Jim Carrey has described the film as "a classical version of A Christmas Carol. There are a lot of vocal things, a lot of physical things, I have to do. Not to mention doing the accents properly, the English, Irish accents. I want it to fly in the UK. I want it to be good and I want them to go, 'Yeah, that's for real.' We were very true to the book. It's beautiful. It's an incredible film."
In the Cratchit home, there is a portrait of the story's author, Charles Dickens, hanging by the fireplace.
Gary Oldman and Lesley Manville play Mr. and Mrs Cratchit. They were married in real life (1987 - 1990) and have a son.
The movie is set in the year 1843. At the beginning of the film, when Scrooge signs Marley's death certificate, it is dated "1836." A subtitle tells us that Scrooge's encounter with the spirits takes place, "Seven Christmas Eves Later," making it 1843. Also, the Ghost of Christmas Present mentions that he has "eighteen-hundred forty-two brothers." The year, 1843, is significant; it is the year that Charles Dickens wrote and published "A Christmas Carol."
During the opening credits, as you fly through the old London city roof tops, you can see the 2nd London Bridge. By this time, it was just 12 years old and remained in London for another 124 years before it was dismantled and sold to an American in 1967. It can now be seen spanning Bridgewater Channel in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, USA.
Ebenezer Scrooge's appearance in this film is identical to the marionette version of Scrooge seen in Robert Zemeckis's last Christmas-themed movie, The Polar Express (2004).
After sending the prize turkey on to Bob Cratchit's house, Scrooge grabs onto the back of a carriage and hangs on for a ride down the street, waving to people. Many viewers saw this as a nod to one of Robert Zemeckis' previous works, Back to the Future (1985). However, when asked about it in an interview, Zemeckis said that had not occurred to him but reasoned it was a subconscious image.
Robert Zemeckis has stated previously that 'A Christmas Carol' is one of his favorite stories dealing with time travel.
Though not mentioned in the book or other film and radio adaptations Scrooge's birthday is February 7th. Plus Scooge's 'future tombstone' claims he was born in 1786 meaning Scrooge was 57 years old during most of the film but was 50 years old when Marley died in 1836.
This is the first Disney adaptation of A Christmas Carol in which Scrooge doesn't go to Cratchit's house on Christmas Day after the encounter with the three spirits. Scrooge visits his nephew and has Christmas dinner with him, his wife, and their friends; followed by Scrooge giving Cratchit a raise the next day at work, keeping true to the book.
Before this Disney film, Jim Carrey was given the option to voice Buzz Lightyear in Disney's Toy Story (1995). He declined. The role ultimately went to Tim Allen.
Robert Zemeckis' first project with the Walt Disney Company since Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988).
Jim Carrey, who plays the gnarled, elderly Scrooge, is 16 months younger than Colin Firth, who plays the young, strapping Fred.
Bob Cratchit in this film is short in height. This makes Bob in this film accurate to the way Charles Dickens described him as Bob is apparently short in the novel.
Between Scrooge leaving Marley' s corpse and Scrooge going to his counting house there is a scene where servants and cooks are preparing a banquet for the mayor of London. This is directly taken from the novel where Dickens mentions a banquet being prepared for the mayor and his subjects. The only other film adaption that shows this is the 1935 version starring Seymour Hicks.
It appears that the pennies used in the opening scenes are Australian pennies (not English). You can see what appears to be the word Australia and the tails of kangaroos. A possible animators "Easter Egg".
During the beginning sequence in the street, a guide dog spots Scrooge, yelps and quickly drags his owner away. This is a nod to the original novel, when author Charles Dickens explains how Scrooge's temperament was so known in the city that "even the blinds' dogs knew and avoided him".
Both Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd, stars of Robert Zemeckis' earlier time travel adventure Back to the Future (1985), were considered in the line-up of voice overs for the film.
In the end, when Scrooge wakes up from his dreams, Jim Carrey dances and laughs as he did in his earlier role, The Grinch. He even mentions he has heard that laugh before.
To help promote this film, Disney teamed up with Amtrak and ran a special train that went across the country that showed different items from the movie.
Jacob Marley's ghost in this version does not explain why it is required that every person when alive should do good to others and if they fail to do so they get punished in death. Nor does Scrooge ask why spirits walk the earth.
This is the Disney Company's third involvement with an adaption of A Christmas Carol, the first being Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983) and the other, The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992), thus making this Disney adaption the first not to have the roles played by other character (ie, Mickey Mouse/Kermit as Bob Crachit, Goofy/Statler as Jacob Marley, etc.)
This film is the third version where Marley is seen deceased. The first was the 1951 film starring Alastair Sim and the second was the 2004 television musical film starring Kelsey Grammer. It is the third film adaptation to open with Marley's death after the 1984 and 1999 television films.
This is the first Disney version of A Christmas Carol in which Scrooge's sister, Fan, is shown.
Scrooge falls at least eighteen times throughout the film. This may be a reference to Scrooge being humbled before his fellow man, the fact that he falls from high places, as well as low ones. His final fall is from the rail at the back of the carriage on Christmas day. This fall seems to hurt him least of all, since his heart and spirit have been "lightened" by the spirit's visits.
It is the second film adaptation to feature Caroline and her husband after the 1999 television film starring Patrick Stewart. These two characters are absent in many other film adaptations.
This is the first film that Jim Carrey and Cary Elwes appeared in 12 years later since Liar Liar (1997).
When Scrooge first goes into his counting house after signing Marley's death certificate the sign 'Scrooge and Marley' ages 7 years later. This also happens in the 1999 version starring Patrick Stewart. Likewise both films begin with Marley's death and his death certificate being signed by Scrooge. More interestingly both films are 10 years apart as this version was released in 2009.
Both the undertaker and his apprentice seen at the start of the film could be based on Mr. Sowerberry and Noah Claypole who star in Oliver Twist also written by Charles Dickens.
Christopher Lloyd and Tom Hanks were both rumored to be having parts in this movie at one point.
If one looks carefully when young Scrooge loses his fiance due to his greed and changed attitude a hour glass can been on Scrooge's desk. This could be an ironic symbol as a hour glass is a symbol of time and the hourglass could be marking the beginning of the period where Scrooge has fully changed after his fiance leaves him to when he repents after the visitation of the three spirits.
Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman, and Robin Wright Penn who are in this movie have been in DC comic book characters. Carrey who does the voice of Scrooge in the movie previously played the Riddler in Batman Forever (1995). Oldman, who does the voice of Bob Cratchit plays Commissioner Jim Gordon in The Dark Knight trilogy (2005-2012). Wright, who does the voice of Belle, would play Antiope in Wonder Woman (2017).
At the start of the film Scrooge is seen paying the undertaker in a very reluctant manner. After giving him the first coin the undertaker gives the look that clearly states he still needs to cough up. And after Scrooge reluctantly does so he takes the two coins from Marley's eyes to replace the money he paid with. This symbolizes the infamous line describing Scrooge as 'A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, covetous old sinner'
Jim Carrey not only played Scrooge at all the various stages of his life. He also played the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet To Come. While this may have been mainly due to Carrey's wide range as a physical and voice performer, it might also be seen as Scrooge teaching himself to be a better man.
The fifth Disney's computer-animated film to be rated PG by the MPAA, after Dinosaur (2000), The Incredibles (2004), Bolt (2008) and Up (2009).