Disney's "A Christmas Carol" train tour comes to Chicago

July 24, 2009 (CHICAGO) Who says you can't celebrate Christmas in July?

Christmas carolers entertained crowds at Chicago's Union Station before the Christmas train was opened to the public on Friday, July 24, 2009.

Union Station is the place to be the weekend of July 25th to enjoy a Christmas train tour and a sneak peak of the newest edition of Charles Dickens' classic, "A Christmas Carol" starring Jim Carrey. The movie will debut November 6, 2009.

Chicago is the 15th stop for Disney's "A Christmas Carol Train Tour." The train is traveling over 16,000 miles throughout the country and stopping at 40 cities and 36 states along the way, all to promote the new movie.

Zoey and Jake Zegen of Northbrook say they are excited about the movie and do enjoy celebrating Christmas 5 months early. Zoey Zegen called the train "awesome." Jake Zegen said that he enjoyed seeing the 3 ghosts made famous in the story.

Visitors can expect to see movie previews in a 3D inflatable theatre and tour the Christmas train all for free. While touring the train, the public will see movie props and artifacts.

The public will also have a chance to see how 3D technology is created with behind-the-scenes footage. The technology is called "performance capture." The Walt Disney Company has put a lot of work into this technology according to Walt Disney Studios Chairman Dick Cook.

"When we first started talking about forming this company that was going to make performance capture this was the first title that Bob [Zemeckis] said, 'I think it would be great.'" Bob Zemeckis [said] we should do something around "A Christmas Carol" and to do the movie. It took us about 30 seconds to say yes because we knew that it was everything we wanted. It has great characters, a fantastic story, and it was a movie that we clearly wanted to be able to make," said Cook.

The 3D technology requires the actors of the movie to show lots of expression. The film's director, Robert Zemeckis, said that the movie's star, Jim Carrey, is able to show those expressions.

"Not only does Jim [Carrey] have an expressive face, but when he performs he uses every muscle in his entire body and that's another thing that is really great for this process. He is a performer that reacts with everything, and that really comes through in the character, Scrooge," said Zemeckis.

The movie which is currentlyfinishing production has what it takes to become a classic according to Cook.

"Cinematically, it takes you to a world you've never seen before. It takes you back to old England, and then it takes you to the future as well. I think from a dramatic standpoint, it allows us to be more dramatic [and] funnier. It tells a story. I think the themes of the story come through better [compared to older versions]. So, I think all in all it is something that will be around for a long, long time [it will be] a classic," said Cook.

The train tour is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday at Chicago's Union Station.The train will continue touring the country until November 1, 2009 with a final stop at New York's Grand Central Station.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of ABC7 Chicago.

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