Let me preface this review by stating that I am not, in the slightest -- a Jim Carrey fan.
I am, however - a huge fan of Gary Oldman, and Robert Zemeckis.
"A Christmas Carol" is by far, the most artistically spectacular movie I've ever seen. The animation is second to none; similar to the "Polar Express" - the technology used in this film was so far beyond where "Polar Express" left off -- it's mindblowing. There are some moments that even in extreme closeups you question whether it's actors or animation that you're looking at.
The adaptation is pretty true to the Dickens story; there's some embellishment of sorts but for the most part it's almost the way I remember the book. Lets face it, England in the 1840s is rather dark and Dickens isn't the shiniest and happiest of authors -- but the magic of Zemeckis brings you right there and for a few moments in time you forget that you're in a theatre, and it's the new millenium.
My only real critique is that there's little interaction between Scrooge and Crotchet; I seem to remember a bit more detail into their relationship so that the connection to he and Little Tim made more sense than it did in the movie. I found that I needed to explain why he was so interested in that family, because to younger children who haven't read the classic yet - there was no true obvious tie between the two people; so I felt that the one glimpse we had of them working together was really outlined as an obvious assumption to those of us who grew up with the story all of these years.
Definitely not a movie for those under 8; Princess Petunia is no shrinking violet and at 5 1/2 - she was definitely startled and scared at times. She stuck it out, but as I said - Dickens isn't shiny and happy so even the prettiest of scenes are dark for little ones. That being said, this is absolutely a fabulous family movie -- and seriously, a great date night film.
We might even go see it again!