It might have been early November, but it was Christmas in Leicester Square last night, full of eight-foot tall pines and soapy fake snow, carol-singing urchins and bebonneted beauties. If there's one thing Disney does well, it's the festive season, and the world premiere of Robert Zemeckis' A Christmas Carol was no exception.
For starters, there were the Christmas lights to be turned on, in three different locations, with Jim Carrey pressing the big red button in Oxford Street, Colin Firth doing likewise in Regent Street and Bob Hoskins yanking the lights' lever outside of St. Paul's Cathedral.
Commuters may have complained, but the mo-cap film's Scrooge Jim Carrey saw the lighter side, saying We stopped London for ten minutes' that's great! I'm here to help you practise for the Olympics. In a jolly mood, Carrey was sporting a fearsome beard as he walked up the red carpet, explaining that his face fuzz has received his girlfriend's (Jenny McCarthy) seal of approval, saying You only do the things your girl tells you you can.
Colin Firth, who plays Scrooge's nephew Fred, was pleased to be out of the spandex (which performance-capture requires actors to wear): I'm getting used to not being in spandex - I've had a couple of years of that strange chaffing feeling Bob Hoskins (Mr Fezziwig / Old Joe) complained that the new animation process expanded his arse and made it look as big as a house. Talking about meeting Jim Carrey, Hoskins added that, I thought I was going to meet a nutcase, but he's a really sensible guy.''
Reviewers who'd already seen the film have commented that this new interpretation of Dicken's classic tale was too scary for children, but Hoskins was keen to point out that, You can't protect kids from the horrors of the book. The kids have got to see it, they've got to be fearful - that's what it's about, so that they can feel the redemption at the end.