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Carey Bryson

Is Disney's A Christmas Carol Too Scary for Your Kids? — Plenty of Others to Choose From

By November 9, 2009

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A thrilling Jim Carrey fest in magical 3D, Disney's A Christmas Carol is a fantastic movie with a few flaws here and there. But what parents need to know, is that the movie contains scenes that could be extremely frightening for young children. The fact that the movie is not for 2-5 year-olds is fine. The story was not written for preschoolers, and families with kids ages 8 and up will probably thoroughly enjoy it (it all depends on kids' level of tolerance for scary ghost scenes). If you want to know more about the movie before taking the kiddos, check out a review for parents of Disney's A Christmas Carol, and you can see movie trailers and clips from the movie which feature a couple of the scary scenes.

If Disney's A Christmas Carol is too much for your child, there are some other options for young kids to get in on the Christmas Carol fun. Several kids' versions of A Christmas Carol have been released over the years. This year, Dora came out with her own version of the classic story. In Dora's Christmas Carol Adventure, Swiper the Fox travels to Christmas past, present and future and gets a chance to mend his thieving ways. Last year, Barbie in A Christmas Carol was released, enchanting little girls with the story of a beautiful young woman who has a big lesson to learn about being charitable. Our personal favorite is Disney's other attempt at retelling the timeless Dickens story -- Mickey's A Christmas Carol. Mickey never goes out of style, and he is a wonderfully charming actor.

Disney's A Christmas Carol was number one at the box office over the weekend. Did your family see the movie? What did you think?

(Photo © Disney. All rights reserved.)

November 12, 2009 at 11:00 am
(1) Jennifer says:

Would not recommend it for any age kid or adult for that matter. It was very unnecessarily dark. I wish I had walked out with my 10 yr old.

November 14, 2009 at 5:44 pm
(2) hannah says:

I definetly enjoyed it. It did have a dark side but I still recomend it because its still a favorite story about how one man changes his ways. Some of the scary scenes include the ghost of christmas future,in the clock tower{you will know when they are in the clock tower),and a scary carrige. There are probably other scenes I did not mention. I still recomend it.

November 15, 2009 at 9:56 am
(3) Valerie says:

I also thought it was very dark and scary. Children especially should not go see this movie. I should have left with my 7 year old during the movie but I didn’t. The last 5 minutes of the movie is the best part.

November 21, 2009 at 7:03 pm
(4) Lucie says:

I Am 17 and i cannot sleep at night! its so scary let alone little kids ! especially for a disney film :|

November 23, 2009 at 2:15 pm
(5) laura says:

I took 5 kids to see this movie, 2 were only 6 years old, they spent the entire time on my laps, scared by all the figures of the movie. Both had nightmares the following night. The older kids, aged 9 and 11, were just a little scared.
I thought the movie was nicely done and enjoyed myself, but the ghost in the beginning has a jaw that falls and opens his head, and Death chasing the main character is definitely scary –it’s quite long too so I would recommend not to take children under 10. If your kids are older than 10, take them, it’s a good movie!

November 25, 2009 at 12:52 am
(6) Julie says:

I took my 4 boys to see this wretched excuse for a Christmas movie this evening. My 4 and 7 year olds were terrified, my 14 year old was creeped out by the spirit of Christmas present, and I was appalled by all the dark Halloween type imagery. Did they really have to show the Ghost of Christmas Present’s gruesome horrifying death? Really? My family and I absolutely hated this dreadful depressing movie and I feel it will take a week to get back in the holiday spirit after seeing this NIGHTMARE of a film.

November 30, 2009 at 2:56 pm
(7) michele says:

I took all my children ages 4-10. The 10 year old handled it very well but the other two were frightened. Had I know it would have scared them I would have left them at home. I enjoyed it and found it to stick right with the original novel. NOT FOR YOUNGER CHILDREN

December 8, 2009 at 7:18 pm
(8) a middle schooler says:

Really? It was a real good movie, the ghost parts were really good, and Jim Carrey did really well. Very good movie, unexpected at parts, but great.
Yes, you shouldn’t really take kids under like 9 but frankly, if your above that (and you have no fear of ghosts or something) it’s quite idiotic to be scared about.

