Book Review: The Art of A Christmas Carol

The Art of A Christmas Carol

Robert Zemeckis is out with another motion capture animation movie, A Christmas Carol, the Charles Dicken's classic. Stylistically, it has a very similar feel to his earlier movies, Beowulf and The Polar Express, probably due to the hyper-realism recreation of scenes and characters.

The concept art for this movie is created by production designer Doug Chiang and his group of artists at ImageMovers Digital, a studio run by Robert Zemeckis and Disney specializing in performance capture and CGI.

There are plenty of art on locations and cool architecture since Charles Dicken's story was set in 1840s London. You'll see sets like Big Ben clock tower, Scrooge's English house, city streets and the other sets used in the animated film.

There are also character designs, some miniatures, sculptures and 3D renderings. Not surprisingly, the 3D characters resemble their life voice actors, who are Jim Carrey (except for old Scrooge), Gary Oldman, Bob Hoskins, and Robin Wright Penn among others.

Author Diana Landau has included commentary on the production process with interviews from the director, actors and artists. It's interesting to read about how they approach performance capture, character development, and making various artistic choices.

The Art of A Christmas Carol is a very decent companion to the film.

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4 Comments

What a coincidence, the first

What a coincidence, the first artist on production for this movie, Colin Fix, just did a lecture at San Jose State University this morning. He is one of our alumni who worked on the initial character designs for scrooge in this film, he showed us some of his work on it and I was blown away. He also showed us some of the work he did for the game Bioshock and a lot of personal pieces too. Here is his blog: http://colinfix.blogspot.com/

Jim Carrey is full of

Jim Carrey is full of surprises and the entire movie is a theatrical outburst of his talent, under the brilliant direction of Robert Zemeckis. Brilliant because it manages to make take the Dickens story and walk us through all its dimensions, without fear of sadness and, in the same time, he has the cold blood to use the magic wand for a happy end. I wasn't a big 3D fan until this movie, maybe because I didn't see any possibility to enrich the classical format, perfect as it became with the years... 'A Christmas Carol' gains a lot from 3D being a sensorial experience enhanced by IMAX technology.

All in all, it's not a story for kids, because it's rather disturbing and contemplative. Gary Oldman's pointing finger will stay with you for a while... It's an enchanting story and I encourage you to go and see it.

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