All aboard for Scrooge! We preview the Christmas Carol train tour

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012, 3:54 PM EST

Disney kicked off a five-month, 40-city promotional train tour for the upcoming 3-D animated movie Disney's A Christmas Carol in Los Angeles' historic Union Station today, and SCI FI Wire was on hand for a preview of artwork, media experiences and a clip of the movie.

If you live in one of the 40 cities where the train is stopping, you'll get to see a behind-the-scenes preview of the holiday retelling of the Charles Dickens story. If you don't, or you just can't wait until it pulls into your station, we took a look inside the train cars.

Want to see what Jim Carrey looks like as a pimple-faced teen or a shriveled old man? You can, as portraits of Carrey's many animated looks adorn the first car. He plays Ebenezer Scrooge at every age via motion-capture technology. You can get the mo-cap treatment yourself a few cars down. Have your picture taken and watch it morph into Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Fan and Jacob Marley. Let that be a warning to you of how you'll look if you lose your Christmas spirit.

Think you know A Christmas Carol? A virtual tour of the film's CGI Dickensian London leads you on an adventure to answer questions about the classic tale. Although if they're using this to educate kids about the story, it's kind of unfair to interrogate them before they've even seen it!

For the aspiring film tech, car two reproduces an actual motion-capture soundstage. Competition is getting fierce in Hollywood, so tomorrow's filmmakers should start brushing up on technology today. Be sure to check out the reference costumes and maquette models to see the basics that become full-bodied animation.

When you leave the train, be sure to check out the sneak preview of 3-D footage from the film. Scrooge's nose pokes right out of the screen as he bitterly yells at Fred (Colin Firth). And, boy, is he bitter. He even questions Fred's marriage. Humbug indeed. Another 3-D gag comes in a scene in which Scrooge pokes Bob Cratchit (Gary Oldman) with a ruler. He's really poking the audience.

The second full scene is Marley's ghost, but that's just exposition. Three ghosts, repent, blah blah blah. That seems less eventful than some of the random clips that follow. Scrooge tries to trap the Ghost of Christmas Past under a cone, but the ghost shoots him up into the sky. Scrooge flies across the moon a la E.T. And you can totally see Jim Carrey's face in the Ghost.

Wherever you catch the train between now and Nov. 1, there will be snow. Even in Los Angeles in May, organizers blew snow across the train platform as jugglers performed on stilts and unicycles, while carolers wrapped in scarves sang for passers-by. Hopefully they'll hit the cooler cities during the summer, because they are dressed for a full 19th-century winter.

The Christmas Carol Train is on tour until Nov. 1. A complete list of cities is available online. A Christmas Carol opens in theaters Nov. 6.

Click on the images below for larger versions.