Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The 'Christmas Carol' Train: A Pictorial Tour

Robert Zemeckis has been hard at work on another Christmas-related film that will be released on November 6 of this year. The film is Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and stars Jim Carrey, Bob Hoskins, and Gary Oldman, among many others. It is a Disney film, and, from what I have seen of it, looks like it'll be a great adaptation of one of the world's most timeless stories.

The film's release is 5 months away, yet the promotional period has already begun. Touring the nation is a Christmas Carol Train. It has just arrived in Denver, but it still has 35 more stops until its tour ends. It features interactive stations, clips from the film, as well as other fun and technological things. I have just gotten back from touring the train, and here is a photo tour just for you (be sure to click on any images you like for a much, much higher resolution):

Here are some shots taken outside of the train. They are just of Victorian-style lampposts, the Christmas Carol logo, etc. Nothing too exciting:

The first room of the train is pretty neat. It has mannequins wearing costumes, presumably made as models for the animators, as well as portraits of the characters. Here's my favorite portrait of young Scrooge. The striking resemblance to what was most likely a kid Jim Carrey is absolutely hilarious:

Here are the rest of the portraits, some very cool and original Dickens documents, as well as the other photos I took in that car:

(Another funny, incredibly accurate Carrey resemblance!):

A kinda creepy-lookin' Gary Oldman as Tiny Tim. Why'd they pick one of the creepiest actors to play one of the most innocent characters of all time?...

These next couple of rooms have about 12 televisions cycling through conceptual art for the film, short featurettes about the art behind the film, etc. These cars also have various rare Dickens documents which have never been removed from the Dickens museum in London until now. They also have small models of the characters, and large models of Victorian architecture that can be found in the film. Very cool. Enjoy:

The following cars contained information about the technological aspects of the production, which has made vast improvements in the area of motion capture. (Although there have been vast improvements on the medium, the bottom line is that it is still not animation, it needs a lot of work, and, if you ask me, it has nowhere near the depth or feel of a Pixar, or even a DreamWorks, film.) There are posed mannequins, over 50 different clips from the movie from different stages of development, even more featurettes (I watched well over an hour of non-repetitious commentary for the film. That'll be quite a DVD.), among other things from these cars. Interesting...

There is one car with interactive stuff that didn't really need any pictures since it isn't all that interesting unless you are participating. They have a station where you can take your picture and morph it into one of the characters', and also a station with trivia. Fun if you're there, but not that great for an image tour.

This is the inflatable theater where we were shown a few scenes from the film, as well as the 3D (ugh). No cameras were allowed into the theater for obvious reasons.

The film looks like it'll be a great adaptation of Dickens' classic story, but, once again, motion capture still looks kind of cold, and it is pretty difficult to get immersed into a story without convincing animation (and, heck, motion capture isn't even animation). I am very much looking forward to Disney's A Christmas Carol, and also to the advances that will surely make motion capture a better medium of filmmaking.


Mat`amiT said...

hope the movie will be a great one

Angela said...

I just discoverd your blog today - and I'm going to tell my Dad about it. He completely obsessed with all things Disney related. I'm a Disney fan as well, but I don't eat, sleep, and breathe it the way he does.

Unknown said...

I'm still hanging on to a, from what I am told very very rare collectors pin from the Christmas Carol Train Tour. Cast and crew only I believe. That's why it was given to me, anyway- for caroling in three cities in three digit heat and red velvet and corseted. I dont know what to do with it...