Parents' Guide to

Disney's A Christmas Carol

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

3-D adaptation of classic holiday tale may scare young kids.

Movie PG 2009 96 minutes
Disney's A Christmas Carol Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 110 parent reviews

age 18+

Terrifying and Disturbing

I tried watching this with my little sister and we were both disturbed. This movie should AT LEAST be rated PG13. Disturbing images, demonic figures and voices, absolutely terrifying scenes. A Christmas carol is usually portrayed in a light hearted way, not this version. I wish I would have known how creepy this movie was before turning it off in the middle after my sister complained about it causing her future nightmares. I’m 25 and will probably have a nightmare about it too. YIKES.
2 people found this helpful.
age 14+

Great movie BUT NOT FOR KIDS

CSM missed the mark on this one. Just viewed with my kids and this is WAY TOO INTENSE for kids. Disturbing morbid and grotesque imagery, nightmare-inducing visual effects. We'll see what tonight holds, but I'm pretty sure I'll have my own visitors in the night. Way too violent and disturbing imagery of ghosts, ghouls, disfigured children, demonic manifestations of ignorance and want that are complete nightmare fuel, like the thing in "the Grudge." I would have never watched this movie with my kids had CSM given a realistic appraisal of the content. I myself loved it, but I'm a long way from an innocent child.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much violence
2 people found this helpful.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (110):
Kids say (111):

Director Robert Zemeckis continues to perfect the motion-capture animation he revolutionized with The Polar Express, and the result is quite breathtaking in A CHRISTMAS CAROL. From the pimples on an adolescent's face to the coins on a corpse's eyes, the technology accounts for a remarkable degree of detail. The 3-D, in particular, is fantastic -- albeit occasionally frightening (a few shots may cause audiences to jump from their seats). With a rubber-faced actor like Carrey as the star, it's no wonder that the characters' expressions and gestures are so startlingly realistic. Of course, the downside to all of the realism is that the ghost scenes are actually quite frightening -- not Beowulf terrifying, but downright scary nonetheless. The spook factor is unfortunate for parents who will naturally assume that animation plus holiday classic equals cinematic fun for the whole family.

For those with harder-to-rattle clans, this is a touching and haunting adaptation of a story most of us know by heart in one form or the other. Carrey's genius at physical comedy is evident throughout the film in small moments like when Scrooge does a jig, sings along with carolers, or slides down a railing. While there aren't many huge laughs, there's enough levity to break through the otherwise somber nature of Scrooge's time-traveling, life-changing visits to Christmases past, present, and future. Oldman and Firth are, as always, fine supporting players, and Robin Wright Penn (a Beowulf alum) adds a wistful, feminine vulnerability to the only woman Scrooge ever loved. With the current economic doom and gloom, this is a well-timed holiday narrative about hope, redemption, and love.

Movie Details

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