the weekend before last we did something pretty great ... and yes, it took me 10 days to mention it.
i had heard on the radio on thursday that there was a disney train coming to town to promote the new animated 3d version of "a christmas carol." thinking it would be something fun to do with the kids, i checked out the event web site for more information. turns out, it wasn't just any old event: this was a five-car train working its way across the country this summer, and four of the cars were turned into mobile museums about the movie. how cool is that?! so saturday morning, we got up and around and headed to st paul.
we got there about half an hour after it opened, so there wasn't much of a line, and it wasn't yet hot. perfect. the train was so very cool, with it's "christmas carol" wrap, and at each of the cars there was a display with a poster, a lamp post decked out in christmas decorations, and spouting bubble "snowflakes" into the air. no detail was ignored.
i hadn't heard anything about this movie until the blurb on the radio, so it was a complete surprise to see, in the first car, portraits of and costumes worn by jim carrey, robin wright penn, bob hoskins, and ... colin firth!! no way!! *heart palpitations* i was standing thisclose to something worn by colin firth.
good thing the sign to not touch was posted; i may have tried to lick the cravat.
another thing i didn't realize is that in addition to all the movie props and costumes and art, there were also actual artifacts from charles dickens. the english lit major in me was totally geeking out at this point! dickens' actual handwriting ... actual letters and manuscripts written by him ... wow. the part of me that is a writer couldn't get over how tedious it must have been for him to write all his novels: long-hand, using a quill pen and that fussy little victorian penmanship. who knows how many more classics he could have knocked out with a computer instead of a nib and inkwell!
the next train was full of screens showing concept art and renderings into animation, along with screens of interviews with the art director, director, jim carrey, etc., all discussing how the movie was made. the art is simply breathtaking and so detailed.
next up were the paper models. the detail on these was nothing short of perfect.
need more detail?
still not convinced? check this out: not only was the scale and exterior detail completely amazing, but there were interior layers as well. incredible.
next car was all about the technology, the stop-motion capture and how they translate all those dots into 3d animation. (and at that point, the mirrored back wall provided a family portrait opportunity.)
we exited through a car decorated like a victorian sitting room, with christmas carol playing, a fake fire roaring, and cookies. at this point, we headed to a small theater that had been set up to show a 10 minute peek at the movie. we got our 3d glasses and stood in line, but harper predictably bailed about three minutes into the wait.
that was probably a good thing. henry and i went into the theater, and the show started with a little more information, and then the movie preview began.
this is not, i repeat, NOT a children's movie.
don't be fooled by the words "disney" and "animated."
it is a pure adaptation of "a christmas carol," full of all the language structure and verbiage dickens originally wrote. the story is complex, and the vision dickens had is finally, faithfully, brought to life. it looks like an intense movie.
and i, for one, can. not. wait.
but i'll leave the kiddos home for this one.
if the train stops in your city, GO! it's truly an amazing event. and the movie will be nothing short of mind-blowing. now i have a reason to anticipate november!