and even teens. Scrooge takes a beating from icicles and falls, but never seems worse for wear. And although God's name is often praised, it's also used inappropriately.

Overall, A Christmas Carol features marvelous acting and technical talent. But dark images and some adult themes may give families pause about seeing this version of a Christmas classic.

Copyright © 2009 by Focus on the Family. Used by permission. Clubhousemagazine.com