American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
"Disney's A Christmas Carol" by Robert Zemeckis (and Charles Dickens, of course) is an exhilarating visual experience and proves for the third time he's one of the few directors who knows what he's doing with 3-D. The story that Dickens wrote in 1838 remains timeless, and if it's supercharged here with Scrooge swooping the London streets as freely as Superman, well, once you let ghosts into a movie, there's room for anything.
The story I will not repeat for you. The Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future will not come as news. I'd rather dwell on the look of the film, which is true to the spirit of Dickens (in some moods) as he cheerfully exaggerates. He usually starts with plucky young heroes or heroines and surrounds them with a gallery of characters and caricatures. Here his protagonist is the caricature: Ebenezer Scrooge, never thinner, never more stooped, never more bitter.
Jim Carrey is in there somewhere beneath the performance-capture animation; you can recognize his expressive mouth, but in general the Zemeckis characters don't resemble their originals overmuch. In his "The Polar Express," you were sure that was Tom Hanks, but here you're not equally sure of Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, Robin Wright Penn or Bob Hoskins.
Zemeckis places these characters in a London that twists and stretches its setting to reflect the macabre mood. Consider Scrooge's living room, as narrow and tall just as he is. The home of his nephew Fred, by contrast, is as wide and warm as Fred's personality.