A Christmas Carol 3D is based on the classic tale by Charles Dickens. It is about Ebenezer Scrooge (voice of Jim Carrey), a hardened, miserly old man who doesn’t want anything to do with Christmas. One Christmas eve, Scrooge is visited by three ghosts. They are the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come. This has a dramatic effect on Scrooge. He becomes a changed man in one night.
There is some violence in this movie. For example:
- A father hits his child for staring.
- The ghost of Christmas Past appears like a candle, with his face as the flame. At one point, Scrooge tries to put out the flame with a cylinder, but he’s skyrocketed up to the moon. He falls back to the Earth screaming, landing heavily on his bedroom floor.
- The ghost of Christmas Yet to Come pushes Scrooge down a flight of steps.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, this movie contains some scenes that could scare or disturb children under eight. For example:
- Scrooge is a scary-looking man. He is hunchbacked with a long, crooked nose and a nasty expression.
- Scrooge’s partner Marley (voice of Gary Oldman) is shown dead in a coffin. He has wrinkled skin and coins over his eyes.
- Children are scared of Scrooge.
- Scrooge’s house is very dark and scary. Scary music plays during scenes in the house.
- The door handle on Scrooge’s front door comes to life as a face with spiky, waving hair. It screams at Scrooge, who falls over backwards in fright.
- Scrooge climbs the stairs with only a candle for light. This makes scary shadows on the wall.
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie contains some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group. For example:
- Marley’s ghost appears to Scrooge. The ghost is larger than life, chained down with large cubes of ice that he throws into Scrooge’s bedroom before he actually appears. He is ugly, scary, toothless and yells and screams at Scrooge. At one point, his face cracks open and his tongue hangs out.
- Scrooge looks out of his bedroom window and sees many tormented souls flying around.
- The ghost of Christmas Present is another larger-than-life character with a loud, eerie laugh.
- Scrooge sees a hand or claw under a ghost’s skirt. When he opens the skirt, he sees two urchin children who change into scary grown-ups with knives. They are then caged and bound.
- The ghost of Christmas Present falls down laughing and turns into a skeleton.
- The ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is the scariest ghost. He looks like the Grim Reaper and doesn’t speak at all. Instead he just points the way for Scrooge to follow.
- Scrooge appears at his own funeral procession. Black stallions with red eyes pull the hearse. They race towards Scrooge and chase after him. This is quite dramatic, particularly in 3D, as the horses’ hooves reach out into the audience. Trying to escape, Scrooge runs down side alleys full of scary characters. The stallions try to stamp on him, but he is saved by the long arm of the ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.
- Scrooge sees his own gravestone and his grave in a pit. Beneath it is a fiery furnace.
- A ghost pushes Scrooge into his grave pit. He falls a long way before waking up in his own bed.
Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie.
None of concern
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
This movie contains some use of substances. For example, characters drink alcohol at a Christmas party.
Nudity and sexual activity
None of concern
None of concern
This movie contains some very mild coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
A Christmas Carol contains amazing graphics. Combined with the 3D technology, these graphics make the animation very realistic, intense and often scary. There are some lighter moments that break the tension.
The main messages from this movie are to love other people and be kind and generous – not just at Christmas, but throughout the year.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include redemption, generosity, kindness, charity and love.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues, including the consequences of living a mean-spirited, selfish life.