I read that this film has been labeled by parents as a "Disney Bomb" because it's too scary for their young children. Parents who take kids to see any movie need to be aware of something: if it's rated PG there are likely going to be scenes that your six year old will not enjoy -- even if the name Disney is attached to it. The cutesy versions of A Christmas Carol (The Muppet Christmas Carol and Disney's own Mickey's Christmas Carol for example) have little in common with the classic, and sometimes very scary Charles Dickens story. The plot should be familiar to just about anyone who has been alive sometime during the past 150 years, and the fact that there are spirits (ghosts) in the story should also be a red flag to parents. Especially since two of them are downright frightening in just about any version of the story.
The truth is that this is one of the most beautiful and faithful remakes of the Dickens classic. The dialogue is taken nearly word-for-word from the book, and the look and feel of the film brilliantly capture what you would imagine wintertime in London in the 19th century to be like. A few of the special effects are a bit over-the-top, but most work well and add enough pizazz for cynical modern-day audiences. The scenes featuring the Ghost of Christmas Present are worth the price of admission alone.
Once every few months I'm dragged kicking and screaming to see a new film. I can't stand wasting my hard-earned dollar on the crap Hollywood throws at us these days, but every once in a while I'm pleasantly surprised and thoroughly enjoy a movie. This was definitely one of those rare times.