December 12, 2009 at 10:07 pm
(9) a super scared person says:

This was the most ridiculously scary movie i have seen, except for something rated R. For an animated movie rated PG, it was ridiculously frightening. It should have been rated R! My 8 year old said she will never get the scary face of the ghost of Christmas past out of her head! Even I was very scared!We were so scared we left after about 20 minutes. Obviously everybody else knew what a bad movie this was, because we were the only ones in the movie. But fortunately, we told the workers it was too scary, and they let us go to Princess and the Frog for free.

December 13, 2009 at 12:23 am
(10) Colleen says:

I agree that this movie is not appropriate for young children. The ghost of Jacob Marley at the beginning of the film was enough to scare me, and am an adult. At first I thought that kids these days are used to more graphic images than what I saw as a child, but then a boy and his mom walked out of the movie because he was too scared. He was probably about 7. I know that if I had watched it when I was 7, I would have had nightmares. There were other scary images in the movie, but I think Marley was the worst. If your child is sensitive, please find another holiday film. For adults, this was a great movie.

December 14, 2009 at 4:51 am
(11) karlmalone says:

This film is absolutely stunning and amazing. The animation and 3d effects are wonderful. It was darker than some recent renditions but I think it more accurately displayed Dickens’ intentions. Scrooge was supposed to see what he was missing in his life to be scared by the dismal future ahead. As much as the movie is dark so also is it light as Scrooge is redeemed. Great opportunity to discuss how we can change our futures for the better.

December 18, 2009 at 5:42 pm
(12) Joyce says:

Disney owes all of us a refund!! This movie left all of us feeling scared and miserable! 5 min of happy at the end do not even start to make up for the other 1 1/2 hours of terror. Very Disappointed. DO NOT TAKE YOUR KIDS TO SEE THIS MOVIE!!

December 18, 2009 at 11:47 pm
(13) Kaitlyn says:

yes, i am a 12 years old.i havent seen it yet but i will. my opinion is that it is hard for me to pick if it i recamend it or not. i havent seen it yet but i have seen “A Christmas Coral” played by real people, and there was one part that gave me goosbumps. And the ghosht of Christmas yet to come was kind of creepie, but that is my opinion.

December 19, 2009 at 6:43 pm
(14) Alikus says:

I canít believe the sensitivity todayís namby pamby society!! I have just seen this film with my 8-year-old daughter and can honestly say it the one of the most enjoyable films we’ve ever watched! Charles Dickens was a genius and this adaptation of the classic was true to form and a wonderful insight to the wonderment of the novelist. We tend to forget the imagination, genius and literacy of such legend as Dickens and the impact they have made on the influential literalists we have today. Please donít deny out children such classics.

December 23, 2009 at 2:33 pm
(15) Becca says:

Okay, I just saw this movie with my parents and brother for his birthday. It was good and had amazing 3-D effects, we wern’t really shook up at it at all.(My brother is 10, by the way) But still, I was a little surprised how dark it was, I mean, I know the story is supposed to be dark, but still, isn’t the movie meant for kids? I thought the Ghost Of Christmas Present was good and cheery for kids at first, but when we saw his death, I was like, ‘Did that REALLY have to be put in?’ >.>

I think they just wanted to stick to the original story, y’know, to make people happy.

I thought it was great, my family enjoyed it too, but I thought it was a little too scary for younger kids.

December 24, 2009 at 1:39 pm
(16) Sam Arctica says:

This film is truely a masterpiece and I don’t think it’s fair that people are giving this film such bad reviews -particularily based off just it’s ‘Dark’ atmosphere alone. This film was made to stick true to the novel and for those who have read the novel you’ll find (suprise suprise) it’s also quite dark.

Both the Film & Animation industries are changing and people need to realise that visual effects have always been made to look realistic to audiences. The exact same scenario happened where people walked out of cinemas with their children when ‘Gremlins’ was released causing the film’s rating to be raised to a 15 UK – and it’s the visual effects which make ‘A christmas carol’ come to life.

I have seen both the 2D and 3D versions and I will admit that there are a few jumpy moments, but understandably during the 3D showing I noticed how a mother and young child walked out of the cinema whilst the ‘Chase Scene’ was showing.

People ask the question, ‘Is this film too scary for kids?’ and my view on the whole thing is that parents should really go and see the film first before taking their kids to see it, even if it does have a PG rating. It worked for me when ‘Arachnophobia’ and ‘Jurrassic Park’ came out on VHS – surely it should work when ‘Christmas Carol’ comes out on DVD too?

