Tonight the lovely people at Sky Movies HD invited us along to the World Premiere of Disney’s A Christmas Carol. This was no ordinary premiere as it boasts the largest premiere for a 3D movie, EVER! Greeted by fake snow falling from the sky and a huge stage with period carol singers, and Andrea Bocelli giving a breathtaking performance, we knew we were in for a treat. Not that I’ve been to loads, but this was by far the biggest premiere I’ve ever seen in London’s Leicester Square with the premiere taking over both the Empire and the Odeon Mezzanine. That totals 3013 seats, which alone is a huge number to fill on an opening night.
Once we found our seats, I noticed that we were literally in front of Eamon Holmes and Demot Murnaghan (British news broadcasters and breakfast hosts) who I was able to have a small bit of banter with before the movie began. We also found some treats on our seats in the form of mint Humbugs, keeping in with the spirit of the film!
Having seen the trailer on Saturday in 3D before UP, we were expecting good things. Were were right to do that? Read on to find out…..
The introduction to the movie was a good one, not least because one of my all time favourite directors was in front of me, Robert Zemeckis. He did make Back to the Future after all! Jim Carrey in real life was just as his on screen parts are, eccentric and larger than life but the audience loved it and so did I. It was the perfect introduction to the movie which all present were obviously proud of. I’ve videoed the intro which you can see embedded below.
A Christmas Carol is based on the Charles Dickens novel of the same name and although this story has been told more times that I’ve eaten hot dinners, anything directed by Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forrest Gump) grabs my attention immediately.
Ebenezer Scrooge, the Ghost of Christmas Past, Present and Future were all played by Carrey and I have to say that his performance(s) were excellent. I think Carrey is one of those people that you can love or hate but after watching this movie, you really begin to see how diverse he really is and all credit to him for that.
The supporting cast includes Bob Hoskins, Colin Firth (both of whom were present at the premiere), Gary Oldman and Robin Wright Penn. All of these supporting actors (who usually play leads in their own right) appear for a very short time, perhaps with the exception of Oldman who is in quite a few scenes. Wright Penn only has a few lines which seemed strange but I guess the power of Disney and the legendary status of Zemeckis means he can pull in these big named actors to perform even the smallest of roles. After all, whenever I see Wright Penn on screen, I cant help but think of Forrest Gump (sorry Princess Bride fans!)
Zemeckis seems to fast be coming the king of 3d in Disney’s arsenal, (Pixar aside) he’s been responsible for The Polar Express and now A Christmas Carol breaking new boundaries all the way. As I said previously, this evening broke the record for the largest 3d premiere in history and it was also announced before the movie that the record for the largest Carol Singing event also. That’s right! You heard it here first!
A Christmas Carol was a fun, perfectly made animated movie and actually was better than I expected it to be actually. The 3D helped bring a new (and literal) dimension to a story which has been told so many times before. Watching the movie in a room with kids dotted around the place was great – they laughed at bits the adults didn’t and visa versa. One thing that could be a problem for parents is that it’s actually quite scary in places. The audio in The Empire Leicester Square is usually cranked up to 11 and this might account for some of the jumps, but even so, this didnt stop the parent in front of us constanlty leaning over to the 5 kids she had with her checking that they hadn’t dumped their load… Cos Inearly did a few times! The fact you have ghosts and ghouls jumping out the screen at you in 3D takes it’s toll on the old ticker!
Watching this movie in November may have taken the Christmas edge out of it even with fake snow falling outside, but if you want to see a Christmas film this festive season then this is definitely one for you.
A Christmas Carol struggles to shake the stigma of a story which has been told many times before but Zemeckis’ version is definitely unique and well worth a watch. I’m certain that in a couple of years and then every year after that, this version will be on our TV sets every Christmas right alongside the Muppet Christmas Carol version. Make sure you see it in 3d if you can though and you won’t be disappointed.
A Christmas Carol is released 6th November, so not long to wait to see if you agree with me.