Robert Zemeckis‘s A Christmas Carol “turns a 19th-century morality tale into a 21st-century funhouse ride, replete with digital greasepaint and 3-D gaping,” says the Toronto Star‘s Peter Howell. “Look past all the techno tinsel, and the uplift is the same as always. You might even enjoy the 3-D faux snow landing in your lap.

“The bad news is that all this glitter is not gold. This is the third film by Zemeckis using motion-capture technology, the others being The Polar Express and Beowulf, and he has yet to prove the worth of a dubious hybrid that is not quite live action and not quite animation.

“Indeed, with A Christmas Carol he comes closest to disproving his own strenuous arguments in favor of the process, and 3-D only serves to further gild the lily. He’s taken an immortal story and an A-list cast – including Jim Carrey, Colin Firth and Gary Oldman – and nearly smothered them with the digital equivalent of cellophane.

“It’s like taking a Christmas wreath and dipping it in wax or laminating a Christmas card in plastic. Zemeckis risks creating another Yule ghoul: the Ghost of Christmas Without Soul.”