Disney’s Christmas in July

I mean the new Disney movie adaption of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” The movie uses motion capture technology that was most notably used in “Polar Express” where the actors facial and bodily features are computerized and animated. To help sell advance buzz for the movie, they outfitted a special series of train cars (playing off the Polar Express bit too, how clever is that?) that is traveling around the country — this weekend it is here in St. Louis.

The train cars are chock full of HP computers and video touch screens that show how the actors were filmed and how some of the scenes are digitally assembled. There is also commentary from Robert Zemeckis, Jim Carrey, and others that are involved in the film. You see the actors wearing body suits and cameras that track their movements and then get a chance to watch a few minutes of the final footage in a special inflatable 3D movie theater. And it is free.

The special moment for St. Louis is that these train cars used for the tour originated here and were used in a local museum display before they became Disney-ified. A crew of ten travels by bus to help setup and staff the displays.

On the set, more than 8,000 computers were used to create the animations used in the movie. That is a lot of CPUs. Do stop by the train tour when it comes into your town.


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