"A Christmas Carol" May Be Too Dark For Family Fun

"A Christmas Carol" May Be Too Dark For Family Fun I saw Disney’s “A Christmas Carol” a week after the release date. Although a bit short in explanations, it was a rather enjoyable experience. Cinematically, they brought the story to life and I thought all of the spirits were executed extremely well.

What bothered me throughout the entirety of the movie, however, was the rating. It did not strike me as a PG movie. There were very macabre scenes, featuring bones turning to dust, a female specter in a straitjacket, teeth popping from a deceased man’s head.

In one scene a man is seen laughing as his body begins to decay with two gruesome looking spirits taunting Scrooge. There’s a very realistic feel to it, nothing comedic. It’s scary in a way that isn’t similar to monsters under the bed. I’m not certain children should be exposed to something so dark.

According to the site of CARA (The Classification and Ratings Administration), a PG movie may contain violence, “but these elements are not deemed so intense as to require that parents be strongly cautioned beyond the suggestion of parental guidance”. I don’t believe the scenes in the movie fell into that category.

The medium of this movie was three-dimensional with cinematography that closely resembled actual people. In an animated Disney movie, scary scenes and violence are much easier to see as not realistic because the medium in which they are presented is a two-dimensional cartoon. We are not two-dimensional cartoons. But we do resemble the characters in “A Christmas Carol”. A child may go home and have nightmares about the two children screaming, the old man laughing and turning to dust, a grave that looks as if it’s resting above the pits of hell.

Whether or not a movie has a good moral, is a rendition of a classic book that we’ve grown up with, or is created by a company known for children’s movies; we have to remember that the rating needs to be an honest reflection of the movie’s theme. And I believe, in this case, that the MPAA failed to make the correct decision.

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