Naturally the screens are bigger in a cinema and the sounds are much louder than what you would hear on a normal television set – so taking your kids to the cinema to see this film may not be a wise idea.

Overall. The story was excellent and true to the novel. The animation was brilliant. The visual effects were breathtaking and knew how to take you by suprise where you least expected it. The voice actors were perfect and well suited to their characters. I was very impressed with Robert’s work and I’ll be sure to own it on DVD when it is released next year.

January 3, 2010 at 9:04 am
(17) A middle schooler says:

This movie was very good but it was quite scary, i went with my dad and my 8 year old sister. We all liked it except for my sister who was scared alot curling up to my dad covering here eyes, so if your 9 and under don’t watch this movie,THIS IS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD

January 11, 2010 at 3:05 am
(18) Birdzilla says:

The GHOST OF JACOB MARLEY scary indeed

December 6, 2010 at 9:29 pm
(19) Scrooge says:

Hahahah what utter bs. I hope Charles Dickens is rolling over in his grave from hearing these comments. It stayed true to the novel (yes that scene with the ghost of christmas present is similiar in the novel with the appearance of the man and woman) and if people actually read the novel, they would know that it features many dark scary scenes as well. Don’t whine because a movie followed the source material more honestly than say the scrooge mcduck christmas carol. Educate yourself on the source material, understand that a PG rating perhaps means make yourself aware to ask about the movie for children, and grow a back gone. Go read charle dicken’s a christmas carol. Adios

December 24, 2010 at 9:09 pm
(20) Michael says:

I’m an adult and I think the movie had a few scary/very surprising moments even for me… I wouldn’t let anyone below 10 to see it. Parents must understand that not everything which is drawn is for kids.

January 13, 2011 at 6:43 pm
(21) Sarah says:

If I were a little kid it would freak me out but all of these people saying it was horrible and a nightmare and a complete waste of money have clearly never read “A Christmas Carol.” It was exceptionally close to the book and the effects were insane. I loved the dark tone of it and how it contrasted with Scrooge’s change in the end. Easily the best film I’ve seen in a while.

February 3, 2011 at 6:13 am
(22) Bailey says:

Yes the movie is scary (I have it on DVD), but it all relates back to the book. See, Dicken’s Christmas Carol tale was not in ANY way written for children under twelve years old, and the movie is trying to stay true to Dicken’s work.

September 1, 2011 at 7:07 am
(23) Robert says:

You guys know what? I’ve read each and every comment about this movie and nobody stopped to look at the whole story. The dead body of Jacob Marley, the visit from Marley’s soul, The death of The Ghost of Christmas Past, The freaky scenes of the Last Ghost, the sad scenes of the future where Cratchit is mourning the death of his son Tim… didn’t anybody read the book? If you’ve read The Christmas Carol novel, you would know how scary the story is beforehand! Before you say the movie is horrible and scary, read the damn book! If you take time and ENJOY the scary story, you wouldn’t say the movie is “garbage”. It’s not a wasted attempt, either. Disney tried to stay true to the original story, even though they may have stayed too true at some points, you just have to sit through it! It was their decision, and, if you don’t like it, well… you don’t have to trash-talk MY favorite Christmas movie of ALL TIME (well, it is now). If your kids were scared, take them to see something kiddish like “Elmo Saves Christmas” or “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” (good because she lives). Nothing like a little Disney horror over the holidays… I LOVED IT! Little spooked at the theater by the death of the second ghost, though, and Marley screaming and moaning “Woe is me!”. That scene got me. The first ghost was fine and the third one just jumped out a lot and scared me. That’s it, thanks for reading ;) . P.S. Get out there and by the book: “A Christmas Carol” written by “Charles Dickens” or hear it here: http://librivox.org/a-christmas-carol-dramatic-reading-by-charles-dickens/

December 23, 2011 at 9:38 pm
(24) Elias says:

Wow, some of people are ridiculously stupid. This is the point of the movie. It is not supposed to be bright sunshine and rainbows.

December 18, 2012 at 2:07 am
(25) MPDixon says:

Well, some of you are entirely rude and unnecessarily mean, almost to the extent that this movie is unnecessarily scary. While sticking to the novel, visuals were added and embellished that made it much, much more frightening. While the story itself was true to the novel, I still think Charles is rolling in his grave somewhere knowing how scary this makes his work seem.

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