Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Christmas Carol Train

All Aboard!

Earlier this year I read a news article about a promotion that Disney studios had planned to publicize a new, animated version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol. The gimmick in this case was a train tour through the whole country with "whistle stops" at many towns where attendees could get a glimpse at the making of the film. The event was added immediately to my calendar.

On arrival in Cleveland, the train pulled up just across from the Cleveland Browns stadium, near the Port of Cleveland freight docks, the Amtrack cars fully decked in advertisements and with quite a few people waiting in line to enter the cars. They had each car filled with Dickens, Christmas Carol, and movie related paraphernalia. The first car held "portraits" of the characters in the film, as well as actual costumes which had been sewn so that the animators, using CGI technology, could render them accurately.

This car also had several glass cases with items from the Dickens House Museum in London, including some manuscript letters and early editions of the Carol and other of his works,
including a few issues of Pickwick, and a quill pen and ink bottle that had been used by the master himself.

Another car had intricate model works for the "set" of the movie- Big Ben being built, Scrooge and Marley's counting house, and nephew Fred's house.

At the end of the tour, we got to "morph" our own faces into characters from the film. Kim chose Marley, I chose Scrooge himself. Look for an interesting Christmas card from us this year! Finally, we were treated to a ten minute sneak preview of the film in 3-D. It was neat to see all of these things, particularly the treasures from the museum.

And yes, old Mr. Fezziwig was there!


Jane said...

OOOh! How kitchy, yet really, really fun! So when does it come to Iowa? :-)

wclaspy said...

It looks like Chicago and St. Louis was as close as it got to a stop in Iowa. Here is the map: