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The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

A look at the man behind Disney’s ‘A Christmas Carol’

Robert Zemeckis has left his cultural footprint with films like “Forrest Gump” and the “Back to the Future” series.  Now, it seems, he wants to pay homage to stories that have also done the same.

Beginning with the “The Polar Express” and followed by “Beowulf,” Zemeckis brought these classic stories to the big screen, using cutting edge technology and a power-studded cast of voice actors and composers. 

His production and release of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” was clearly a labor of love.

“Film is a great form to introduce classic stories to a new generation of moviegoers,” said Zemeckis during a radio interview in which he fielded questions from college journalism students from across the country.

 “It’s a familiar title, and it’s a really great story to be told,” he said.

But his love of Dickens’ does not begin and end with “A Christmas Carol.”

Zemeckis said he considers Dickens “the greatest writer in the English language.”  He went on to comment about his love for “A Tale of Two Cities”, “Great Expectations,” and “Oliver Twist.”

 “A Christmas Carol” is shot in what is called “performance capture,” which relies heavily on computers to capture the motions of the actors, thereby making the animated characters seem more lifelike and real. 

This is a favorite Zemeckis technique, one he used in “The Polar Express” and “Beowulf.”Instead of traditional cameras, everything is recorded by sensors in special suits the actors wear as they perform the scene. 

Zemeckis said putting on the leotard “weirds out” the actors at first, but they really get into it.

While he hopes the movie entertain and satisfies, Zemeckis said he also hopes it piques peoples’ curiosity.

“Maybe you would want to go back and read [the book] after you watch it,” he said, “Which would be a good thing.”

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About the Contributor
Troy Patton
Troy Patton, Arts & Features Editor
Arts and features editor, spring 2013.

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A look at the man behind Disney’s ‘A Christmas Carol’