For those lining up to see the latest retelling of Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol, these fun facts are for you. Especially if you're the type to sit down to watch an animated movie and say, "Who's voice is that?" Except for Colin Firth (Fred), Fionnula Flanagan (Mrs. Dilber), Leslie Manville (Mrs. Cratchit) and Leslie Zemeckis (Fred’s wife), everyone played multiple roles.
Jim Carrey: 7 roles Old Scrooge, plus younger versions Ghost of Christmas Past Ghost of Christmas Present Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come
Gary Oldman: 3 roles Bob Cratchit Marley’s Ghost Tiny Tim
Bob Hoskins: 2 roles Old Fezziwig Old Joe
Robin Wright Penn: 2 roles Belle Fan
· For his characters, Jim Carrey used different accents.
As Scrooge the child, teen, young adult – he begins more relaxed and loose and gets more pompous and resolute as he gets older. Elder Scrooge – the Queen’s English, with a middle tone Ghost of Christmas Past – An Irish accent, very light in tone Ghost of Christmas Present – a Yorkshire accent, strong and dependable working class sound, deep in register Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come – does not speak
Bob Hoskins roughed up his own accent
Gary Oldman also played with his accent: For Bob Cratchit he used a “London” accent, very close to his own For Tiny Tim lightened the tone and made it higher For Marley he used the Queen’s English
Cast member Cary Elwes is actually related to the man believed to be the inspiration for Scrooge. “John Megid Elwes is an ancestor of mine who was a renowned miser,” says Elwes. “He was a politician who changed his name from Megid to Elwes in order to gain favor with his uncle, Sir Harvey Elwes, who he knew was going to die without an heir and he had tons of money. And it worked. He managed to get all Mr. Harvey Elwes’s estates and proceeded to become one of the most famous misers in English history. He was renowned for never changing his clothes.”
When Gary Oldman played Tiny Tim, they physically lowered the floor area over which he walked so that he would appear shorter, like a child. Remember, most of this movie was filmed, then turned into the 3D animation version you see.
Jim Carrey worked closely with stunt coordinator Garrett Warren and did many of his own stunts, including sliding down virtual rooftops, flying over virtual chimney stacks, sliding on a virtual icicle and falling down virtual stairs. For one of the ghost roles, Carrey was also rigged to fly.
The dancers rehearsed for five weeks with a full company of 26 dancers the first week and then a "filming" company of 14 dancers for the next four weeks.
There was no costume designer. Vintage Victorian costumes were shipped from England and placed on mannequins that were kept in the conference room throughout prep and production. These were used for reference and inspiration for costume design and filmmakers created them in the computer with production designer Doug Chiang at the helm.
That's it. Those are the (fun) facts.