Day Five of Breezemas: The Best Christmas Movie of All Time


Ryan Rose

For many, the holiday season brings back joyous childhood memories of our favorite seasonal films. When we think of Christmas films in particular, many popular films come to mind; whether it be Elf, The Polar Express, Home Alone, or one of the many other classics we all grew up with. However, the single best Christmas movie of all time is the 2009 Disney version of A Christmas Carol starring Jim Carey not only for what is seen at face value, but also due to the level of work that went into making the movie.


Everyone knows the classic story of Charles Dickinson’s A Christmas Carol; a Christmas-hating businessman without a care in the world for anything aside from money named Ebenezer Scrooge embarks on a journey led by three ghosts who force him to evaluate his past, present, and future. By the end of the movie, Scrooge has a sincere change of heart and learns how to not only enjoy the holiday season, but more importantly learn to value and appreciate the people around him. This story has been told countless times, whether it be by the original novel itself, numerous stage productions, or the multiple films that have been released ever since 1901. 


With A Christmas Carol being such a popular inspiration for numerous films, many must wonder what exactly sets the 2009 version apart from the countless ones that come before it. For one thing, this particular film retells the classic story in a new way. The fact that it was animated set it apart from the many live action versions that came before it. And the fact that it was animated in a way that was extremely realistic set it apart from the prior animated films with a cartoonish feeling to them. Since this movie was animated, but still had realistic imagery, a new feel to the film was created. There was a perfect combination of amusement and lightheartedness that came along with the animation and complexity or depth provided by the realism. The realistic style of the animation made the unnatural and impossible elements of the film (such as flight and magic) feel more real and better captivated younger viewers. The other main element that separated the film from the ones that came before it, was Jim Carrey’s performance as Ebenezer. His extremely expressive voice acting managed to strike fear into the audience during the beginning of the film, sympathize for him in the middle of it, and feel joyous with him towards the end. His performance was very engaging and held the attention of viewers of all ages.


A Christmas Carol is not the best Christmas movie simply due to these elements themselves, but also because of the elements of production that most audience members would never have known about. The cast of the film was extremely talented and versatile and it is thanks to them that the movie was so successful. Jim Carrey voiced 7 roles in total, including all of the three Christmas ghosts and versions of Ebenezer at multiple ages. Jim Carrey wasn’t the only one to voice multiple roles, however. Gary Oldman, widely known for his role as Sirius Black in the Harry Potter films, voiced 3 roles himself. He played Bob Cratchit, Marley’s ghost, and Tiny Tim. Two other actors, Bob Hoskins and Robin Wright Penn, also voiced multiple characters throughout the film. The movie was also made with a process called “motion capturing”, which means that the actors who voiced their roles also went through the motions of their characters while wearing special suits that would aid the animators in creating a more realistic film. The film went into great detail to capture realistic motion all throughout. Their efforts included placing Gary Oldman on a lowering platform that allowed him to look more like Tiny Tim and using a special machine to actually raise Jim Carrey and make it appear as if he was flying. This level of effort does not go into most animated films, but it definitely paid off and made the film one to not go unnoticed. 


So this year, when trying to find a truly great Christmas movie, consider this version of A Christmas Carol and you surely won’t be disappointed.