Destination: Dicken’s London
Movie: Christmas Carol, Novel by Charles Dickens, Movie Disney Studios
As the new movie of a Disney version of Dickens Christmas Carol, kicked off the Holiday season this weekend, London offered Dickens deals.
When I saw the the title come up for the preview of Disney’s Christmas Carol, I must admit that I groaned, “Not another Christmas Carol.” I’m not sure whether more male actors have aspired to Hamlet or to Scrooge–not to mention Mickey Mouse’s Christmas Carol, starring Donald Duck. But the preview of this new effort did its job and I was fascinated by the sheer beauty of the presentation.
Second admission: I have not seen the movie yet. Took a little time off this past weekend, so I missed the opening, so I cannot tell you for sure that the movie does justice to Dickens, but despite widly disparate reviews, I am going to go see it and am actually looking forward to it.
The movie is directed by Director Robert Zemeckis, who also oversaw, Polar Express, and uses the same kind of motion-capture technique. In a novel move, the director uses star Jim Carey to play not only Scrooge, but also the Ghosts of Times Past, Present, and Yet to Come. That makes philosophical sense, as aren’t we always the bringers of truth to ourselves, and don’t we create our own dreams and nightmares?
Philosophy aside, I’m betting that you have seen a movie, play, or musical version of Christmas Carol or Scrooge since you last read Dickens’ own version, and I recommend that we all grab a Dickens’ book and read the Christmas Carol. It is one of the shortest of his works, and a good start for people who have not been introduced to one of my favorite authors.
Our own two short travel stopovers in London did not allow for as much poking around in the Old City of London to seek out Dickens locales as we would have liked, but I recently read a about a hotel deal that I would grab if I were traveling to London over the holidays. Timed to coincide with the opening of the Disney film, Threadneedles, a London boutique hotel,offers a Christmas Carol package with a free copy of the Dickens novel and a walking tour guide of local Dickensian landmarks. The hotel is located next door to the Counting House, one of the scenes for the Dickens novel and in the midst of the Old City of London, with plenty of Dickensian scenery around. (And by the way, if you are not staying at the hotel, don’t worry, there are many, many Dickens walking tours on offer–just Google.)
And for those who cringe at the Disneyfying of literature (I still am not quite over Christopher Robin and Pooh Bear), keep in mind that Dickens always had the bottom line in mind. He wrote his novels in bite sized morsels that could be sold to the local newspapers before he made them into books. Sorta like a blogger, huh?
Photograph: Okay, it is not Christmas Carol, and it is not London, but it IS Charles Dickens, and it is such a cool picture. For the whole story, click on the picture and go to the site of photographer Tim Norris.
Have you toured the Dickens sites in London? Have you seen the movie? Fill in what I left out in this post. We’re waiting to hear from you. And my subscription forms up there at the top of the blog are waiting for you, too. Sign up so you’ll never miss another book or movie.